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I keep getting the message "Normal.dot already exists. Do you want to replace the existing file?" when I try to close Word.

What is the normal.dot file? How can I stop this from happening? Should I?

I just keep re-saving it and Word closes.

Thanks

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The normal.dot was modified. This happens if you modify any global setting (paragraph, styles, etc). But also if something else modifies any global setting, like scripts/macros, add ins, and of course, viruses.

More info here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/word-prompts-me-to-save-changes-to-the-normal-dot-template-HA001151452.aspx

I had this problema a while ago, unfortunatelly I'm not sure how I fixed, but I think you should check if the normal.dot is writable, you can delete the normal.dot and a new one should be created. Also, disable any add-in, open a blank document and save it.

My Word 2007 is in spanish, so I´m translating, but you can check the startup folders in:

Options ->Advanced -> and scroll to the end of this options, you'll find a File Location button. Click there and you'll see the default folders.

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More complete than my explanation, +1 and deleting my answer. – Gnoupi Aug 2 '10 at 16:24
    
Better than mine too! +1 – JNK Aug 2 '10 at 16:25

Normal.dot is the blank template that Word uses.

Does it give you this error even when working with a file that already has a name? For example, if you do a File > Save As... does it still error?

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