Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting the Scoop on the Normal Template
The next time you open a new, blank document in Word, the document will be based on
the standard Normal template without any custom settings.
Word crashes during startup—could the Normal template be corrupt?
If Word crashes during startup, you can quickly determine whether the problem is
due to a damaged Registry entry, an add-in, or a corrupt Normal.dotm file. To get to
the root of the problem, try starting Word in Safe Mode. When you start Word in Safe
Mode, it opens but prevents add-ins and global templates (including Normal.dotm) from
loading automatically. To start in Safe Mode, simply hold the Ctrl key while launching
Word. Note that you need to continue holding the Ctrl key until you are prompted to
start Word in Safe Mode.
If Word opens properly when this method is used but crashes when you try to open it
normally, you can deduce that the error doesn’t lie in the Word installation. Instead,
the error is caused by a damaged Normal template, third-party add-in, or Registry
To test whether the Normal.dotm file is the culprit, rename the Normal.dotm file and
then attempt to start Word normally. If Word starts successfully, a new Normal.dotm
file will be created, and you can use the Organizer to copy any components you need
from the renamed file into the newly created Normal.dotm file. (To find out more
about using the Organizer to work with files, see the section, “Using the Organizer to
Rename, Delete, and Copy Styles,” on page 123.
If Word still doesn’t start properly after you rename your existing Normal.dotm file, the
next likely culprit is a third-party add-in followed by Registry corruption.
For additional information on troubleshooting third-party add-ins and Registry corruption,
refer to the Troubleshooting guide included on the companion CD to this topic.
Caution !
Because the Normal template is so necessary and so widely used, it’s often the first
target of macro virus creators. Third-party add-ins that aren’t developed properly can
display virus-like qualities that can lead to the corruption of your Normal template. Word
automatically saves any changes made to your Normal template during the current
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