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Change the location of MS Word Normal.DOT Template

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
How do I change the default location of Microsoft Word's "Normal.dot" template in the Registry?

On each users settings in MS Word, we've set the "User Templates" location (Tools / Options / User templates) to a default location for retrieval of our companies templates (i.e. FAX, Memo, Letterhead, etc...).  We should have set this in the "Workgroup Templates" not the "User Templates".  We would like to change this on each workstation without having to touch each PC.  I've done a search in the registry for NORMAL.DOT but it did not find anything.
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Question by:DAIIT
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Expert Comment

by:dopyiii
ID: 24097220
You can change the default normal.dot location by adding a new string called UserTemplates to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\General

  You can get there by:
    A. Go to Start > Run > type regedit and hit enter.
    B. In the left side browser/folder tree, expand following the path indicated above
    C. Once you click on General, you'll see stuff on the right side.
    D.  Right-click on the right side of the window and choose New > String value
    E. Give it the name UserTemplates and hit enter
    F. Now, doubleclick the new UserTemplates entry you just made
    G. For the value, enter the path you want to use for your user templates (and Normal.dot) location
    H. Click OK and close the registry editor
    I. Restart Word and the setting should have take place

Note for <version>, substitute the version that corresponds with your install: 9.0 for Office 2000, 10.0 for Office 2002/XP, 11.0 for Office 2003, and 12.0 for Office 2007.

Incidentally, if you want to change the workgroup templates location, you can do the same process, except add a string in the same place called SharedTemplates, and give it the value of the path you want to use.



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Expert Comment

by:dopyiii
ID: 24097230
That <version> comment will make a lot more sense if the registry path is:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Common\General
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Author Comment

by:DAIIT
ID: 24097292
Thanks!!  I found that path in the Registry.

My question now is, how do I change that registry setting without visiting each workstation?  I can open my registry & connect to another user's registry, but, I don't have the option to get to their "Current_User" portion of the registry.

If I have to edit each user's registry by connecting to their PC, then I'll just edit the MS Word settings within Word application.
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dopyiii earned 500 total points
ID: 24097529
Well, can you add a global login script for each user? If so, you could put a script together that just does this:
regedit /s registryFix.reg

Here's how you'd make the registry file:
1. Add the appropriate Key values in your registry with the right information
2. Click File > Export to export the whole General key
3. Edit the exported file and delete all of the string values except for the one or two you want to add
4. Save the .reg file

Now, if you can push the login script out for each user (I'm assuming you're using AD or something like that), and tell everyone to reboot to get the fix.

If you can't do a script, you might have to resort to emailing out the .reg file and ask people to double-click it and click the Merge button. Not elegant, but it'd work for most people.

Beyond that, I suppose the solution depends on how your network is setup and administered. Perhaps you know of an easier way to push out a change administratively (say, though group policy?).
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