If you have made changes to the Normal template in a previous version of Word and then you upgrade to Word 2013, you will find those changes now missing. This issue occurs because Word creates a new Normal.dotm file when you upgrade to Word 2013. This is so that the default document template is optimized for Word 2013.
To get around this problem, you have to get a bit technical.
Keep Normal.dotm When Upgrading To Word 2013
Add the MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot registry entry to the registry before you run Word 2013 but after you upgrade Word. This registry entry prevents Word 2013 from renaming existing or custom Normal.dotm files. To add this registry entry, follow these steps:
- Click Start > Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
- Find and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Word\Options
- Click the Edit menu > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Type MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot, and then press ENTER.
- In the Details pane, right-click MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot, and then click Modify.
- Change Value data to 1, and then click OK.
- Exit Registry Editor by clicking on the ‘x’ in the top right of the window.
The behavior of Word 2013 changes, depending on the presence and value of MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot, as follows.
Upgrading From Word 2007 Or Word 2010 To Word 2013
The following behavior occurs when MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot is set to 0 or is not present:
- The Normal.dot file is renamed NormalOld.dot when you start Word 2013.
- All new documents that you create use the Word 2013 format.
- Any customization in the Normal.dot file is not available in new blank documents, as that file has been renamed out the way. In effect, “Normal.dot” no longer exists.
- A new Normal.dotm file is created when you exit Word 2013.
The following behavior occurs when MigrateNormalOnFirstBoot is set to 1:
- Word 2013 uses the existing Normal.dotm file that is compatible with Word 2007 and Word 2010.