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MS Word: What Happened to the Normal View

Thursday, May 5th, 2011 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS Word

If you’re using either Word 2007 or 2010 and preferred working in the Normal view, then you’re probably wondering what happened to it.

I’m sure you’ve investigated the View tab of the Ribbon and this is what you found:

While on the surface it seems that they’ve done away with the Normal view, the truth is that they just renamed it. Try the Draft view.

Feeling better?

Yeah, I though you might.

Of course the happiness will be short-lived when you save a file in the Draft view and then find that later it opens in the Print Layout view again.

After you’ve changed the view of each document you open to Draft for a few days, you’ll be tired of it and wonder why they created the Draft view if Word wasn’t going to keep the setting when it’s opened again at a later time.

Well we can stop wondering about the whys and still not give up on having things presented to our liking…

Microsoft has included in the program options a place to tell Word whether or not you prefer to allow documents to open in the Draft view.

If you like that view then you’ll want to allow it, and here’s how you can make Word do just that.

Begin in the Office Button / File tab and choose Options.

In the Options dialog box choose the Advanced category on the left

On the right scroll all the way down to the General section.

Locate and select the “Allow opening a document in Draft view” option.

Click OK.


When you next open a file that you saved in Draft view it will still be in Draft view.

Yeah :)

~ April

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4 Responses to “MS Word: What Happened to the Normal View”

  1. mike says:

    works perfect just wish microsoft would put this sort of thing in as a default

  2. Austin Bruce says:

    The “Draft” view is NOT the same as Word 2003’s old “Normal” view. Word 2003 had a “Draft” view as well as a “Normal” view, and they served different purposes. When I first installed 2010, I was able to access the old “Normal” view through a macro I had in my old template, but once I experimentally switched to “Draft” view, I could no longer access the real “Normal” view. Very strange! I liked the real “Normal” view because, unlike “Draft” view, it displayed the actual fonts in use.

  3. Loony says:

    Apologies to the ‘don’treply to/resurrect old threads’ police; I searched for the same issue and this page was top of the searches. The suggestions here didn’t work, but having sussed it myself, thought I’d add my findings for the next searcher…

    To get the ‘old Word’ view back, select print layout as the guys suggest above. If this doesn’t actually split the page (ie just shows a grey line where the page splits go to options (FILE–> Options) then select ‘Display’ and tick the ‘show white space between pages…” option. Hope that sorts your issue.

  4. Lisa. B says:

    No, it didn’t work

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