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Set As Default means SET AS DEFAULT
June 15, 2013 1:44 PM   Subscribe

MS Word 2010 issue: how do I make my default style choice for MS Word documents Permanent?

Time and time again I have opened up a new Word document, to find that the style it's in has double-carriage spacing. Time and time again I select "no spacing", and from the dropdown menu I select "set as default," the way that countless online resources have all told me that I should do. And yet, the next time I open up a new document - it's back at the double-carriage spacing again.

How can I get MS Word 2010 to accept this change permanently? Is there a way to open up the blank template and get at it that way?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I'd try editing the template.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 2:13 PM on June 15, 2013

When you open a new document, chances are the default 'style' is the one called 'Normal'. (You will see the list of styles on the 'Home' tab, I believe.) Right-click (if PC based) on the 'Normal' style and select 'Modify'. This will open a pop-up where all the default characteristics of the Normal style can be set -- font, font size, line spacing, justification, you name it -- you can set it here.

Now here's the important part: there is also a selection at the bottom of that pop-up where you can specify 'Only in this document' or 'New documents based on this template'. Make sure you click the radio button for the latter. This is the surest way I have found to make sure that the settings I choose will be preserved.

I think customizing styles is the best tip I have ever learned for using Word. (Caveat - the details described above may be from Word 2007, but I am pretty sure those things did not change for Word 2010.)
posted by fikri at 2:35 PM on June 15, 2013

There is no " template" in 2010; I've done that before, and that was my first place to look. There is no such thing.

Fikri, those things HAVE changed dramatically from Word 2007 to 2010. 2007 and earlier I know definitively; 2010 I am at sea.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:57 PM on June 15, 2013

fikri nails it. it's right there. just right click NORMAL on the HOME tab and edit your style, then save.

But for the love of GSM, this is the most basic of the basics, right after loading and saving a file. How is it that MS can managed to have hidden this from a MeFi user, a member of a virtual sea of competent computer users? MS has a special Obfuscation Team, no doubt. Buzzards.
posted by FauxScot at 4:22 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

just right click NORMAL on the HOME tab and edit your style, then save.

But as I said, that is precisely what I have been doing, and it doesn't "stick". I edit my style, click "save as default," finish my document, save it, and close the computer and walk away - and the next time I come back and open a new document, it has reverted back to the double-space style. What I want is to right-click and edit my style and then save and then not have to ever do it again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:31 PM on June 15, 2013

Hey there Empress. I just remoted into my work desktop which has Word 2010. The process I described for Word 2007 is literally identical in Word 2010 -- I just did what I described, and it worked. There is no 'save as default' anything in the style pop-up, so I think you may be doing something slightly different. So I will try again, and be more descriptive.

When I say right-click on 'Normal', that means literally move your cursor onto the style name that says 'Normal', up there on the 'Home' tab. When you right click on that, you will get drop down menu that has the word 'Modify' in it. Click 'Modify' and you will get a pop-up that is different from the one you get if you just right-click on the document.

Once you are in the style pop-up, there is a button labeled 'Format' in the lower left corner. You'll need to click that to get to the spacing options. Next to the format button are the options I described: 'Only in this document' or 'New documents based on this template'. Click the radio button next to 'New documents based on this template', and that will save the settings for every time you open Word. Hope this helps!
posted by fikri at 4:45 PM on June 15, 2013

It also just occurred to me: in the SUB-pop-up where you actually set the line spacing, there is a button that says 'set as default' -- BUT, the meaning of that 'default' will be dictated by the MAIN style pop-up. Which is to say, if the radio button next to 'Only in this document' is clicked, that defines 'Default' as 'default for this document only'. That's why you have to make sure you click the radio button next to 'New documents based on this template' in the main style pop-up.

So 'default' does not always mean 'default'. That is definitely stupid confusing!
posted by fikri at 4:58 PM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy hell, why did they make that so difficult? Thank you, Fikri.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:03 PM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

MS always seems to find ways to make this stuff insanely complicated. I have been trying to find a way to stop Word from automatically indenting bulleted and numbered lists for YEARS and I still haven't figured it out. I can change the settings all I want, but new lists are always indented at least half an inch from the left margin, every single freaking time. The company seems completely incapable of having a simple settings section where end users can specify defaults for everything. I have tediously edited all of the bulleted and numbered lists settings, and new documents still won't respect them. It really should not be that hard, should it? And yet it is. The program is a mess of legacy code and cobbled-together hacks; the inconsistencies between formatting settings and options between Word and the other Office programs illustrate how crazy the code base is. They really need to re-write it from scratch or do some amazingly intense surgery to remove the cruft. They have the personnel and talent to do so, but they just won't do it. Unlike Apple, they are not willing to burn a upgrade cycle to make improvements without adding anything really new. All they focus on is adding features and cosmetic change, without making strides to fix the problems inherent in the last 5 versions of the software.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:21 AM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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