Normal.dot is the file Microsoft Word uses as the default blank page. So when you open up Word there you see it…normal.dot. Ah but what if it’s not blank any more?
Normal.dot is just a MS Word template like any other and can therefore be edited and saved so that when you open Microsoft Word you don’t see a blank page anymore but instead you see the one you edited.
So maybe you like the page that opens up every time with MS Word but maybe you also want that blank page that you originally had too. Well that’s also possible. This solution applies to all Microsoft Word 2008, 2003, 2002, XP and some previous versions also.
Luckily there’s an easy way to get you original normal.dot back and also keep the edited version which you can later use as a template to start the odd document or two that you really intended it for.
Step 1 – Save Your Existing Normal.dot As A Template (optional)
- First let’s save your existing non-blank normal.dot file as a new template so you can use it in the future if you wish. Open Microsoft Word.
- Word should open and display your edited non-blank normal.dot file. Click File > Save As
- Change the File Type to either Document Template (*.dot) or Word Template depending in your version of Microsoft Office. (Also on Mac it’s Word Template)
- Enter a unique name for your template in the file name field
- Click Save
Step 2 – Restore Your Original Normal.dot File
- Close Microsoft Word
- Open My Computer
- Click Tools > Folder Options
- Click View tab
- Click Show hidden files and folders > Click OK
- In My Computer, open your Local Disk (C Drive)
- Open Documents and Settings
- Open the folder with the same name as your Windows username
- Open Application Data folder
- Open Microsoft folder
- Open Templates folder
- Right click on normal.dot file > choose Rename
- Enter a new unique name such as broken.dot and hit enter to confirm the rename
- Open Microsoft Office and your orignal blank normal.dot will be automatically recreated for you