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Blank MS Word Document by Default

Pierre from Ontario asks:

Every time I start Microsoft Word 2007 it automatically opens up the same document every time. I tried to delete it but it keeps coming back. How do I get rid of this?

Hello Pierre and thanks for the great question. You will be glad to know this problem is not hard to fix. All Word documents are based on templates. A template in Microsoft Word 2007 has a .dotm file extension. With a normal Word document, the file extensions are .doc or docx. When you open a new document, which should open as a blank page, the Normal template opens. If you accidentally save text in the Normal.dotm template, this document will open every time you choose to open a new document.

Although I can’t tell you how this happened, I can show you how to easily fix it. The easiest way is to simply clean up the Normal template.

Open Microsoft Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.


Windows Vista or Windows 7

Click Templates and double-click the Normal.dotm template file on the right to open it.














Windows XP

Click Templates to the right of File Name. If you do not see any template files, click the arrow next to the Files of type box, and click All Word Templates.

Check that Normal.dotm appears in the Word title bar at the top to make sure you are working in the Normal.dotm template.

Remove all text in the template so that it is completely blank. An easy way to do this is to click the Home tab, click Select in the editing group and then click Select All. All text in the Normal.dotm template should be highlighted. Right-click anywhere in the document and select Delete to remove the text.

When you are finished, click the Microsoft Office button and click Save to save the template.

Now, when you open a new document in Word 2007, it will be a completely blank document.

If you accidentally damage the template file, Word will automatically create a new one the next time you start it.

I hope this tip has been helpful for you!

~Rita Wood