MS Word

Word Says Normal.dot "Is in Use by Another Application or User"

The Problem:

When I accept Word's offer to save Normal.dot, it says "This file is in use by another application or user." What's this all about? I'm alone here, and Word is the only application I'm running.

The Solution:

It's okay: Word is the other application, and you're the other user. This message usually means that you've got two separate instances of Word open (as opposed to having two documents open in separate windows in the same Word session). The instance you started first has a lock on Normal.dot, so the second instance (the one you're trying to close) can't save changes to Normal.dot.

Click OK in the warning dialog box (see Figure 1-8). Word then displays the Save As dialog box so that you can save Normal.dot under a different name (or in a different folder) to preserve the changes you've made to it. You'll then need to merge these changes back into your original Normal.dot. Typically, this is worth the effort only if you've been creating VBA code in Normal.dot. If you've simply created an AutoText entry or performed a small customization, it's usually easier to do it again in your original Normal.dot.

Figure 1-8. If Word claims Normal.dot is in use when you try to save changes, you probably have two instances of Word open.

If you don't think you have two or more instances of Word open, click on each of your document windows in turn and pull down the Window menu to see what Word windows it lists. Any windows that are in another session of Word will not appear on the Window menu.


If you really don't have two or more instances of Word open, a crash may have left a locking file for Normal.dot that makes Word think another instance is running. Quit Word and restart Windows to clear out the locking file automatically.

by BrainBellupdated
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