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Customization to the Normal template is lost in upgrade to Word 2010

Customization to the Normal template is lost during the upgrade from Microsoft Office Word 2007 to Microsoft Word 2010.

Consider the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:

In an existing Word 2007 installation, Normal.dotm is customized. Word 2007 is then upgraded to Word 2010. 

When Word 2010 is started for the first time, the custom Normal.dotm file is renamed as "NormalOld.dotm." Therefore, customization that is stored in the Normal template is lost. 

Scenario 2:

A Normal.dotm file is created in Word 2010. This file is pushed out to client computers (%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates) manually, by script, or in a custom MSP file that was created by using the Office Customization Tool (OCT).

When Word 2010 is started for the first time, the custom Normal.dotm file is renamed as "NormalOld.dotm." Therefore, customization that is stored in the Normal template is lost. 

This behavior is by design. By default, Word creates a new Normal.dotm file when the program is upgraded. This makes sure that the default document template is optimized for the upgraded version of Word.
To resolve this issue, add the following registry key and value before Word is started after the upgrade. 

This registry key and value prevent Word 2010 from renaming existing (or custom) Normal.dotm files.

Note If the existing Normal.dotm files were created in Word 2007, adding this registry key and value will cause Word 2010 to keep the existing Normal.dotm file. However, the resulting template will remain in compatibility mode until the "Convert" option is used to update the Normal.dotm file.

There are two methods to add the key.

Method 1: Create a custom MSP file.

Use a custom MSP file that was created by using the Office Customization Tool to add the registry key and value. 

For more information about the Office Customization Tool, visit the following Microsoft website:
The "Add registry" entry is located in the "Additional content" section.

Method 2: Use a script to add the key and Convert the Normal template.

Run a script before the first use of Word 2010 by the user. This script can be a logon script or chained to the installation of Office 2010.

The following sample script opens Normal.dotm in a new instance of Word. Then the Convert method is called to convert the template to the 2010 format. The Normal template is then saved, and Word is closed.

'WARNING: ANY USE BY YOU OF THE CODE PROVIDED IN THIS EXAMPLE IS'AT YOUR OWN RISK. Microsoft provides this macro code "as is" without warranty of'any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of'merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose.'==========================='Open a new instance of Word'Open the Normal.dotm and convert it.'if the file has already been converted an error will be raised but the code ignores it.'also, the script assumes that normal.dotm is in the user templates folder.Dim wsDim objWord Dim objDoc on error Resume nextset ws = createobject("Wscript.Shell")ws.RegWrite "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word\Options\MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot", 1, "REG_DWORD"Set objWord = CreateObject("Word.application")Set objDoc = objWord.documents.Open(objWord.Options.DefaultFilePath(2) & "\normal.dotm")objWord.Visible = falseobjDoc.ConvertobjDoc.Close -1objWord.QuitSet objDoc = NothingSet objWord = Nothing

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure. However, they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.
For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  
310516 How to add, modify, or delete registry subkeys and values by using a registration entries (.reg) file

2000271 How to automatically migrate your during an upgrade to Office 2007
For more information about migration considerations for Word 2010, visit the following Microsoft website:


Article ID: 2408845 - Last Review: 08/26/2011 21:49:00 - Revision: 1.2

Microsoft Word 2010

  • KB2408845
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