Australian reader John wrote me to ask about a problem he was having:
I use XP Professional and Word 2003.
Whenever I go into either Word or Microsoft Outlook the Ü”(for Underline) button is “depressed so everything I type is underlined.
This is a nuisance because I have to always press the same button to get rid of the underline”.
There must be some way of ensuring that the U button is not depressed as it used to be, so that I can decide whether I want particular words or paragraphs underlined.
Can you help me ?
I think John has gotten his Microsoft Word blank document template messed up.
His message wasn’t quite clear on when he sees the problem, but I think it is when he creates a new document, not when he opens an existing document. Microsoft Word uses its template file normal.dot as the template for all new documents.
First, let’s assume John has been modifying normal.dot so that he could set the default font, font size, color, margins, etc. that he wanted in all his future documents. Under this circumstance, he really would want to fix the file rather than create the default normal.dot again.
If you want to fix normal.dot, first you would start Microsoft Word, and then select File > Open. Word will show all Word Document files, including .doc (documents) and .dot (template) files and a couple others.
Now, in the file selection dialog box, you need to move to the directory that includes the normal.dot file. For Windows XP users who have Documents and Settings on their C: partition, normal.dot is found in
C:\Documents and Settings\[Your-UserID]\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
Once you have opened normal.dot, then Edit > Select All, then click the underline button (you may have to click it several times – if the whole document wasn’t in underline mode, the first click will be based on the status where the cursor bar is.
If you don’t have any reason that you need to (or want to) keep the current normal.dot file, the fix is even easier!
All you need to do is use Windows Explorer’s Search function to find the normal.dot file. Then, you can delete it. Be careful, if you have multiple user ID’s on your computer, as each person has their own copy of normal.dot. If your spouse has customized his (or hers) and you delete it, you’ll be in trouble…
Anyway, you can delete the normal.dot file — the next time you start Microsoft Word, it will create the default normal.dot file.
John mentioned that he had the same problem in Microsoft Outlook — which makes perfect sense.
By default, Microsoft Outlook uses Microsoft Word (if you have it) as its editor, so you’d have the same problem with a new email in Outlook that you have with a new document in Word.