MS Office - how to set default window sizes?

I’m an infrequent user of MS Office so I bet more experienced users here can tell me how to do this. All I would like to do is define a default window size (and view options in the case of PowerPoint). I’m on 2016 in case that matters.

Most times when I open a MS Office doc the size it initially launches with is totally wacky. Now at first I thought maybe it just opens that way because that’s the size it was at when it was saved. Some of my colleagues use small notebook screens so that could explain why I get a postage stamp size PowerPoint slide view even on my 27" monitor. But I also later noticed that if I just open a blank Word doc or PowerPoint slide deck it doesn’t really make use of my available resolution like I’d want. Is there a simple way to tell Office what I want default? I tried the “Finder method” (open a blank doc, set everything how I want it, and then close), but that didn’t get preserved. And would there be a way to tell it to override whatever the doc was saved in with what I have set as my default instead?

It’s been several years since I’ve tried to change a default in Word, but I have a vague memory that there’s a default template file Word uses when you create a new document. If you modify that template file, it will change the new document defaults. Maybe you can set the window size with this method? I assume other Office apps work the same.

…Decided to do a quick search and found something a bit more specific. Scroll down to the last section, Change other default settings in the Normal template. Still not sure whether window size settings will be saved, but that’s the first thing I’d try.

When you have the window displaying on desktop, adjust the size and the close it. The next time it opens, it should be correct. I would try that with your normal.dotm. Which you can find with a search by that name. Its in the Libray/Group Containers. Each new word document you open should also be that size.


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Thank you, Gentlemen. I could have sworn I tried exactly that (the thing I clumsily attempted to describe as “Finder method”) without getting the expected result. But when I tried again today following your advice it worked perfectly. Maybe the Office update I received also just this morning restored the functionality.

Either way, many thanks for helping me out. Much appreciated.

Is there any chance something similar exists for PowerPoint and Excel? With PP, I’d mainly like to force a certain view for presentations I receive form others. Sometimes I get super small windows, other times they show only slides, but no comments or thumbnails. I’d like to be able to choose a window size and select which parts of the window pane to show, and then have that applied to any presentation I get. Is there such a thing?

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Excel - yes, I just did the today (promoted by your earlier question - I have long grumbled about the tiny cell sizes when you start a blank workbook and finally decided to do something about it.)

See (under “Use a custom template for all new workbooks”.) I set my default view zoom to 125% and it’s working fine.

I imagine it wouldn’t be hard to find something similar for PowerPoint.

I don’t think this will be possible, as I believe that the window size and view mode are saved with the document. The methods we’ve been discussing here are about modifying the template used when creating a new document. I don’t think there’s anything you can do to override the settings in a file you receive from someone else. I wish there were, I frequently get Excel files that have the zoom on each tab set to 80% and impossible to read. I’d love a way to override that so they always open to at least 100%!

Thank you, I was afraid that might be the case.

And thanks, Doug, for the Excel advice. That seems to do the trick.

Now just have to figure out what to do about PP.

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