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Old 08-20-2014, 12:52 PM
LauraL LauraL is offline How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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Question How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability

Hi All,



I have a client who wants to lock their normal.dotm template because they say that end users manage to mess with it and get the font and other settings wrong. They don't believe their users will ever save changes like AutoText or Macros.

Personally, I never touch another person's Normal other than giving them an initial one that contains set of styles conducive to the work they do. But enough about me...

1. Does anyone know how to lock the Normal.dotm? (Make it read only or is there a sys admin/policy way.)

2. Does anyone know of potential negative side effects of doing this?

3. What is stored in the Normal in Word 2013? I know macros default, AutoText, FormattedAutoCorrect - anything else? I thought buttons the user added to the QAT were but apparently that has its own file. Any settings? (It seems some view settings might be, but I'm not sure.)

Many thanks!
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:23 PM
Charles Kenyon Charles Kenyon is online now How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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Read only works. It is a nasty thing to do IMO.
It can be gotten around.
See Word 2007 & Later Key Data File Locations.

They could, just as effectively, create a global template holding their fonts / styles and have normal update to those settings every time it reboots. If they don't have any user with macros, personal keyboard shortcuts, personal styles, they have some ineffective workers!

A Global StyleSheet in Microsoft Word?
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:41 AM
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gmayor gmayor is offline How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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The normal template is a personal user file and should not be messed around with or restricted, and certainly never shared. It only leads to more problems.

The normal template should not be used for company documents. You should create document templates for those, appropriate to the document types.

Those can be locked down successfully so the users don't screw them up, and can be loaded from a central location.

Sometimes the customer does not know best
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:40 PM
Charles Kenyon Charles Kenyon is online now How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmayor View Post
The normal template is a personal user file and should not be messed around with or restricted, and certainly never shared. It only leads to more problems.

The normal template should not be used for company documents. You should create document templates for those, appropriate to the document types.

Those can be locked down successfully so the users don't screw them up, and can be loaded from a central location.

Sometimes the customer does not know best
I agree entirely. As a lawyer, I often have to assist clients who wish to do things I have advised against. So long as it is legal, I will. I don't think I would help someone lock down the normal template for another's use, though. As I said, I think it is a nasty trick to pull.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:47 PM
LauraL LauraL is offline How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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Default Thanks!

Thanks Charles and Graham,

My believe has always been that another person's Normal is not yours, don't touch it. This firm was actually SHARING one normal from the server. I was able to put the kibosh on that at least.

But they are the second firm that has wanted to lock down the Normal in a couple weeks. I thought maybe I missed some new Word 2013 trend.

The ironic thing about this current client is that they insist:
1. Their end users are so incredibly stupid they could never manage to even use a feature like AutoText.
2. Their end users are changing the default font in the Normal.

How can both be true? (rhetorical question, no need to answer...)

Real Question: Any thoughts on loading startup and document templates from a networked drive?


This client wanted to do that too. Their reason was to avoid installing to each machine. They changed their mind when I pointed out you have no templates when off line that way. I have a viscerally negative reaction to the idea of loading global templates from the network, but searching the web it seems some do that and no one is saying it causes issues. Thoughts?

Charles - thank you for the key file locations and global style sheet macro. I have a macro that copies styles to the normal, or into the current document, but the end user has to click a button to run it which means they have to understand enough to know they need the styles.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:44 PM
Charles Kenyon Charles Kenyon is online now How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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I have always taken the position that global templates (and workgroup templates) should be located on each computer and updates pushed as a part of network login. This should cut down on network traffic and allow for work being done on laptops and off-site. It also makes it much easier to update the templates. (The master copies of the templates are on the network, just not used by Word through the network.)

If a global template has the Style copy routine as part of an AutoExec, it should run each time Word is loaded. If you need to push into existing documents as well as into the normal template (seems extreme to me) you would need a macro run by the document_open event. Then it would push the styles into the ActiveDocument upon the opening of the document. Depending on the number of styles, this could slow your opening down noticeably.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:46 PM
Charles Kenyon Charles Kenyon is online now How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Windows 7 64bit How to lock Normal.dotm and advisability Office 2010 32bit
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The urge to share normal.dot and/or lock it down has been around as long as Word has been using the normal template, as far as I can tell. It is the seemingly easy solution until someone who actually uses Word tries it.
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