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  1. #1
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    Mysterios changes to Normal.dot (Word 2003)

    Over the years, there have been numerous postings complaining about receiving a message that Normal.dot has changed, when nothing has been done to cause such a change.

    In my case, since I have deceived myself into believing that I know a bit about Word VBA, I keep tight control of my Word templates.

    Normal.dot is set to Read-Only, except when I fell like doing something to the template.
    I had not changed the template since 16 Nov 2003.
    I have two global templates, the last change was 20 March 2004.

    On 2 April 2004, I was editing Word documents and did not receive the changed Normal.dot message.

    Today, I opened, and immediately closed, Word, and got the nefarious message. So something has occurred since 2 April 2004.

    Normal.dot was still read-only.

    So I decided to recreate Normal.dot as follows:

    1. Renamed the current Normal as OldNormal.
    2. Copied NormalCleanNoAutoText2003.dot to Normal.dot.
    3. Started Word and used the Organizer to copy macros, styles, autotext and toolbars from OldNormal to the new Normal.

    Whilst doing this copying, I noticed that OldNormal had a blank (or null) autotext entry as the first autotext entry.
    I did not create that entry.
    It would seem that is just the type of entry that might get created if there were some bug in Word.

    Has anybody seen this before?

    Tonight, I'll try to remember to run a full auntie virus scan, as I guess some playful virus could remove the read-only setting, add the spurious autotext entry and then restore the read-only setting, but I doubt this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Mysterios changes to Normal.dot (Word 2003)

    Maybe related: we once used a program that started Word and loaded a specific document by means of a DDE command. This created a temporary Sub in Normal.dot that was deleted as soon as the document was successfully loaded. This made Normal.dot "dirty", although you couldn't see anything that was changed. Until once an error occurred, and the temporary Sub was not deleted.

  3. #3
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    Re: Mysterios changes to Normal.dot (Word 2003)

    I'm aware of that type of problem caused by inept programmers.

    In this case, that type of problem was not a factor because no add-ins had been modified since I previously used Word and I wrote the only two templates in the Startup directory.

    I could envisage a bug in Word that miscounts the numberof AutoText entries and creates an extra empty entry.

    However, since I have Normal.dot as read-only, this would have to have occurred upon starting Word.
    Since no add-ins, or my templates had changed, and the problem went way when I recreated Normal, seems that there must be a bug in Word.

    Next time any of us gets the message that Normal has changed, it would be useful to use the Organizer to see whether the empty AutoText entry is present.

  4. #4
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    Re: Mysterios changes to Normal.dot (Word 2003)

    Hi Howard:
    I can think of a scenerio that would cause what you say happened.
    1. Start Word.
    2. As you go to close Word, hit the spacebar & have your fingers resting on the left arrow & shift.
    3. Then Alt+F3 (instead of Alt+F4).
    3. Then hit Alt+F4.

    This can even be done by holding the Alt key & hitting both F3 & F4 at the (almost) same time. Hitting the spacebar & selecting it sets up Alt+F3 to enter an autotext entry. If a space is selected, the name will be blank. Alt+F4 will then bring up the prompt.
    Cheers,

  5. #5
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    Re: Mysterios changes to Normal.dot (Word 2003)

    Perhap, but my fat fingers did not do that.

    I don't even recall the last time, if ever, I used Alt F4.

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