How can I make Word open new documents in a certain view (Normal or Page Layout) or at a specified zoom ratio?
Article contributed by Suzanne S. Barnhill
Existing documents will open in the view and at the Zoom ratio in which they
were saved. To change the View and Zoom settings for new documents, you must
modify the template on which these documents are based. For the default Blank
Document, this template will be Normal.dot in Word 2003 and earlier and
Normal.dotm in Word 2007. Normal is the “global” template that not only is the
basis for new Blank Documents but also stores many of the default settings in
Word, and it is essential that you actually open the template and modify it the
same way you would a document.
1. The first
thing you have to do is find the Normal template. Complete instructions for
locating it are given in “Why
is my ‘Blank Document’ not blank?”
2. Once you
have found the Normal template, navigate to it using the Open dialog in
Word; click on the file and open it. Alternatively, you can right-click on it in
Windows Explorer and select Open.
What you can't do is double-click on the file in Windows Explorer,
because that creates a new document based on the template, instead of opening
the template. Similarly, if you right-click on the Blank Document icon in the
New, Templates, or New Document dialog and choose Open, you
are actually opening a copy of the template that can be saved only as a new
template. Neither of these techniques will do what you want.
3. When you
have the template open for editing, change the view and/or zoom to the desired
4. In Word 97
and above, you then need to make a “phantom edit”: press Spacebar followed by
Backspace, or make some similar change, in order to make Word recognize that the
file has been changed.1
The next time you create a new document based on this template, you should see
it in the desired view and zoom ratio. Note that these changes will not affect
documents you have already created. In order to change them, you will have to
open them individually and repeat the above process (including the vital
“change” to trick Word into saving the document). You will also need to repeat
the process with all other templates you use.
1Word 97 and later versions will not allow you to save a file
they don't regard as having changed. If Word doesn't register that a file has
changed, the Undo button will be dimmed. If the button is enabled, you can save.
2Using Ctrl+S, the Save command on the File
or Office Button menu, or the Save button on the Standard toolbar
or QAT—not Save As on the File or Office Button
menu. If you can't save without giving the file a name, then you have done
something wrong in opening the file and are not really working on Normal.dot but
instead on a document or template based on it.