Simplify Word 97's interface

If you're like most people, there are many Word 97 menu commands and toolbar options you never use. Wouldn't it be convenient if you could strip down Word's baroque interface to suit your needs and dump the dross? You can.

1. Exit all open copies of Word.

2. Using Start-Find, locate normal.dot on your hard disk.

3. Select normal.dot and then select File-Rename. Type default.dot and press . Doing this preserves the original normal.dot file so you can revert to the full interface later if you wish.

4. Start Word 97. If you've renamed normal.dot, the program will create a fresh version with all its factory defaults.

5. Select Tools-Customize. Click the Toolbars tab.

6. Get rid of any unwanted toolbars by removing the check mark from the box to the left of those toolbar names. Mark any toolbars you want visible by clicking the box to the left of those toolbar names so that a check mark appears there.

7. Click the Commands tab in the Customize dialogue box; then click any icons you never use, drag them to the document window, and drop them there. If you're not sure of an icon's function, right-click it and read its name in the context menu.

8. Keep the Customize dialogue box open as you click each main menu command and examine the submenu commands that appear. If you find a command you never use, click and drag it to the document screen. A triangle will appear to the right of menu commands that have submenus. Remove individual submenu items by clicking them and dragging them down, off the toolbar or menu.

9. To activate your changes, click Close in the Customize dialogue box. Note: any time before you close the Customize dialogue box, you can click Reset to undo all the changes you've made up to that point. But once you close the dialogue box, you can't undo the changes from within Word.

10. If you wish, you can change other default settings from the Options dialogue box (select Tools-Options) and in the View menu's Toolbar item.

11. Exit Word. The next time you run it, you'll see your changes implemented as the new default interface. Your formerly complex program is now tamed and customised to suit your precise needs.

This tip also works well if you want to hide tricky or treacherous features from innocent novices or colleagues in the office. If you need to regain the full Word interface temporarily, select File-New; then select the default.dot template you created in step 3, and click OK. To return to Word's defaults permanently, exit Word, delete normal.dot, and rename default.dot back to normal.dot.

Hint: if you foul up Word's interface irreparably or if you inherit a PC with a scrambled Word interface and you need to reinstate Word's original default settings, simply delete normal.dot when Word isn't running. The next time you run Word, the program will create a new template that uses the Word default settings. All versions of Word can do this.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

George Campbell

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?