While there is an document already opened in Microsoft Word, you may get an error that the “Normal.dot” file is already in use when opening an second Word document. This makes sense, because an instance of Microsoft Word is already active.
In the case that you do not need to modify your Word layout settings which are saved in the “Normal.dot” file, the solution is easy. To avoid the Normal.dot errors, follow these steps:
- Close all Word sessions you have opened (this may also be an e-mail you’re composing with Outlook!)
- Right click your “Normal.dot” file (which mostly can be found in “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office<version>\Startup”) and choose Properties
- In the Properties windows, check the option “Read-only“.
The message “Normal.dot already in use” wil now not occur anymore. This solution can also be applied for other add-ins or templates which do not have to be modified and which are used in your Office applications.