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  1. #1
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    deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    I am attempting to write a dos batch file which will run when users log on and delete stray copies of normal.dot from locations on hard drives other than the firm standard location. Does anyone have an idea of the syntax?

    The second question I have is, on opening Word, how I can enforce/check the Tools/Options/Location of Files so that workstations point to the right place?

    Many thanks in advance. It's great to have a place like this to turn for ideas.

  2. #2
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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Use an AutoExec macro to encourage use of the same file locations, options, etc.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Thank you for your reply. It's nice to know I'm not alone in thinking way too much about this stuff.

    The Catch 22 for my poor brain is that if the AutoExec macro lives in normal.dot, and the user templates location points to the Word out-of-box location, not my firm's location, normal.dot's AutoExec is not going to run and Word will create its own normal.dot.

    If the AutoExec macro lives in another global template in the startup folder, where it currently is, and the startup folder location is incorrect, the global template containing AutoExec won't be loaded and AutoExec won't run.

    Every time some one logs on to a workstation here (in Win NT 4.0) for the first time, the user templates location is incorrect, and Word creates a new normal.dot. It is a mess as you can imagine. I'm thinking it is an NT profile issue.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    The file locations are stored on the registry. Talk to your LAN administrator. On our LAN, these settings are overwritten on the registry every time the user starts Word- though it could be triggered by other events, such as machine startup.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Then set the default word directories for documents, templates, workgroups, etc. to whatever you want and put your files there.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Don't mess with the registry.

    The task can be accomplished by changing the defaul locations in Tools | Options | File Locations.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Howard,

    That doesn't solve Searcher's problem of forcing the user's file locations to where he wants. If the file location for a user is incorrect, the add-ins or startup macros don't get executed- so a solution modifying those locations from within Word are not going to work. You have to look outside Word.

    You're right to be extremely wary about modifying the registry. Misused, it can cause problems.

    I did suggest talking to his LAN people- because they will be expert in how and when (and when not) to modify the registry. They will probably take backups anyway before they start to make changes. And they ay well havce tools which they already use for making similar sorts of changes aas required by other software.

    Our site has used this approach successfully for some time now. We can guarantee that any user opening Word will be executing our add-ins. If they change the file locations, we change it back the next time they start Word.

    We use this to ensure that, as well as always executing the latest add-ins, users only have a single normal.dot- which wqas the original problem raised by Searcher.
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  8. #8
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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Yes, that's why I suggested AutoExec.
    That's how you set the locations.

    Proprly written add-ins can determine the default locations and learn where they live.

    Problem could be solved by forcing file locations via AutoExec.

    No matter where are the files, the defaults in Tools | Options | File Locations still has to reflect those locations.

  9. #9
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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    I'm talking rumor, here, never having touched the things myself, but I think what we're getting into is what are called "policies." The Office Deployment kit (or something like that) allows administrators to set all sorts of preferences automatically each time Word is installed so that the installation defaults are the corporate defaults. Perhaps someone else knows more about this than I do, otherwise, check the knowledge base for "policies" and I'm sure something useful will show up.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Howard,

    If a user goes to "Tools|Options |File Locations", and changes the location of "User Templates", "Workgroup templates" and "startup" (and that has happened on my site), then no add-ins, autoexecs, or changes to normal.dot get executed. That user creates his own environment, completely outside our control. The user bypasses any code we try to enforce. In that situation, no matter how well written the add-in, it never gets executed. That's why (as far as I can tell), it's only possible to enfirce the default locations outside of Word.

    If there's any way of doing this inside Word, I'd love to know. It would aid the administration of our procedures greatly. But, so far, I have not been able to do anything for the user who has chnaged locations (against all policy and advice) short of forcing a registry change.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Hi, I install templates on many sites and definitely not in "out of the box" locations. When my friendly engineers set up a site for me they set all this themselves - I think Charles is right and one of the ways is to use policies. Any new users get added in the same way, and all users have their file locations/user information set. On some systems we can also include modifying defaults for autoformat as you type etc.

    Definitely talk to your engineers!

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    You're pretty on-target. Its the ORK (or Office Resource Kit). However, I'm unsure if admin policies were part of O97.

    We utilize policies to "lock-down" our users (and add-ins) ability to alter file locations. It will appear to work, but when they look at the dialog after carefully typing the new path it is back to what it was. Our policies also prevent changes to various other options and security settings.

    Policies are not available for all items... for those that aren't, we use an AutoExec.
    Karen

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    We use policies to enforce those locations, here. While a user still has the ability to go to into Tools|Options |File Locations and make changes, each time the computer is booted up it resets those values in the registry (through policies--policies are applied to the user, not the PC) back to our firm settings. In other words, the user is unable to make permanent changes to those settings.

    Once you have the policies in place (and have thus determined where your normal.dot should be), deleting the other normal.dot files isn't even really necessary, as Word won't use them. However, depending on your users, you could write something that would search their hard drives for a normal.dot and delete all of them except for the one you want to keep. However, I'd be careful with this, too, as power users will often keep a couple of normal.dot files for themselves on their hard drives, and switch them out when they are working on different types of documents. Deleting all of the normal.dot files on a user's machine should only be a last resort, IMO.

    Hope that helps!

    Jen

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    Karen,

    That's interesting.

    Where can I find out more info on that please?

    Thanks
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: deleting extra normal.dot's (97/SR2)

    I ran a search on TechNet for ORK. is for Office 97's Resource Kit. For info on Office 2000's Resource Kit, try <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/TechNet/prodtechnol/office/reskit/ork2000/front.asp>this link.

    I have to admit that it was our SysAdmin who learned the ins and outs... my knowledge of it extends to advising our users when we've locked down something.

    Happy reading!
    Karen

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