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Setting all office documents to include the file name and path when saved

Posted on 2013-05-29
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Last Modified: 2013-05-30
For word and excel in versions 2007 and 2010, I want to automatically save the file name and path in the footer of all new documents.
I tried finding and altering the normal.dot and dotx but have had no success.

I hope someone can give specific info on where the default documents are stored and how to alter them.

Thank you
Wayne
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Question by:wlasner
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10 Comments
 
LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 39206010
In Word, you can insert a FileName field into the footer. There is a \p switch that will include the path as well as the filename.

Note that fields need updating (Ctrl + F9 does it for the current selection) to show the latest informtion,
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Author Comment

by:wlasner
ID: 39206077
I got that, I need it to be automatic foe al new document created which means modifying the normal.dot which I cannot seem to accomplish.
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 39206611
It's a bit tricky because Word won't let you modify the current Normal template. However, here's the workaround.

1. Find the location of your Normal.dotm (or dotx). It is typically in "C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates".

2. With Word not running, make a copy of the Normal template, and then open it for editing.

3. Add whatever footer you want to include the FILENAME \p field code. You can do any other standardization you need at the same time: page setup, numbering, styles, etc.

4. Save the template and exit Word.

5. Now go back to the folder to rename the Normal.dotm to something so you can restore it later if something doesn't work. Then rename your modified copy to Normal.dotm.

6. Start Word. A new document will automatically have the footer (and any other modifications you set up).

Note that there is no way you can have the footer applied to existing documents; if you need that, best to accomplish it via VBA.

Caution: The Normal template easily becomes cluttered with ad hoc styles and other items over time. If you delete it (or rename it), Word simply creates a new one with the "factory" default settings. Moreover, your Normal and my Normal are likely to be different depending on what defaults we've chosen. For these reasons, Normal is not a good candidate for a standard template. Ideally, you should create a custom template and use it for new documents. This is particularly true if others need to create or modify the documents and retain the consistent style.
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Author Comment

by:wlasner
ID: 39207606
Ok, so I did exactly what you said but the new documents still open with out the footer.  If I open the dotm from within Word, the modified version works.  The application is not finding or rather not using the modified version.  I am sure it is in the correct location and checked in the file / options section of the app.
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Author Comment

by:wlasner
ID: 39207646
also, I think the normal.dotm is being over written each time I open the word application and resetting to the app default with no changes
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LVL 21

Accepted Solution

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Eric Fletcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 39207771
You should confirm the location of your Normal template -- and particularly if you are on a network or if you didn't install Word yourself. (This article by Charles Kenyon provides useful details about Normal template.)

It isn't as straightforward to confirm where your Normal is saved with versions after 2003, but you can do it via the Templates and Add-ins dialog. Access to this useful dialog requires the Developer ribbon, so if you haven't activated it, do so via the Customize button at the end of the QAT bar.

The Templates and Add-ins dialog shows the template by name, but when you click the Attach button, it shows the full path. In my example below, Normal.dotm is saved in the typical default location, but if your installation shows it in a path that does not include your modified version, you'll need to follow my procedure for that location. Also, to be sure you are modifying the correct Normal template, you might consider making a change to a default (such as the default Font or Language) so the file will be resaved. This way you can check the file's date and time to be certain it is actually the Normal you need to modify.
Determine where Word is saving your Normal template
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Author Comment

by:wlasner
ID: 39207844
Word is saving the normal template in the same place I created the new one.  it is overwriting with the default settings each time.
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Author Comment

by:wlasner
ID: 39207899
I figured out what I was doing incorrectly and it appears to be working.  

Thank you
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 39208164
What was the solution? (Just to close it for anyone who may read this thread later.)
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Author Comment

by:wlasner
ID: 39208342
After opening the default document (document1), I made the changes to the footer as needed.  Save the document as Normal.dotm in the C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates folder.
that's it.  I was trying to copy and rename the original and that was messing things up.
It was actually fairly simple.  Knowing where the file had to be saved was the important issue.
thanks
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