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How to Change Microsoft Word 2007's Normal Document Template

Do you find yourself constantly changing Microsoft Word 2007's default font, paragraph spacing, or other stylistic defaults? Every new Word document you create begins with a set of predetermined settings. For example, the font is always set as Calibri and spacing between paragraphs is "loose" by default. If you don't like these default settings, consider editing the normal.dotm file so that it contains all of your favorite settings.

The normal.dotm file is a "Word Macro Enabled" template file. Word 2007 uses this particular template for all new documents. Anytime you start a new document in Word, Word loads a blank document based on this template. In order to edit this template and add your own default settings, you will first need to open it in Word.
Finding the Normal.dotm File

The normal.dotm file's location may vary based on your operating system and version of Office. One of the easiest ways to find it is to right-click the Start button, choose Explore, and enter "normal.dotm" in the Windows Explorer Search bar. If you're using Windows Vista or Windows 7, going to Start and entering "normal.dotm" in the Search bar directly is even easier. Once the file appears, click it to open it in Word.
Note: You will may to open this file as an administrator; otherwise, it may open as read-only.

Editing the Normal.dotm File
Once normal.dotm appears in Word, make the desired changes. It will look like a normal blank document, and all of Word's normal tools will appear. Now, you can change the font, justification settings, and more. For example, if you want all new documents to use Times New Roman instead of Calibri, select Times New Roman in the Font section's dropdown field. If you'd prefer a different paragraph style for your new documents, go to the Paragraph section and change these settings. Prefer justified text instead of left aligned text? Change it. Want a different page orientation or wider margins? Click the Page Layout tab and adjust as desired. If you'd like your name and company name to appear in the footer section of all new pages, right-click the footer section, choose "Edit Footer," and enter your personal information.
Once you've made your changes, save the file. From now on, your new Word documents will include these new default settings.


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