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problem when closing Word 2007 with normal.dotm

by KLangbein / November 28, 2008 2:17 PM PST

I was wondering if someone might be able to give me some direction.

I have an HP computer running Windows XP and Office Home and Student 2007. When I am working in my documents and go to close a document, below is the error message I SOMETIMES get:

"This file is in use by another application or user C:\...\Templates\Normal.dotm"

Then I cannot remember what it says...I just get out of that. I am still trying to duplicate this to see when it happens and exactly what the question and my answer has been. After I get out of that error message, I get this message:

"Changes have been made that affect the global template, Normal.dotm. Do you want to save those changes?"

I click on no. It goes to a blank Word screen and then I can X out of it.

Now SOMETIMES I get this error message when trying to exit a Word document:

"Normal.dotm was being edited by another Word session. If you save this document with original name, you will overwrite any changes made in the other session. Do you want to save the document using original name anyway?"

Then again I get out of it somehow and the next comes up:

"Changes have been made that affect the global template, Normal.dotm. Do you want to save?"

I answer no as above and then I get the same blank Word screen and X out of it.

When I go back into Word any changes I have made in AutoCorrect are saved there so it must be saving the normal.dotm file I assume. This happens whether or not I have made a change in AutoCorrect.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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What I would try.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 28, 2008 9:24 PM PST

I don't use Word 2007 as I am still stuck on Word 2002 (XP), but I understand from the Microsoft link below that Normal.dotm is the equivalent of Word 2002's

In your post you say you are working in "My Documents", so I assume you are opening files from there, and not from within Word. Things I would try;

1] Open Word, navigate to your file from within Word and open. Save the document immediately, then use Word's Close program option to close Word down instead of the "X" top right. Do you still get the same message?

2] If so, then I would delete Normal.dotm and let Word re-create it when you next open Word 2007. This will lose all formatting changes you have made up to this point. If you don't want to lose those changes, instead of deleting Normal.dotm, rename it to Normal.old, or anything similar. You can always name it back later if you wish. Then

3] Open the document, and close it and Word down again. Any error messages, or has that cleared it?


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More clarifying information
by KLangbein / November 29, 2008 1:41 AM PST
In reply to: What I would try.

First, thank you for your response, Mark.

When I said I was working in my documents, I just meant that I was working with several Word documents at a time. At least 95% of the time, I open things from within Word.

Then it doesn't always happen with the same document. Like say I have something saved as myresume.doc. Every time I try to close that document, it does not bring up the error message. This time it may and next time not.

At this point, I am very hesitant to delete Normal.dotm as I have so much of my formatting in there that is essential to what I do. I am assuming if I were to change the name to Normal.old my AutoCorrect formatting would not work but would still be saved in that file for future transfer? Is that right? I guess if I have no other choice I will have to do something like that but I would really prefer not to do this. Also, I think I have more than one normal file since when this first started happening I would rename the file so I could save it.


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There should be only one effective Normal.dotm file
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 29, 2008 5:08 AM PST

Hi Kim,

You may have other Normal.dotm files elsewhere on your system, but Word will only work with the one that is stored in the default location. You can create your own .dotm files, at least you could create your own files in Word 2002, but looking deeper into this I see that the issue may not be as simple as I thought.

Apparently Word 2007 also has a QAT, that works closely with Normal.dotm. QAT is the Quick Access Toolbar, and changes to that are saved in a file called Word.qat. In Windows XP, this file is found in;
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office.

I know very little about this, and you may need to do your own research. I did find the link below though from the Word2007 Bible;

Google will help there.

I understand your reluctance to mess with your existing Normal.dotm file, and I would try it out the following way.

1] Copy all my existing documents. It's always a good idea to have a backup anyway, but I would make extra copies, save them elsewhere on the computer other than My Documents, and just work on those copies.

2] Copy Normal.dotm to some other name and save it twice, (eg you also have a backup).

3] Delete Normal.dotm, and restart Word.

4] Open one of the 'copies' of your documents, and test for formatting and auto-correct features. Resave the document and try another one.

5] When you are satisfied that everything is OK, you can then decide what to do next. Keep the new Normal.dotm, or replace that with one of your backup copies.

6] Keep copies of everything for now until you are happy that Word is now working well.

I hope that helps, but like I have said, there appears to be a new dimension to Normal.dotm now, with the introduction of QAT.


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Office and WIN7 flakiness
by nemmersj / July 5, 2011 11:30 PM PDT

I know the above post is almost three years old, but I was searching on an issue that is just about the same. I have users with Office XP on WIN7 x64 machines. All are fine (for the most part) except one. He keeps running into the issues that KLangbein had. Rolling back the system straightened it out--temporarily. I have investigated Windows updates, Office updates/hot fixes, but cannot come up with an answer. In addition to the template problem, he has also gotten file permission errors when trying to save docs, and a file already open message when trying to open docs. This is crazy. The only thing this user does differently (that I'm aware of) is download templates from MS's site, but he "says" he hasn't done this in over a week and this issue just cropped up again yesterday.

Has anyone got any thoughts regarding this? Would me much appreciated!


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I have the same problems
by RubyStarr0916 / July 6, 2011 1:36 AM PDT

I also cannot save new macros or quick parts because of it. I need to say yes to the question, "Do you want to save?" but I cannot get out of the program if I do, and if I force logging off or closing the computer the macros and quick parts are not saved. My office computer tech has fixed it once but it was temporary.
Please help!!!

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Do0esn't seem to be the same problem
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 6:45 AM PDT

and since this is now a 3 year old discussion you may want to start afresh with your own discussion.


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(NT) Its the same error message and it deals with the normal.dotm
by RubyStarr0916 / July 6, 2011 8:04 AM PDT
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