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  1. #1
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    Problems with Normal.dot

    Hi,

    W2K, SR-1; WinNT; Novell

    We have a setup where each user has their normal.dot on their own network folder.

    We have a "thick client" setup, where the Word templates are copied down to the C: drive, by Novell- that is, when they start up Word via "Novell-delivered applications". If they click on a Word document on a folder, or delivered via Groupwise, it bypasses this checking.

    The problem is, that randomly, a user's Normal.dot gets overwritten with an old version from the dim dark past. It's not the same normal.dot- different versions have reappeared from time to time. The solution is that they have to delete the normal.dot; Novell gives them a new up-to-date version when they log onto Word again.

    We don't know at what stage this occurring, and cannot find the source of these rogie templates.

    We have attempted to bypass this using add-ins to manage the (now) skeleton routines - see <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=vb&Number=23723&page=0&view =expanded&sb=5&vc=1>this thread</A>. But that's caused it's own problems, so I'm trying to get ideas now on what might cause this problem.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    You may want to rethink the way you are going about this. Here's one thing we have implemented here at my work--we keep a generic normal.dot on each machine. This is never touched so that if it goes bad it can easily be replaced without the user losing anything. We then load a custom .dot file that contains items unique to our firm (law firm). These include a special toolbars, macros, etc. that can be stored there. We simply have this loaded at startup. You may want to try this route rather than messing with the normal.dot since the normal.dot is really not normal!

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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Geoff,

    Several things come to mind. Sorry for the length.

    Now why do you have to copy Word Templates to C:? If you use Normal.dot on a network folder, why not use the templates from a network folder too? That's what I do.

    It sounds to me like there are situations when the Normal.dot file is not saving on exit (either code prohibititing this, or the PC crashes and Word cannot write-back normal.dot)

    Any firm specific items in the Normal.dot? Or is it just a Word default normal?

    You say Novell gives them a new normal.dot. This seems unnecessary if you have nothing special in the normal -- and from what I've read, especially here, you SHOULD NOT have anything in Normal except whatever the user puts there. If the user's Workgrouptemplate folder location is set to the network folder and no Normal exists, Word will create a new Normal the next time Word is started (and exited -- the new one is not written to disk until you exit Word). From my testing with Word 97, Word will not create a new Normal.dot in the Workgrouptemplate folder if it finds one on C:

    Another thing to check: Are there any stray Normal.dots gumming up the works on the C: drive? If the user starts Word with no network connection (or no write access to the network folder), Word will create a new Normal.dot -- probably in the ..Microsoft OfficeOffice folder. If so, you have to delete them. Novell could be useful here: a login script could search for and delete these when the user logs in.
    Kevin <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Kevin_sig.gif alt="Keep the change, ya filthy animal...">
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  4. #4
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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Radelman,

    I'd like to get away from normal.dot, but there's a few problems with that.

    We have an Autoexec whichi is to be executed from every tem,plate. An autoexec in an add-in in the startup directory does not execute.

    I'm not sure if common routines in the add-in are available from the templates either. I will be experimenting with that today.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  5. #5
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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Kevin,

    The Word templates I presume are copied to C: because there's room there, and room is more at a premium than on the network. But that's a LAN decision, out of my hands. It's probably much of a muchness.

    I don't think it's just normal.dot not saving on exit. The normal.dot which appears is over one year old.

    There are firm specific procedures on normal.dot. I'n trying to resolve those- I have 2 related threads on the forum- but I'm trying to look at the problem from as many angles as possible.

    The normal.dot which Novell copies in is the firm-specific one.

    We don't know where the old normal.dot has come from. I cannot find anything like it in C: or in the network drives the user can see. But there are drives which the user has access to behind the scenes, it could well be coming from there. The normal.dot which does appear does have customisations for our site- but they are old versions, and at varying stages in our site's history.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Well, that normal.dot reappearing trick is beyond me. See my post in response to your other inquiry. That's the way to go.
    Kevin <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Kevin_sig.gif alt="Keep the change, ya filthy animal...">
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  7. #7
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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Geoff,
    Let me ask how many add-ins you have at startup? Additionally, can you tell me what your autoexecs do and why you have them in all the templates?

    Rob

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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Rob,

    We have one add-in at startup.

    In re-reading my last post, I was incorrect. The AutoNew is the one I cannot get to execute from the add-in. AutoExec executes OK.

    We used to have an AutoNew in every template, which 99% of the time did the same thing. So, when I found out that an AutoNew in Normal.dot was executed when there was not an AutoNew in the template, I shifted all those AutoNews out- except for the handful which did something different. It's made maintenance just so much nicer- up to now, at least. And it makes it easier for my non-programming person to maintain forms without my input.

    Basically, what the AutoNew does, is to populate common form fields. For instance, 50% of the forms have the user's name. So AutoNew cycles through all form fields in the new document. If any have a name, it checks the name of that form field against values in an ini file. If there's a match, it populates the form field. So the user's name, phone, fax etc are already filled in.

    So now I'd like to move that AutoNew out of Normal.dot- but I can't QUITE do it.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    It's beyond me too. And everyone else around here. My hair is being pulled out at a rapid rate.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Hi Kevin,

    You say that "If the user's workgroup template folder is set to the network folder and no Normal exists, Word will create a new Normal the next time Word is started"

    I always thought that the user's normal.dot was stored in the folder specified as User Templates (which obviously could be on the network) and this how we have operated with all our sites.

    Can you clarify for me please??

    Thanks,

  11. #11
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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Karen,

    You are absolutely correct. I had "UserTemplate" in mind, but WorkgroupTemplate came out. <img src=/S/threadhead.gif border=0 alt=threadhead width=28 height=31> Sorry. Hope I didn't cause any undo consternation. <img src=/S/ouch.gif border=0 alt=ouch width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Problems with Normal.dot

    Thank goodness for that!! I was wondering whether I was missing something!

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