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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    I'm a longtime WordPerfect user trying to be as savvy as possible in setting up Normal.dot before I start bringing a lot of my existing WordPerfect documents over to Word. (In many cases I'll be stripping the formatting and Pasting Special to avoid any conversion-cleverness (or lack thereof) on Word's part, but that's another subject.)

    It appears from my experience so far that a typical Normal.dot, assuming that you leave the built-in styles, etc. there and also add some custom styles, toolbars, etc., is likely to be at least 40K, and could easily be significantly larger. (The default Normal.dot in Word 2002 is 29K.) By WordPerfect 8 standards, this results in large documents.

    I thought it might be a good idea to make Normal.dot smaller (and simpler) by stripping out all the built-in styles and AutoText entries that I didn't expect to use (or expected to only use on rare occasions). But a little experimentation seems to indicate that you can delete most of the built-in styles and AutoText entries from Normal.dot and it only trims 5K or so from the size of resulting documents.

    Questions:

    1. Does anyone feel particularly strongly that it makes sense to strip down Normal.dot this way? (I should note that I'm not so much concerned with disk space as with document stability.)

    2. If the answer to #1 is yes, are there additional and/or more effective ways to create a minimal Normal.dot?

    3. Side question: After I delete a built-in style from Normal.dot, it no longer shows up in the Organizer and the Delete choice is grayed out for it in the Styles dialog and task pane, but if I list All Styles in the task pane and choose the "deleted" style, it gets applied to the selected paragraph. In this case, where is Word pulling the "deleted" style from?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    1. I don't think you'll gain much this way, either in size or in stability.
    2. N/A.
    3. Most of the styles you see when you select to see all styles are built in to Word; they are stored somewhere in the application or one of its accompanying files. They will be available to any document, and you won't be able to delete them permanently.

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    Re: Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    My Normal.dot has been above one MByte for many years (currently about 2.5 MByte), and I've very rarely had any problems.
    I do backup it anyway... just in case, and re-built it a couple of times to clean out junk and prevent "template bloat".

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    Thanks to you and Hans for the responses. My original post could have been clearer: I wasn't really focused on the size of Normal.dot itself but rather on the size of the resulting documents. I'm guessing your Normal.dot is 2.5MB largely because you're storing macros there and/or other stuff that doesn't get copied into each document that you create based on Normal.dot. (I've got my macros in several separate templates.)

    My current Normal.dot is 57KB, and if I create a new document consisting solely of the word "test", that document is also 57KB. For someone coming from WordPerfectland, that document size seems more than just a little strange, but I'm getting the impression that's a pretty Normal situation in Wordland.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    A typical size for a new blank document from normal.dot is about 19KB. Not sure why yours is so large...

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    Re: Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    I agree with Jefferson - my basic empty files created are about 18-20K usually. If yours are larger then they may already contain some content. A bunch of styles don't take up much file space so I would be looking elsewhere for the content.

    There is lots of places for content to hide even if it doesn't appear in the print out. One place is the headers and footers - logos can be stored in headers that are not currently showing in the file eg you might have odd and even headers and now the empty file only displays the first page header because it only contains one page and Different First Page is turned on. When the file contains more than one page it might still hide header content if the section is not set to show odd and even headers anymore.

    If you rename the normal.dot template and then open Word and save the resulting file how big is it?
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: Stripping Normal.dot (Word 2002 SP-2)

    <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15> I stand (or rather sit) corrected.

    The default Normal.dot I get from Word is 29K, but it creates blank documents that are 20K.

    I ran the macros that turn Word's Normal into my Normal in phases and recorded the following results:

    After adding my custom styles (approx. 75, including some list templates), Normal.dot grows to 53K and creates blank docs that are 44K.

    None of my other changes to Normal.dot increase the size of the resulting blank docs, although the following changes affected the size of Normal.dot: Adding References to two macro templates adds 6K (!). A relatively small number of menu and toolbar changes adds 4K. Keyboard changes add another 1K.

    End result: A 64K Normal.dot that creates 44K blank documents, and it looks like the extra 24K of blank document size is entirely accounted for by my 75 custom styles. (Apparently I'd checked the size of the wrong file before I reported (in yesterday's post) that I was getting blank docs that were 57K.)

    I'm going to give further thought to cutting down on the number of custom styles I put in Normal.dot and correspondingly increasing the number of styles that will be added (by macro) to individual documents on an as-needed basis.

    Thanks for everyone's input.

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