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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Can't save Normal.dotm in Word 2010

    After 15+ years working with Word this problem arises: I change the default "Normal" style while working on a document; I save my document and close it. I try to exit Word, it asks if I want to save changes that affect the global template, Normal.dotm. I click "Save"; the Save As dialogue box opens showing my Templates directory, but after clicking on "Save" this error message appears: "Word cannot give a document the same name as an open document. Type a different name for the document you want to save. (F:\...\Templates\Normal.dotm)."

    Selecting "Show Help," Word offers two possible explanations: "You have two sessions of Word open at the same time. . ." and "The file you are editing is being used by another user. . ." Checking with Sysinternals Process Explorer, I verify no second instance of WINWORD.EXE is running. Mine is a stand-alone machine and I'm the only user.

    How can I save changes to Normal.dotm?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    The most common reason for a problem saving changes to the normal template is a poorly-written Add-In.
    Try disabling all Add-Ins (.com & templates) and then making and saving your changes.

    Alternatively, you could simply open the normal.dotm template and make the changes you want (no text, including no headers or footers, though) and save it; not Save As but simply Save. See Normal Template in Microsoft Word - How to Open.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2012-07-20 at 23:06.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Charles Kenyon For This Useful Post:

    Auggie (2012-08-30)

  4. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    A belated thank you, Charles. Been away fro0m this forum too long.

  5. #4
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    You are welcome. Hope that absence means a lack of problems.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  6. #5
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    Saving a modification to Normal.dotm template

    Charles' solution does not work for me. When followed, upon hitting Save, the save screen has the file name Doc1 (or 2, 3..).docx and when I navigate to Word's template where Normal.dotm is stored and change the file name to Normal.dotm, it says that I cannot use the same name as a file already open.

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Stop. Stop. Stop.
    You cannot just save a document as your normal template. At the least, you will disable Word features by doing so.


    When you double-click on a template, you do not open it. You create a new document that is based on the template. It will often not have all the components of the template because those components are available to the document through the "attached" template. When you save a document as a template, you break this link.

    Read Normal Template in Microsoft Word - How to Open again. It gives instructions on how to open that template so you can make changes.

    More on the distinction between templates and documents and on the normal template can be found here. Templates in Microsoft Word
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2014-03-19 at 09:56. Reason: add emphasis
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  8. #7
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    Do you have Outlook open? If Outlook uses Word as mail message editor, the normal template might be considered "in use" as long as Outlook is open. There is a EmailNormal.dotm, specific to Outlook, but in some cases Outlook "borrows" normal.dotm.

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