Whenever I create a new Shape (Insert tab > Shapes), and then draw a shape, the default fill is "white." I can change the fill color, and then set my shape to "Set AutoShape Defaults," but that will only save the setting in that document.

Is there any way to change this for any time I create a shape in any document?


You will have to open and modify the Normal.Dotm template and make the changes there. Since Normal.Dotm is applied to all new documents, your changes should 'stick'.

To change your Word 2007 default template, follow these steps (assuming Windows 7):

  1. Click the Office button.
  2. Select Open.
  3. In the left pane of the Open dialog box, click "Templates".
  4. Ensure the file type drop-down (next to File Name box) is set to "All Word Templates".
  5. Double-click "Normal.dotm" (you may want to make a copy before you start editing).
  6. Make changes as you would to any Word document. Keep in mind, though, that any changes you make will be applied to all new documents.
  7. When you're done making changes to the Normal template, click Save or use CTRL+S.

If you mess it up, close word, delete/rename the normal.dotm (usually located in C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates, again assuming Windows 7), and restart Word. This should create a new, default normal.dotm.

  • 1
    That works for NEW documents, but what about enforcing it for documents that have already been created (by a different user, shared via Dropbox)? – GavinR Aug 22 '11 at 20:28
  • You can't do that, at least not automatically, as it's all about the 'template' (.dotm) used to create the document, since it holds the setting you're trying to change. If that template wasn't used by the creator, then your changes to you base template won't be in it. You can apply your personal template to documents after the fact via Office button-> Word Options-> Add-ins-> Manage: Templates--> Go... – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 22 '11 at 21:25

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