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  1. #1
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    Adding Add Ins to Word and whether to save the changes to the Normal template

    I do hope I'm posting in the right place and that someone is able to help me.

    At work, whenever we exit Word 2010, we are prompted to save changes to Normal.dotm. We always click 'Don't save'. Recently, we've started to use a new program and as part of this we add an Add In to Word, which we can do happily. However, we have to re-add the Add In every time we exit and reopen Word. This is a pain. I have therefore wondered whether saving the changes to Normal.dotm when prompted would mean that the Add Ins tab that appears remains forever.

    Would it do this? Would it do anything else that might cause problems? I don't want to mess around with work computers.

    I have searched online and found various information getting rid of the prompt and how to change the template, but I'm not clear on how Add Ins fit in. Also, because we got this prompt before we start using the Add In, I am also wondering what other changes there are that it's prompting us to save?

    Thank you for any help.

  2. #2
    jwoods
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    The short answer is yes...add-ins make changes to the global template.

    So there are times that you do want to save changes to Normal.dotm.

    This Microsoft article goes into the detail...

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/918064
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-06-02 at 19:38.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Amie,

    As jwoods said, "yes," but there are a couple of unknowns here. It's possible that saving Normal.dotm will stop the prompt, but will not load the add-in automatically. Is the add-in a template? What do you do when you add the add-in to Word?

    Generally, when you want an add-in to appear automatically--with no intervention on your part--it needs to be in the STARTUP folder. Once there, Word recognizes it as a Global template and will load it for you when you start Word.

    By default Word 2010 sees the STARTUP folder as C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word \STARTUP

    Confusingly, another STARTUP folder is installed with Office 2010, usually C:\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 14\STARTUP. Sometimes programs will put their add-ins here. Then you have to move them.

    Does any of this help?

    Kim

  4. #4
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    Thank you both for the replies. To add the add in to Word, we go to Options - Add Ins, and select Word Add Ins from the Manage drop down list. In the box that appears we choose Normal template and tick the add in we want, then click OK, and there it is. Does that mean it's in a template or not?

    How do I go about putting the add in in this Startup folder? Do I just simply find where it currently is and move it over?

    Are there any kind of side effects to this? (Again, I'm just really wary of messing with work computers.)

    I assume that if I got the add in into the Startup folder, it wouldn't matter whether or not I saved the changes to the Normal template? But regarding the prompt, how can I compare the Normal template to whatever it is when I'm about to exit Word, to see what the changes are (aside from this new add in)?

    Thanks again

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Amie,

    I'm going to start by suggesting that you contact the author of the program and get their assistance in relocating their add-in. If that's not practical, and the steps below seem overwhelming, you might consider hiring a professional support person in your area for help.

    That being said, I know the dialog to which you refer. You should know that "Normal" at the top of the dialog only refers to the template "attached" to the current document--this is very often Normal.dotm. The checkboxes below have nothing to do with the Normal template.

    The files listed below are the Global templates available to all documents you open. If your add-in is listed there and is NOT located in the first STARTUP folder I mentioned in my previous post, then you will have to check it every single time you start Word, whether or not you save the Normal template when you close Word.

    So, how to put it in the right place requires a little detective work. Start in the Templates and Add-ins dialog--when you click on the name of the add-in (rather than checking the box next to it), look at the bottom of the dialog. It will point to where the add-in is located. Unfortunately, the path to it is often too long and the whole thing won't appear. But now you know the file name of the add-in. It will look something like this:

    Templates and add-ins dialog.png

    The rest of this is going to require you to be comfortable in Windows Explorer. It will require you to be able to look at folders that are normally hidden by default, so if you're not comfortable with this, or don't have the knowledge to take these steps, it will be better to have someone else do it.

    You can Google "how to view hidden windows files and folders" and get info on changing your defaults. But be careful--these files were hidden for a reason and you can easily mess up your computer by inadvertently deleting something in one of these folders.

    Presumably, you have someone who maintains your computers. It might be best to contact that person. Also, the steps below will have to be done on every computer running your new add-in.

    You can start by looking in the second of the two STARTUP locations I mentioned in my previous post. (You may have to get past a warning about viewing files in those locations.) This STARTUP is often where older programs erroneously put their add-in files. If the file is there, move it to the first STARTUP location I posted. (For this step you will need to be able to see folders that are normally hidden by default.) If the file is not there, you'll need to search for it.

    If you're running Windows 7 or higher, you can search for it from any Windows Explorer window.

    search using windows explorer.png

    Notice that I've highlighted Computer so it will search everywhere. Once located, move it to the first STARTUP folder. The next time you open Word, your add-in should load automatically.

    If you have any reservations about this, you shouldn't do it yourself.

    Good luck! Kim

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  7. #6
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Amie,

    In answer to your question about saving the Normal template, and how you know what's been changed, the answer is that you don't know.

    If you added AutoText, changed a personal setting, recorded a macro, or did any of dozens of things, Word will respond by prompting you. Sometimes an add-in is responsible for this prompt. Usually, saving Normal is not a bad or destructive thing. I turned off that prompt years ago and let Normal be saved silently. Your company may have a different opinion on that.

    Kim

  8. #7
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    Hello
    I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you - it took quite a while before I could implement this at work. But I just wanted to let you know that your steps for making the add in appear automatically worked perfectly, and it's now set up for everybody, making life much more simple. Thank you so much for your help.

  9. #8
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    You're most welcome. Thanks for posting back!

    Best, Kim

  10. #9
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    In general, Add-Ins do NOT make changes to the normal template, but do make changes to the Word user interface. These changes can be as simple as making macros available (with keyboard shortcuts and/or QAT modifications). It is abnormal for an Add-In to make changes to the normal template that would cause the query on saving, but not unheard of. It is a mark of a poorly-written Add-In. See Add-Ins in Microsoft Word.

    To add an Add-In Word Template, that is, make it a Global Template, you place it in your Word Startup Folder. Doing that automatically loads it as an Add-In whenever Word is started. If you manually load it through the Templates and Add-Ins dialog, you need to do that each time you start Word and need to make sure that if it contains macros that it will be trusted by macro security.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2015-07-23 at 14:13.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
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