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  1. #1
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    always getting message about saving changes to normal.dotm in Word 2013

    Whenever I exit Word 2013, even if I have not opened any documents, I first get an error "The file is in use by another application or user. (C:\users\David\AppData\...\normal.dotm)" followed by "Changes have been made that affect the global template, Normal.dotm. Do you want to save those changes?" (PDF of screenshots attached) I can click through these, but it is annoying, especially as Windows will not shut down without dealing with it.

    I haven't found any support docs dealing with this in Word 2013. Per instructions for some earlier versions, I checked in Options/Advanced under the Save area and "prompt before saving Normal template" is not checked (as was suggested). There is though an "i" in a circle after that line.

    Other steps suggested in the earlier version support docs suggest deleting Add-ins and Macros, but this is a new clean installation and I don't think I have any of either of those.

    Suggestions?

    Thanks!
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  3. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    You DO want prompt before saving Normal template checked. This is an alarm that a change has been made to your normal template.

    Turning off a smoke detector because it keeps going off is not a good idea. Better to look for the source of the smoke. And yes, you can turn it off while you are looking!

    The first time you start Word on a new installation, it creates a normal.dotm file. This can generate that message, as well, when you close Word.

    You almost certainly have Add-Ins. Look under the Developer Tab and look under both Add-Ins buttons. If, as I suspect, there are Add-Ins, disable any having to do with bluetooth. Does that fix this problem?

    This deals with the "changes have been made" message.

    The first message "already in use" may have to do with file permissions for the user templates folder. The default location for that folder is as a subfolder of your User Documents folder. It would be named "Custom Office Templates." With Word closed, look in that folder for a file named:

    ~$Normal.dotm

    The "~$" at the beginning of this filename indicates that it is a Windows "locking file" to prevent multiple users from accessing a file at one time. These are sometimes orphaned or left behind by an unexpected shutdown.

    Delete that file.

    Write if these steps did not eliminate the problem (or if it did, for that matter).
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  4. #3
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    Thanks Charles. There was indeed an Add In to do with Bluetooth. I wouldn't have found it without the link you posted that clued me into the Developer tab (and the fact that that tab needed to be turned). I think deleting that Add In did the trick.

    I get your analogy about the smoke detector and normal.dotm notifications. I mentioned turning it off because that's what the MS help sites suggest doing when having the problem I was having.

    Thanks again.

    David

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbergman View Post
    Thanks Charles. There was indeed an Add In to do with Bluetooth. I wouldn't have found it without the link you posted that clued me into the Developer tab (and the fact that that tab needed to be turned). I think deleting that Add In did the trick.

    I get your analogy about the smoke detector and normal.dotm notifications. I mentioned turning it off because that's what the MS help sites suggest doing when having the problem I was having.

    Thanks again.

    David
    You are welcome. I do not know why they suggest this, but know that they do. It may be that they do not trust users to actually dig through the Add-Ins or that they are lazy.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
    I do not know why they suggest this, but know that they do. It may be that they do not trust users to actually dig through the Add-Ins or that they are lazy.
    I suspect that there are two factors involved: (a) There is an option to turn off the notifications, and that option needs to be documented. (b) The writer didn't understand why it's important to know when changes to Normal.dotm are about to be saved.

    The notification was initially created because it could serve as a warning that a malicious macro (sometimes called a "virus", although such macros wouldn't generally be self-propagating) is at work. For a number of reasons, that sort of macro has become rare, at least compared to other kinds of malware. But the notification is still useful to warn of badly written add-ins and unintentional changes to the template's styles and other bits. If it were up to me, the option to turn off the notification would be removed.

    The unfortunate part is that Word gives no indication of what in Normal.dotm is changed. The MVPs have often requested the ability to report the nature of the changes -- was a macro added, was a style modified, was text added, are there new building blocks or AutoCorrect entries, etc.? So far the suggestions have been ignored.
    Last edited by jjfreedman; 2013-12-09 at 20:44.

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  8. #6
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    I also have the "Changes have been made....." message every time I exit Word 2013. I'm running on a brand new ThinkPad with newly installed Office 365 Home Premium.

    I made the Developer Tab visible (right click on Ribbon, Customize), and I had the Intel Bluetooth add-in. I could disable (uncheck) the add-in, but when I tried to Remove the add-in I got a message that it can "....only be connected or disconnected by an Administrator." I am, of course, running as an admin.

    I was able to find WINWORD.EXE and run it as an administrator. This allowed me to remove the Bluetooth connector, but I'm still getting the message every time I exit Word.

    I have disabled e-mail protection in Norton 360.

    I have scanned the entire system with Malwarebytes.

    The folder C:\Users\Chuck\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STAR TUP is empty.

    Do you have any additional suggestions on how to get rid of the message?

    Thanks!

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    I kept fiddling/Googling and found *a* solution. Not sure if it's *the* solution.

    I ran the Microsoft Fixit for Word (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921541). The only change I made was to restore the default Normal template. That cleared up the problem.

    It will be interesting to see if the problem reappears, especially since I plan to make some personalizations to the Normal template.

  10. #8
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    For future reference, when advised to delete the normal template, instead rename it. You can preserve most if not all of your customization from the renamed template.

    There are lots of ways you can make a change to the template such as changing a style or recording a macro. Those are fine, but that should not be happening in every Word session.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  11. #9
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckDavis View Post
    ... newly installed Office 365 Home Premium.

    I made the Developer Tab visible (right click on Ribbon, Customize), and I had the Intel Bluetooth add-in. ...

    The folder C:\Users\Chuck\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STAR TUP is empty.

    Do you have any additional suggestions on how to get rid of the message?

    Thanks!
    Few people responding on New Year's Day here.

    There are two buttons on the Developer Tab for Add-Ins, you need to check both. The Word Start-Up folder is one place an automatically-loading Add-In can be stored, but not the only place. See Global Templates.

    http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Customizat...sInstalled.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckDavis View Post
    I kept fiddling/Googling and found *a* solution. Not sure if it's *the* solution.

    I ran the Microsoft Fixit for Word (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921541). The only change I made was to restore the default Normal template. That cleared up the problem.

    It will be interesting to see if the problem reappears, especially since I plan to make some personalizations to the Normal template.
    This fixed the problem for me. I strongly recommend anyone who is having this problem to run this first.

    It was a damned Word add-ins by some company called My Web Search. I deactivated all add-ins, and that fixed the problem. I only wasted three days trying to fix it....

    Whoever wrote that add-in should die of Gonorrhea and then burn in hell.

  13. #11
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leonides View Post
    This fixed the problem for me. I strongly recommend anyone who is having this problem to run this first.

    It was a damned Word add-ins by some company called My Web Search. I deactivated all add-ins, and that fixed the problem. I only wasted three days trying to fix it....

    Whoever wrote that add-in should die of Gonorrhea and then burn in hell.
    My Web Search sounds like a phishing tool. This is a suspicion, not something I know.
    Most Add-Ins are with a good purpose. Look at any others you have and see whether they do something you want.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post

    The first time you start Word on a new installation, it creates a normal.dotm file. This can generate that message, as well, when you close Word.

    You almost certainly have Add-Ins. Look under the Developer Tab and look under both Add-Ins buttons. If, as I suspect, there are Add-Ins, disable any having to do with bluetooth. Does that fix this problem?

    This deals with the "changes have been made" message.

    Write if these steps did not eliminate the problem (or if it did, for that matter).
    That worked for me - I didn't need to delete the Add-In - Just disable it. Thanks for an easy to follow, accurate reply.

  15. #13
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    You are welcome.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  16. #14
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    Thank you Charles. You solved the puzzle! The MS guys sent me on a wild goose chase, but you led me straight and spot on! It was the Bluetooth addin. As soon as I turned it off, voila! I had the most serene closing of word files without all the annoying popups about Normal.dot

    Thanks again!

  17. #15
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    You are welcome. I almost think MS should change the message by adding: If you find getting this message annoying, you should check your installed Add-Ins.

    Probably too confusing.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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