Prevent Accidental Changes to Normal Template

Summary: Help prevent accidental keystrokes or macro viruses from changing your Microsoft Word defaults.

When Microsoft Word 2003 starts up it loads a template file called NORMAL.DOT. This contains master layout information for all of your Word documents, including the default font, page margins, styles, and more.

Sometimes NORMAL.DOT changes are good if you have default settings that should apply to all of your documents. Other times, accidental changes could have unintended effects. And in worse situations, macro viruses can target the NORMAL.DOT file for modification.

You can force Microsoft Word 2003 to ask you every time it closes whether you want to save the NORMAL.DOT file. This way, if you know you made necessary changes to your default template you can save the file. Otherwise, you can help prevent mysterious or unintended changes by not overwriting the default template.

1. Choose “Tools” – “Options”.
2. When the “Options” multi-tabbed dialog box appears, click the “Save” tab.
3. Check “Prompt to save Normal template”.
4. Click “OK” to save your settings.