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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Sep 08, 2011
    Office Word 2011 template problem
    Hi guy's,

    I'm having a real confusing problem with Office 2011 on a MacBook Pro with Lion OS! The problem is that when ever I open Word I get the following error..

    'The open xml file normal.dotm cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents or the file name might contain invalid characters'

    I've tried uninstalling and re-installing, running the latest updates, Repairing the Disk Permissions, removing everything to do with Office, renaming the Normal.dotm file, deleting the Normal.dotm file and installing it from another account (which works in their account but not the one I want it to work in!).

    I was anyone had come across this problem before and found a solution? I've searched the web but found nothing that works.


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Open your Font Book Application and verify all your system fonts and the fonts that are installed in the Microsoft sub folder attached to the fonts folder:

    MacIntosh HD/Library/Fonts/ and

    MacIntosh HD/Library/Fonts/Microsoft/

    You may have a corrupt font that's showing up in the normal.dotm template which is causing the error you're getting. I can't think of anything else that could cause the error in light of what you've already done to trouble shoot the problem.

    Another thing to look at is if you have any macros assigned to the normal.dotm. Sometimes a corrupt macro will also cause that error. Remove all macros as a test.

    Let us know.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Sep 08, 2011

    Thanks for the reply but I gave in, created a new profile and transfered all the data from the corrupt profile over to it.

    Thanks for the help though.


  4. #4

    Member Since
    Feb 14, 2008
    I was having the same problem but for me the solution was changing the name of my hard disk back to "Macintosh HD". Somehow it had been changed (probably accidental typing) to lksodk8\*#lks/ and when Word opens it looks for the normal.dotm template but cannot resolve the location because the first location in the path is my hard disk and that name with the slashes cannot be read. Try changing the name of your hard disk to Macintosh HD and see what happens.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Sep 08, 2011
    I tired changing the hdd's name but that didn't work. The only thing that I could do was create a new account and transfer all the data in the Users folder over.


  6. #6

    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2011
    Hints to fix Word 2011 normal template issue
    My problem has been resolved by following Microsoft Support's instructions. Please read it below:

    The problem was that every time I created a new Word 2011 document a pop-up window asked whether or not i want to save the changes to the Normal.dotm template. I always declined, but perhaps once by incident, which probably caused that I could not even open Word and none of the Word docs at all.

    My set-up: MBP with dual core 2 Intel Mid 2009. OS X: Snow Leopard (10.6.8)

    I resorted to MS support team as I still have warranty on MS Office 2011 for Mac till Feb. 2012 and got the following very precise instructions, which resolved all my problems: (including hints for Lion users)

    1. Update your Office 2011; latest version is 14.1.4. See steps below.
    2. Move the existing Normal.dotm file to the trash. See steps below.

    to item 1:
    We do recommend that you do install the updates. This can be done by clicking the "Help" in the Word Menubar.

    to item 2:
    Iif you are getting a prompt each time when you save a Word document to also save a new normal template, it is likely that the Normal.dotm template is corrupt or has had been modified. Please follow the steps below to delete the present Normal.dotm and this will be recreated when you open Word again.

    Click on "Go" in the Finder Menubar
    - Select Home
    - Select Library
    (NOTE: If you are using the Lion Operating System the Library folder may be hidden. If you do not see the Library folder here, hold down your Option Key on the Keyboard and Click on Go in the Finder Menubar, you should then see the Library folder)
    - Open the Application Support folder
    - Open the Microsoft Folder
    - Open the Office Folder and the User Templates
    - In here you should see a Normal.dotm file. Drag this file to the Trash and restart the Mac.
    - Open Word, create a test document and save it to create the new Normal.dotm file.
    Also check in the Word preferences to see if the 'Prompt to save Normal template is checkmarked. To do this:
    - Open Word
    - Click on Word in the Menubar
    - Select Preferences
    - Select Save
    - If the 'Prompt to save Normal template' is checkmarked, uncheck it and click on OK.

    I hope the above is of assistance to all, who may have the same problem.


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