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Q181471: WD97: How to Reset User Options and Registry Settings

Article: Q181471
Product(s): Word 97 for Windows
Operating System(s): 
Keyword(s): kbdta word8 word97kbfaq
Last Modified: 11-JUN-2002

The information in this article applies to:

- Microsoft Word 97 for Windows 

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

  Q256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


This article describes various methods for resetting user options and registry
settings in Microsoft Word.


There are two basic kinds of options that the user can define in Word. The first
kind affects the way the program operates. The information for this kind of
option is usually stored in the Windows registry. The second kind of option
affects the formatting or appearance of one or more documents. The information
for this option is stored in templates or documents.

When you troubleshoot odd behavior in the program or in a document, first
eliminate the possibility that the problem is caused by a combination of options
and formatting. If the behavior occurs in multiple documents, it may be useful
to reset the user settings to the "factory" defaults either temporally or
permanently. To do this, use one of the methods listed in the following table.

  Method                                                   Result

  Hold SHIFT to prevent automatic macros from starting.    Temporary

  Start Word with the /a switch.                           Temporary

  Rename the Normal template.                              Temporary or

  Edit or delete registry entries.                         Permanent

Holding the Shift Key

Word reserves special names for macros that you can create to automatically alter
the way Word behaves. These are called "auto" macros. The auto macros in
Microsoft Word are listed in the following table.

  Macro      Storage location                Automatically Runs

  AutoExec   In the Normal template          When Word is started
             or in a global add-in

  AutoNew    In a template                   When a new document that is
                                             based on the template is

  AutoOpen   In document or template         When a document that is
                                             based on the template or that
                                             contains the macro is opened

  AutoClose  In document or template         When a document that is
                                             based on the template or that
                                             contains the macro is closed

  AutoExit   In the Normal template          When Word is quit
             or a global add-in

Word recognizes a macro with a name that begins with "Auto" as a macro that
automatically runs when the situation to which it applies occurs. You can
prevent an auto macro from running by holding down the SHIFT key while
performing the action that causes the macro to run.

Starting Word Using /A

Starting Word by using /a on a command line causes Word to use the default
settings for all options and prevents add-ins from being loaded.

The /a switch allows you to start Word without loading the following components:

- The global template (

- Any add-in templates in the Startup folder

- Any add-in libraries (.wll files)

- User settings stored in the Data key in the Windows registry.

NOTE: When you start Word with the /a switch, changes you make in Word that
affect any of these components are not written to the hard disk when you quit
Word, and the changes are lost.

For the following example, assume that Word is located in the C:\Program
Files\Microsoft Office\Office folder.

To start Word 97 by using /a, follow these steps:

NOTE: Because there are several versions of Windows, the following steps may be
different on your computer. If they are, please see your product documentation
to complete these steps.

1. Click Run on the Start menu.

2. In the Run dialog box, click Browse.

3. Use the Look In box to locate Winword.exe, and then select it. Then click
  Open. This step fills in the Open box in the Run dialog box.

4. In the Open box, move the insertion point after Winword.exe.

  NOTE: The path to the Winword.exe in the Run dialog box is enclosed in
  quotation marks. Be sure to move the insertion point to the right of the
  closing quotation mark.

5. Type a space, and then type "/a" (without the quotation marks).

  The statement in the Open box should resemble the following:


If starting the program with the /a switch corrects the problem, use the
following methods to further isolate the problem.

Renaming the Normal Template

To prevent formatting, AutoText, and macros that are stored in the Normal
template ( from affecting behavior of the program and documents that
are opened, rename Renaming allows you to quickly determine whether
the Normal template is causing the problem or behavior.

NOTE: Renaming the template resets several options back to the default
settings, including custom styles, custom toolbars, macros, and AutoText
entries. For this reason, Microsoft strongly recommends that you rename the file.

Certain kinds of configurations may create more than one file. These
situations include cases in which multiple versions of Word are running on the
same computer or cases in which several workstation installations exist on the
same computer. In these situations, be sure to rename the correct copy of

To rename the file, follow these steps:

NOTE: Because there are several versions of Windows, the following steps may be
different on your computer. If they are, please see your product documentation
to complete these steps.

1. Quit all instances of Word, including WordMail.

2. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, point to Find, and click Files or

3. In the Named box, type "" (without the quotation marks).

4. In the Look In box, select your local hard disk drive (or an alternate user
  template location if you are running Word from a network server).

5. Click Find Now to search for the file.

6. For each occurrence of that appears in the Find dialog box,
  right-click the file. Click Rename on the shortcut menu. Type a new file
  name, such as or and press ENTER.

7. Quit the find dialog box and restart Word normally (without using the /a

If Word starts correctly, you have resolved the problem. In this case, the
problem is a damaged template. You may need to change a few settings
to restore your favorite options. If the file you renamed contains
customizations, such as styles, macros, or AutoText entries that cannot be
easily recreated, you may be able to copy those customizations from the old file to the new file by using the Organizer.

For more information about using the Organizer, click the Office Assistant, type
"using the Organizer," click Search, and then click "Use settings from another
document or template."

Deleting Registry Entries

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems
that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot
guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor
incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

Deleting the Data Key:

NOTE: Deleting the Data key resets several options back to the default settings,
including the File menu most recently used file list, and many settings you
customize in the Options dialog boxes.

Most common options (click Options on the Tools menu) are stored in the Data key.
One troubleshooting step is to delete the Data key. Word rebuilds this Data key
by using the default settings the next time the program is started.

To delete the Data key, follow these steps:

NOTE: Because there are several versions of Windows, the following steps may be
different on your computer. If they are, please see your product documentation
to complete these steps.

1. Quit all instances of Word, including WordMail.

2. On the Windows taskbar, click the Start button and click Run.

3. In the Open box, type "regedit" (without the quotation marks), and click OK.

4. Locate the following key by double-clicking the appropriate folders.


5. With the Data folder selected (on the left), click Delete on the Edit menu to
  delete the key.

6. Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm the deletion.

7. Quit the registry editor and restart Word normally (without using the /a

If Word starts correctly, you have resolved the problem. The problem is a damaged
Data key. You may need to change a few settings to restore your favorite

To edit or delete other registry entries:

Use the preceding steps but substitute the correct registry key in step 4, and
then use Modify or Delete in step 5.

NOTE: Some keys are automatically rebuilt when you run Word. To rebuild other
keys, you must reinstall the program by using the /y switch on the command line
to recreate the correct entry. For more information see the following section.


The /y switch prevents Setup from copying files. Setup proceeds normally,
including setting registry entries; however, it does not copy any files to the
computer. Use this switch to restore registry entry values or to track down
process problems without copying files.

This switch may be used when running Microsoft Office 97 Setup in maintenance
mode, for example:

  \setup.exe /y

Where Settings Are Stored in the Registry

Word 97 stores all of its settings in the Windows registry; Word 97 no longer
stores information in an *.ini file or in the Winword.opt file as do Word 2.x
and 6.x.

This section lists the settings in the registry that pertain to Word 97. The
locations are organized into the following sections:

- Main locations of Word settings

- Settings in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word

- Settings in HKEY\CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Common

- Settings in HKEY\CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MS Setup (ACME)

- Settings in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools

- Miscellaneous settings

- Using the RegOptions macro

Main Locations of Word Settings

Most settings in Word are stored in the following key:


Changes made to this HKEY_CURRENT_USER key are mirrored in the following key:


The difference between the two locations is that first one applies only to the
current user of the system while the other one is the default for all users.
However, Word entries are the same for both; so, any change made to one is
automatically reflected in the other.

NOTE: For the remainder of this section, all references to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER
key apply also to the HKEY_USERS key except where noted.

Settings in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word

The settings that you may need to examine during troubleshooting are located in
this key. The Data key and the Options key are the most frequently changed

Data Key


The Word 97 for Windows equivalent to the Word 6.x Winword.opt file is the Data
key. This key contains binary information for most recently used lists,
including the most recently used file list and the most recently used address
book list. It also contains the same information that is stored in the
Winword.opt file in Word for Windows 6.x, such as Track Changes settings
(Revision settings in Word 6.x) and Edit settings.

Default Save Key

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Default Save

This key sets the default format for saving documents. You can change the default
format Word 97 uses by changing the Save Word Files As setting in Word. To
locate this option in Word, click Options on the Tools menu, and then click the
Save tab.

Options Key


This key stores the options that you can set from Word either by changing menu
options or by running the RegOptions macro. These are the editable options.

The settings fall into two groups: default settings and optional settings.
Default settings are established during Setup. You can change them by modifying
options in Word. Optional settings are not created during Setup; to add them you
must run the RegOptions macro.

These default settings are the following:

  AutoSpell              Turns Automatic spell checking on or

  AutoGrammar            Turns Automatic grammar checking on or

  AutoSave-Path          Sets default folder for "autosave"

  BackgroundPrint        Turns background printing on or off

  BackgroundSave         Turns background saving on or off

  EnableMacroVirus       Turns macro warning on or off

  NoEditTime             Turns on and off recording of edit time
                         in statistics

  Picture-Path           Sets the path for clip art

  PlainTextAutoFormat    Sets Autoformat for WordMail documents

  ProgramDir             Sets the Word program folder

  Startup-Path           Sets the path for the startup folder

  StartWhatIsNew         Turns What Is New screen on and off at

  Tools-Path             Sets alternative locations for proofing

  Wordmail-Path          Sets WordMail directory path

  WPHelp                 Turns WordPerfect Help on or off

The optional settings are the following:

  Bak-Extension          Sets default extension for backup files

  BitMapMemory           Sets memory for internal graphics cache

  CacheSize              Sets internal document text cache for

  DateFormat             Sets the default date format for Word

  Doc-Extension          Sets the default extension for Word

  Doc-Path               Sets the default path for documents
                         saved in Word

  Dot Extension          Sets the default extension for templates
                         in Word

  OleDot                 Sets the default template used to create
                         document objects in Word or other OLE

  SlowShading            For printers with special drawing
                         function, allows shading of graphics

  TimeFormat             Sets the default time format for Word

  UpdateDictionaryNumber Sets the default order for custom

  User Dot Path          Sets the default path for User

  Workgroup Dot Path     Sets the default path for Workgroup

Help Key


This key contains the paths for the Word Help files. Word Help, WordPerfect Help,
and Visual Basic Help paths are found here.



This key contains the default settings for the Web Authoring feature. The default
settings are the following:

  AutoUpDate           Sets the date to check the Web for updates

  AutoUpdateAddress    Sets the Web address to check for Web

  Bullet Path          Sets the path for Web graphical bullets

  Clipart URL          Sets the Web address for new Web clipart

  Dlg Bullet Path      Sets the path for basic Web bullets

  Dlg HorizontalLine   Sets the path for basic Web lines

  HorizontalLine Path  Sets the path for Web graphical lines

  LocalContent         Sets the location for documents containing
                       default content used by the Web page

  LocalPageStyles      Sets the location for .gif files, backgrounds,
                       and templates used by the Web page wizard

  WebArt Path          Sets the path for local clipart

Stationery Key


This key contains the default location for the template for WordMail and the
links to find the template.

The four settings are the following:

  Cfg File Location    Sets the path to the WordMail folder

  Default Template     Sets the path to the template (by default,

  DlgDefTpl            Shows a link to the default template

  Option               Shows a link to the default template

Text Converters Key

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Text Converters

This key contains registration information for text converters for Word. It
includes the keys for import and export converters. Each converter registers its
extension, name, and path in this key.

NOTE: Three uncommon converters registered in this key are the Schedule Plus
converter, the MSPAB converter, and the Microsoft Outlook converter. These
converters allow you to import contact lists through an Address book.

The paths are the following:

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Text Converters\Import\Splus

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Text Converters\Import\MSPAB

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Text Converters\Import\OUTLOOK

Wizards Key


This key replaces the Wordwiz.ini file from earlier versions of Word. All wizard
defaults are stored here. These setting are created the first time you run a

WordMail Key


This key contains the window position information for WordMail.

Settings in: HKEY\CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Common

This key is used by other Microsoft programs, such as the Office programs.
Likewise, these settings are shared between programs. Changes made in one
program's settings also appear in the other programs' settings.

  Assistant    Sets information about the chosen Office Assistant

  AutoCorrect  Sets the path to the .ACL file (which contains the
               AutoCorrect list) and lists the current settings for

  FileNew      Sets paths for local and shared templates

  Internet     Stores settings for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites and

  Open Find    Stores default setting for Open and Save dialog boxes in
               Microsoft Word, including current view and file name and
               most recently used lists

  Toolbars     Turns ToolTips on or off and sets button sizes for toolbars

  Userinfo     Sets user information including address, name, and initials

Settings in: HKEY\CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MS Setup (ACME)

This setting refers to the user's name, which you are prompted to fill in during

  User Info      Sets the user name and company name for Setup usage

Settings in: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools

This key contains paths for all Windows applets (programs such as Equation,
WordArt, and MSGraph). Paths for graphics filters and text converters are also
registered in this location. There are two keys that pertain to Word. One is the
Graphics Filters key, which registers the import and export filters, and the
other is the Text Converters key, which registers import and export converters.
In addition, each filter and converter is registered individually. A list of
clients that use a filter, converter, or applet is listed under each tool.

Miscellaneous Settings

The .doc file name extension is registered in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT in several ways.


Equation Editor options outlined in the RegOptions Macro are registered in the
following key:

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Equation Editor\3.0\Options\General

Note that the Options\General folders do not appear unless options are set.

Using the RegOptions Macro

The RegOptions macro can be used to examine the Windows registry or to make
changes to Word settings stored there. To run the macro, follow these steps:

1. On the File menu, click Templates and Add-ins.

2. Click Add.

3. Select the "Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Macros" folder.

4. Select the Support8.Dot file and click OK. This step adds the Support8
  template to the "Global Templates and Add-ins" box. Click OK.

5. On the Tools menu, click Macro.

6. In the Macros In list, click (Template).

7. In the Macros list, click RegOptions, and then click Run.

Alphabetical List of Options and Where They Are Stored

NOTE: In the following table, "Template" refers to either the template
or to a custom template. The "Qxxxxxx" reference refers to a Microsoft Knowledge
Base (KB) article where you can find additional information about the setting.

  Setting name                    Storage location         KB Article Q#

  Active Window Prop              Registry Data            Q157464
  AutoCorrect-Cap info            Registry Data            Q157464
  AutoCorrect-Formatted text
  AutoCorrect-Path                Registry Data            Q157464
  AutoCorrect-Shared Entries     .ACL files <user>.acl
  AutoSave Path                   Registry Data            Q140097
  AutoText                        Template
  Bullets & Numbering Palette     Registry Data            Q157464
  Common Office                   Registry                 Q157464
  Company Name                    Winword.exe
  Confirm Conversion Options      Registry Data            Q157464
  Custom Keystroke Assignments    Template
  Custom Label                    Registry Data            Q157464
  Default View Mode               Registry Data            Q157464
  Default View Zoom               Registry Data            Q157464
  Drawing Object Prop             Registry Data            Q157464
  Edit                            Registry Data            Q157464
  Envelope                        Registry Data            Q157464
  File Locations                  Registry Data            Q157464
  File Routing Slip               Registry Data            Q157464
  Font Substitution               Registry                 Q163813
  Format Style List               Registry Data            Q157464
  General                         Registry Data            Q157464
  Grammar                         Registry                 Q157464
  Help File                       Registry Data            Q157464
  Help for WP                     Registry Options         Q135872
  HTML                            Registry Data            Q157464
  Macros                          Template/Document
  Mailing Address Name, Initials  Registry Data            Q157464
  Most Recently Used File List    Registry Data            Q157464
  Most Recently Used Font List    Registry Data            Q157464
  Picture Editing                 Registry                 Q112199
  Print                           Registry Data            Q157464
  Print data forms                Document
  Proofing Tools                  Registry Data            Q157464
  Revisions(Track Changes)        Registry Data            Q157464
  Save                            Registry Data            Q157464
  Screen Location                 Registry Data            Q157464
  Shared Tools                    Registry                 Q157464
  Show Tips                       Registry Data            Q157464
  Snap to Grid                    Registry
  Sort Options                    Registry Data            Q157464
  Spelling                        Registry Data            Q157464
  Styles                          Template/Document
  Table of Authorities            Registry Data            Q157464
  Templates and Add-ins           Registry Data            Q157464
  Text Converters                 Registry Data            Q157464
  Toolbar Docking                 Registry Data            Q157464
  Toolbars                        Template/Document
  Tools/Options View              Registry Data            Q157464
  User Info                       Registry
  View Options                    Registry Data            Q157464
  View Toolbars                   Template
  View/Ruler                      Registry Data            Q157464
  View/Toolbar                    Template
  Virus Protection                Registry                 Q157464
  Wizards                         Registry                 Q157464
  WordMail                        Registry                 Q157464

AutoCorrect lists are shared between Office programs. Any changes you make to the
AutoCorrect entries and settings while in one program are immediately available
to the other programs. In addition, Word can store AutoCorrect items that
consist of formatted text and graphics.

Information pertaining to AutoCorrect is stored in various locations. These
locations are listed in the following table.

  This AutoCorrect information                Is stored here

  AutoCorrect entries shared by all           .acl file in the location
  programs                                    specified in the registry

  AutoCorrect entries used only by  
  Word (formatted text and graphics)

  AutoCorrect settings (correct two initial   Registry
  capitals, capitalize names of days,
  replace text as you type)

  AutoCorrect settings used only by           Registry
  Word (Correct accidental usage of CAPS
  LOCK key, Capitalize first letter of

Additional query words:

Keywords          : kbdta word8 word97 kbfaq
Technology        : kbWordSearch kbWord97 kbWord97Search kbZNotKeyword2
Version           : :
Issue type        : kbhowto



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