Word & Normal template (longish)

Subject: Word & Normal template (longish)
From: "Donald H. White" <trlbldr -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 14:35:34 -0400

Okay, I'm embarrassed to post this, but I'm stumped.

I'm using Office 2002 (Word XP). My preferences are set so that the
application should prompt me to save the Normal template if I change the
Default settings.

Awhile back, I noticed that Word no longer saved changes I made to styles in
the Normal template (Modify|Add to Template) and (worst of all) the Autotext
options no longer appeared when I was in the header/footer (View|Header and
Footer). In fact, the Insert AutoText drop-down function was grayed out.

So, I closed Word, went into the Templates folder and blew away Normal.dot.
More problems resulted. For one thing, Open New Document would start Word
but no blank document appeared. (Not a problem, I can click the blank
document icon with the best of them.) However, although my settings in
Options remained as before, nothing could cause Word to write styles to what
appeared to be the Normal template. And, although the Insert AutoText button
was no longer grayed out, no options appeared.

No AutoText options were available anymore from anywhere.

Back to basics, I thought. I removed Office from my PC and reinstalled it,
along with all of Microsoft's updates. I reinstalled my personal templates
(yes, I saved them), and started Word. I reset my customary options
(including Prompt to Save Normal) and went back to work.

Ooops...I still could not write styles to override those in the newly
installed Normal.dot. So, I created another template (styles.dot) and
attached it to Normal.dot.

Result: I have the styles available (not in Normal.dot, but close enough)
and I can insert AutoText from the Insert menu. The AutoText button in the
Header and Footer bar appears, but no drop-down menu does.

Personal admission: I have not liked Word since Word 5.2 for the Mac. But,
this situation stumps me. I don't know if Normal.dot is now protected due to
one of the many, many updates to XP and Office, of if there's something I'm
not doing properly.

If you can, please help with your suggestions. I very much appreciate your
time and consideration.

Donald H. White
Senior Technical Writer/Editor
James River Technical Communications LLC
dwhite -at- jrtcllc -dot- com


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