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Prompted to save normal.dotm Word 2013 RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have been gradually moving people from Office 2003 to Office 2013. I have customised the installation and have left the previous version in place in case compatibility issues arose.

    One of the issues that some staff, and not others, are having is that when they close Word 2013 they are prompted to save normal.dotm

    We have a global templates folder on the network that contains .dot files and staff start here and then use save-as so that project files are saved in the appropriate project folder.

    When they close Word 2013 a prompt to save normal.dotm appears and the location shown is the global templates location.

    I have searched for a resolution to this and have tried:

    Checking that ~$normal.dotm does not exist (and the same for ~$normal.dot) in the global template folder
    Checking for ~$normal.dotm in a 'custom office templates' folder (which does not exist) off  ..\Users\username\My Documents\
    Checked the Developer tab for Add-ins - none are checked
    Made sure the option to save normal.dotm is unchecked
    Checked the Temp folder for ~$normal.dotm (not present)
    Searched the entire drive using Everything for ~$normal.dotm (not present)
    Checked that all staff have full control permissions over the global template folder

    When I used the Open Files feature available via Computer Management on the server I can see that normal.dot in the global templates is in use by another member of staff. However, many staff use the templates from this folder and we have not experienced this issue before.

    Does anyone have any suggestions that I can try to track down what may be causing this, please?

    Thanks!

    Thursday, August 13, 2015 1:43 PM

Answers

  • The Normal template will be created in each user's User Templates folder.

    Are you saying that the Normal template is being shared by several users? If so, that is not a recommended approach.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Thursday, August 13, 2015 7:49 PM
  • Files called, for example, Normal1.dot or Normal1.dotm or OldNormal.dotm may be backups from older installations and these can be safely removed (unless of course they contain customizations that you want to salvage).

    Any file called Normal which is located somewhere else than in the User Templates folder are not used by Word, so you are certainly allowed to delete them.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:18 PM
  • It is OK to remove those files. I would eliminate the normal.dot and normal.dotm files from the shared folder (keeping a copy elsewhere, perhaps).

    I suspect those files are not the source of the prompts your users are getting. There is no reason they would receive this prompt for those files unless they actually were using them.

    Note the distinction between Global Templates and Workgroup Templates. It sounds like this folder is for workgroup (document) templates rather than global (resource) templates.

    See Add-Ins in Microsoft Word.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Monday, August 17, 2015 2:27 PM

All replies

  • The Normal template will be created in each user's User Templates folder.

    Are you saying that the Normal template is being shared by several users? If so, that is not a recommended approach.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Thursday, August 13, 2015 7:49 PM
  • Thanks for responding.

    When I created the document templates, which was a long time ago (many years), just the document templates were placed in the folder. Should I be able to remove normal.dot and normal.dotm from the templates folder without affecting our staff's ability to use the documents?

    Friday, August 14, 2015 7:36 AM
  • Templates to be shared across the company should go in the Workgroup Templates folder. Again, it's best to leave the User Templates folder untouched.

    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Saturday, August 15, 2015 10:27 PM
  • There is no "option to save normal.dotm." There is an option to ask before saving changes. This should always be kept turned on.

    I agree strongly that the normal template should not be a shared file.

    You can have a shared Workgroup Templates folder.

    You can have a shared Global Templates folder.

    You should not have a shared User Templates folder. That is the location for the normal template.

    If there is no normal template in the user templates folder and any changes are made to defaults Word will attempt to create a normal template. That can generate a query as to whether the user wants to save changes.

    Also, numerous Add-Ins can cause such a prompt. You can have Add-Ins without anyone having deliberately added them. Add-Ins in Microsoft Word



    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI


    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:11 AM
  • Sorry for any confusion here, people. I referred to normal.dot etc being in a global templates folder which it is, but the global templates folder is the network share. Each staff member's User Templates folder is where it should be: local. 

    We have a shared folder on a server. Within that folder are the document templates. That folder also contains a copy of normal.dot and dotm. No user templates folders are shared.

    I don't know why the normal.* files are in there. My question is about is it OK to remove the normal.* files from the shared templates folder on the network. It was that file that wass showing as being in use.

    Thanks

    Monday, August 17, 2015 9:46 AM
  • Files called, for example, Normal1.dot or Normal1.dotm or OldNormal.dotm may be backups from older installations and these can be safely removed (unless of course they contain customizations that you want to salvage).

    Any file called Normal which is located somewhere else than in the User Templates folder are not used by Word, so you are certainly allowed to delete them.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:18 PM
  • It is OK to remove those files. I would eliminate the normal.dot and normal.dotm files from the shared folder (keeping a copy elsewhere, perhaps).

    I suspect those files are not the source of the prompts your users are getting. There is no reason they would receive this prompt for those files unless they actually were using them.

    Note the distinction between Global Templates and Workgroup Templates. It sounds like this folder is for workgroup (document) templates rather than global (resource) templates.

    See Add-Ins in Microsoft Word.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Monday, August 17, 2015 2:27 PM