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Microsoft Word will not save the global template to disk

Posted on 2010-03-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-09
I have Microsoft Word from Microsoft Office 2007 running on Windows 7 professional edition.

Other people have issues with Word asking to save the global template; I have the opposite problem: Word will not ask and it will not save it.

I ran Microsoft Office Diagnostics. It took corrective action for one "identified" problem, which was not identified.  This did not solve my problem.

I deleted the global template from AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates on the understanding a new global template would be created next time I opened Word.  It was not.  It turns out the problem has nothing to do with the normal.dotm file itself.  Now I have no normal.dotm file on my hard disk and Word will not create one (on disk).  So my problem is that Word uses a memory resident global template that it creates upon loading (*See note 1).  Incidentally, the file location for user templates in Word Options – Advanced – File Locations is c:\users\brendan\appdata\roaming\microsoft\templates and the STARTUP folder is empty.

If I go to Office Button - Open - Templates, the normal.dotm file is no longer there.  Nor is it at Developer Tab - Document Template - Attach (because it opens the same folder).

However, if I go to Developer Tab - Document Template - Organiser then the file normal.dotm is displayed in the right hand panel.  This must be a memory-resident only file, because the file is not found by searching for it from the search box in the Windows Start button.

If I create a new style and choose to save it in the global template for "new documents based on this style" in the "Modify Style" dialog box, close the document without saving it, create a new document, then the new style is available for this new style i.e. it was saved in the memory resident global template.  However, if I exit Word and reopen it, the style is no longer available because the global template was not saved to disk when Word closed.

When Word closes there is no prompt to save the Normal template, even though the option for a prompt is selected (same thing happens when it is not selected).

Whether ...

        Office Button - Word Options - Advanced - Prompt to Update Style, and
        Office Button - Word Options - Advanced - Prompt before saving Normal template

... is chosen should not matter, because the normal template is supposed to be saved anyway unless a question, which is never asked, is answered in the negative.

Does anyone know what is going on here?  Would it be something to do with Word itself, or might it be a problem with a routine within the operating system called by Word or a problem with a routine common to all Office applications?

*Note 1: I was going to go on to say "irrespective of whether there is a global template on disk, which it ignores even if it is there".  But I did an experiment by creating another normal.dotm file (in a roundabout way by renaming another file when Word was closed because Word will not let you save a file as normal.dotm) after having saved a style directly into this file before it was renamed.  When Word was reopened it did read from the normal.dotm file on disk because the new style was available, however I could not save any further styles to the normal.dotm file - I am back at the beginning where Word will not save anything to, nor create any, global template on disk.

- Brendan
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Question by:August354
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by:Krzyview
ID: 28741807
What should be done is a repair installation of your Office 2007 installation, or you should back up all your office data especially any emails from outlook just in case and then uninstall office and re-install it. Perhaps it was from a faulty installation. Then with deleting the default global template. It will take 45 minutes of your time rather then hours trying to figure out something that could be easily solved with the reinstall. Also make sure you download any updates for your Windows 7 and Office to make sure you have the latest bug fixes and the such.
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by:August354
ID: 28742193
I will do this tonight and let you know.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 28742397
Also, either Right Click Word/Run As Administrator

or Repush the permissions to AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates, granting yourself EXPLICIT rights to the folder, with Full control...
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by:Krzyview
ID: 28742566
He's already deleted his Global Template and there's something wrong with the software actually saving the global template. How would giving access to the folder make Word start saving the template, or even to bring you a option to save. The question indicates a bad installation with no prompts requesting to save.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 28743173
Can we just wait for the OP to respond please?
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by:Krzyview
ID: 28743374
wow isn't that nasty
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by:johnb6767
ID: 28743600
Well, we can get into Procmon, and see whether or not there are any additional failures in the ACL. Could even be a corrupted profile. Noone knows for sure yet.....

Just let the suggestions flow, and the OP will decide which way to go.....

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by:August354
ID: 28757592
Thanks Krzyview but it did not work.

It was still something that needed doing, because no doubt there must be any number of issues Microsoft Office Diagnostics would not find.

Nothing has changed.

I notice that despite uninstalling Microsoft Office beforehand, when I reinstalled it (plus updates) my original settings were still there e.g. my list of recently opened files (within Word itself, not the list on the Start Menu).  What’s more, the reinstallation did not create a new normal.dotm file.  The templates' folder still has no such file!

Microsoft Word still will not create or save to a normal.dotm file on disk.

Just in case it's relevant ... it is a new machine.  The first thing I did when I got it was delete the trial version of Microsoft Office before opening a single one of its files.  I later installed a copy of my son's Office Home and Student edition on my home laptop (2nd of 3 licences).

John, "System", "Brendan", and "Administrators" already have full access to the templates folder and Brendan is already an Administrator, but I understand sometimes we have to choose "Run As Administrator" anyway, but surely not for Microsoft Word, not in normal circumstances anyway?

I see Wordpad has a “Run as Administrator” option on its shortcut menu but Microsoft Word does not.
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GrahamSkan earned 2000 total points
ID: 28760248
Yes. By design, re-installing does not change your settings, so it rarely solves misoperation problems like this.

Try the steps here that you haven't already done, especially those concerning the registry keys:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921541/en-gb
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by:August354
ID: 28767245
Hi Graham

This is looking promising. Working through your link leads me to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906899/en-us .  I do not have Adobe Acrobat, but my machine came with a trial PDF program (PDF Complete) that installed a menu item in Word.  I will follow this up tomorrow.

(As an aside, when I reinstalled I did so to a new directory name, but I see registry keys still refer to the old program directory.  I will have to think about changing these manually or assume Word will eventually do this itself, but this is another matter).
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 28771264
OK. Good luck
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by:August354
ID: 28820574
Hi Graham

That is an excellent reference you provided.  I finished working through it today.  The section on the COM add-in registry keys solved the problem.  The other reference yours led to is also relevant.  The problem is created by the "PDF Complete" add-in, which "... can prevent Word from automatically saving changes to the global template" (quote from Microsoft kb).

John, your contribution is also interesting because "Run as Administrator" (on the actual executable, not the short cut) was actually needed to clear the add-in check box, even though the user is already an administrator, but I'm sure you would agree full marks go to Graham.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 28935738
Works for me.... Glad youre fixed....
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