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  1. #1
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    I have a highly customized normal.dot file for Word 2003. Unfortunately, I keep losing part of it. I have a custom menu added to the FILE menu that opens a template for the various types of files that I use. Occasionally, all of the existing entries will go away and will be replaced with Adobe Acrobat commands. I delete normal.dot and restore from a backup and it works for a while before the exact same problem occurs.

    Some other symptoms are 1) the bad normal.dot is slightly larger (about 1K) than the good one and 2) Adobe has added two sets of its menus (“Adobe PDF” and “Acrobat Comments”) to the menu bar rather than one. Suggestions?

    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    I can't solve this, but I can sympathize: back in the days of Word 2000-2002, one or more add-ins stepped all over my custom menus. Word would insert a couple of the other add-in's menu items in place of a couple of my menu items. I figured that Word was assigning them some matching identifiers, but never got around to testing the theory that using code to dynamically add the menu items at load time might work better than saving them in the template in advance.

  3. #3
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    Adding the menus at start-up sounds interesting but beyond my skill level. I can record a macro and add it to the template and menu but that is the limit of my skills.


    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

  4. #4
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    Ronny,

    Since the Acrobat add-in appears to be having its way with the File menu, at the expense of your custom menu there, a workaround that might be worth a try would be to move your custom menu to another top-level menu ('Insert', perhaps?). This wouldn't require programming to change, since you could open up your Normal.dot and go into Customize mode and drag the menu to the new location yourself.

    Gary

  5. #5
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    Good idea. I will try that. As the problem only happens occasionally, I may not know right away if it fixes it.

    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

  6. #6
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    Moved the entire menu from the File menu to the menu bar. I then clicked on it and it instantly changed to the Adobe Acrobat menu. This time, even the name of the menu "New..." changed to "Adobe Acrobat".


    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

  7. #7
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    I used to disable the Acrobat Addin and on the odd occasion when I needed it, enable it at that time. This way you can avoid it running roughshod over your own customisations until the moment you actually need Acrobat to work.

    If the extra step of going into the templates and addins dialog to turn on Acrobat is too onerous, you could create a macro to activate the addin and then run the right macro from that addin.

    Is there a reason you would need acrobat running all the time?
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lockton View Post
    I used to disable the Acrobat Addin and on the odd occasion when I needed it, enable it at that time. This way you can avoid it running roughshod over your own customisations until the moment you actually need Acrobat to work,
    I had not considered that but it would certainly work. I use Acrobat all the time with PowerPoint but only occasionally with Word. For that matter, it installed a PDF printer that I could use in Word just as easily as the menu. However, I clicked on Tools and then Templates and Add-ins and do not see Acrobat listed. Do I disable Acrobat from within Word? If so, how?


    Ronny

    PS This problem happens exactly the same on multiple machines so it has something to do with the way Word/Acrobat interact with my customization and not some random glitch in the installation.
    Ronny Richardson

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Hi Ronny,

    Acrobat is actually pretty infamous for doing this. I've seen it repeatedly usurp AutoText entries, too. Earlier versions of Acrobat used a template which could be removed. Adobe then created an add-in that would check to see if it was installed; if it wasn't installed, it would reinstall itself. It overwrote Word menus and other third-party menus without remorse.

    I think you can still install the Adobe PDF printer without installing the add-in. I recommended this in the recent past for a client that was having intermittent menu issues with Acrobat. When you print, Adobe PDF will be one of your available printers (as it is now), but the toolbars and menu items won't be installed.

    You might try disabling the add-in but printing to the PDF printer and see if this is satisfactory for you.

    Best,
    Kim

  10. #10
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    I would suggest using a template other than Normal for what you're doing. Acrobat "attacks" are typically aimed at the normal template, and if you use a separate global (startup) template, you might have better luck.

    I believe that Acrobat has code that puts objects in the normal template, hopefully just for the Word session. On subsequent loads of Word, Acrobat probably first checks normal for toolbar/menu customization, and deletes what it finds... sometimes not properly differentiating between its own customizations and those that were created by others.

    You might also name your template so that it loads *after* the Acrobat template. If I recall correctly, MS says they load in reverse alpha order, thus giving priority to the last-loaded (first in alpha order).

  11. #11
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    I found a second, less frequently used custom menu that had been completely trashed. This time, no Adobe commands but rather commands from the first menu, that had been populated with Adobe commands, has moved to this menu. Very weird.

    I decided to uninstall Adobe from Word and just print to the PDF driver as needed. This is not a big deal since I mainly use Adobe with PowerPoint anyway. However, Adobe no longer installs as an add-in; at least the way I think of an add-in, namely a program that can be managed by Tools, Templates and Add-Ins. Now, you have to go into the registry to deactivate Adobe.

    I've had done that on all my machines (since this problem occurred on multiple machines) and rebui9lt all the problems with normal.dot. Since the problem happened randomly, I cannot tell right away that my problem is resolved but I will know for sure in a couple of days.

    If it does turn out to be Adobe, that will be a real shame. Adobe is not some random, shareware download. You would think that a software package from such a major vendor would "play well" with a 900-pound gorilla like Office.

    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

  12. #12
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    You're right. Adobe is typically the best there is, and the software is respectful of your installation. When they moved from a global template for Word to a "forced" add-in, that was like a hostile takeover!

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