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Microsoft Word – generating a new normal.dot-file

This article was been published more than a year ago. The information may be outdated.

I recently had a user call in with a problem; whenever she’d open a word-document, word would flash an error message, then to open in safe mode.
 
Normal.dot is the default template file in Microsoft Word. Because it contains a lot of customization settings, it is prone to corruption. Thus, many problems experienced while working in Microsoft Word can be attributed to this file. The most common fix is to force generate a new, clean version of this troublesome file. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure Microsoft Word is not running
  2. Click Start, then search
  3. Enter normal.dot as the file you want to find, and specify that you want to search in system folders and for hidden files and folders
  4. Click search
  5. Rename or delete (your choice) each instance
  6. Start Word

Update: From Word 2007 onwards, the file is called normal.dotm

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