Save Changes to the Global Template - Normal.dot?
The message "Changes have been made that affect the global template - normal. Do you wish to save those changes?" is an important warning. It means that changes have been made, whether you intended to make changes or not. You can also get it when your template has been altered by a poorly written Add-In program or by a malicious virus. You should get this when you make changes or any other program makes changes.
Getting this every time you close Word is annoying. While it is possible to turn this prompt off, you do not want to do so. Turning this off is like taking the batteries out of your smoke detector because it keeps buzzing!
The reason for the message being shown repeatedly is almost always a poorly written Add-In. The Norton AV Office Plug-In seems to be the most frequent offender recently, but that can change as some other poorly written program comes on the market.
Other offenders include the MS Works Suite Add-In, EZ-Photo, Scansoft, Adobe Acrobat, and Microsoft's own Word Redaction Add-In and MetaData remover. These all install Add-Ins that mess with your normal.dot when they shouldn't do so and don't need to do so. Some of these are .dot files, others are installed. See How to find out whether any Word Add-ins have been installed for instructions on seeing what Add-Ins you have. (Having Add-Ins is not a bad thing. I run Word with 15 Add-Ins, most of which I wrote myself.)
Start with the Add-Ins I've noted. If you have any of them, decide whether they are worth the annoyance they are causing you. Probably they are not. Disable any that are not worth the candle. Restart Word and see if your problem is gone.
If you start Word using
Start => Run: Winword.exe /a
you'll end up with Word out of the box loading without your saved normal.dot file, with no macros and no Add-Ins. You may notice that it loads much more quickly than you are used to seing. When you close it, you won't get the "normal.dot" prompt.
So, what you need to do is disable all of your Add-Ins (don't delete them). Start by moving .dot files out of your Word Startup folder, one-by-one, with Word closed. Restart Word and see if that Add-In caused the problem. If not, put it back in and take the next one out. (You can put them in a sub-folder of your Startup folder.) If none of them are the problem, move to the .com Add-Ins that have to be uninstalled.
If your offender is not on my list, please write back and let us know which one caused your problems.
Write to the company that put out the Add-In with a complaint, and possibly a bill for your time.
Word 2007 and Later
All of the above applies.
If you want Word to prompt you to save the changes to the Normal.dotm template, follow these steps:
Click the Microsoft Office Button (File Tab), and then click Word Options. In the Advanced tab, click to select the Prompt before saving Normal template check box in the Save group.
Note: You do want to have Word prompt you about these changes.
This page last modified on 20 Oct 2013.
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Copyright 2000-2014 Charles Kyle Kenyon
FAQ provided as an adjunct / hobby as a part of my web site as a
criminal defense lawyer.