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How to recover the missing Menu bar in Microsoft Word 97 or Word 2000
Published Date : 17 Nov 2004   Last Updated : 10 Aug 2012   Content Ref: TEC301172  


  • No menu bar in Microsoft® Word® 97 or Microsoft® Word® 2000.
  • When checking the customise option in view toolbars, here is no Menu Bar option listed.
  • All other Menus appear fine. 
  • Click on the link below for more information on missing menu's and toolbars from Microsoft®.

  • Procedure

    Step 1

    Ensure that Word®, and not the document, is the problem. If you experience the behaviour in any file, and particularly in a new file, then you know that the problem lies with Word®. If you cannot duplicate the behaviour in another file, it is likely a corrupt document.

    Step 2

    Delete/Rename normal.dot
    With Word® closed, find and delete or rename the normal.dot file on your system. You may have settings in your normal.dot that you would like to keep, this is why instead of deleting normal.dot, it is recommended that you rename it to abnormal.dot or normal1.dot. Then, you can use the Organizer to copy such things as macros and toolbars from the old template to the new one. If you do not have settings that you wish to save then it is recommended that you delete.

    If there is more than one normal.dot then delete/rename them all. To search for normal.dot, double-click My Computer. Hit the Search button, type in normal.dot , and hit search. If you have Microsoft® Windows® XP, you may need to turn on viewing of system files in order to find your normal.dot. To do so, open Windows®  Explorer, and go to Tools, Folder Options. Choose the View tab, and choose to Show Hidden Files and Folders.

    After you have deleted/renamed normal.dot, launch Word. If the problem is not resolved, move to step 4.

    Normal.dot is the default or global template that Word uses to create a blank document. Normal.dot is always in use when Word is open, even if you are using another template. It is very common for normal.dot files to become corrupt. They also store macro viruses.
    When you launch Word®, it looks for normal.dot and opens it. For more information on normal.dot and Word® 2000, see the MS Technet Article at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q214/2/15.ASP. If Word® cannot locate a normal.dot file, it creates a brand new one. When you first install Word®, normal.dot is not installed with it. Uninstalling does not delete normal.dot. These facts explain why reinstalling Microsoft® Office® or Word® does not fix a problem with a corrupt or virus-infected normal.dot file. Your newly installed program finds normal.dot right where it was before.

    Step 3
    Check the Startup folder
    With Word® closed, use Windows® Explorer to find the Word Startup folder, usually C:\programfiles\MicrosoftOffice\Startup. Make sure there are no files in there that you did not intentionally put in there yourself. Word®  has the STARTUP folder and Microsoft® Excel® has the XLSTART folder. Files in either of these folders are automatically opened when you launch the respective program.

    Step 4

    Delete the registry key
    Ensure that Word is closed. You'll be opening the Windows Registry Editor to rename the Word key, If you are unable to find this folder, or do not understand how to find it, then you should stop here and contact RM Support as editing the registry incorrectly can cause other issues on the machine.
    The new Word key that gets created in the registry can be deleted, and the old one renamed back to its original name if necessary, but this is highly unlikely. If you follow the instructions exactly, you should not have a problem.

    1. From the Start menu select Run and type regedit.
    2. Press Enter. 
    3. As you might browse folders in Windows Explorer, browse to the appropriate path:

      For Word® 97 browse to:

      For Word® 2000 browse to:

      For Word® XP browse to:
    4. Once you have found the path, right-click the Word folder.
    5. Click Rename and rename it to OldWord. 
    6. Press Enter, and then exit the Registry Editor.
    7. Relaunch Word®. If this still has not resolved the problem, move on to next step.

    Step 5

    Uninstall and Reinstall Office®
    Uninstall using Add/Remove programs in the Control Panel.

    1. From the Start menu, choose Settings, Control Panel.
    2. Select Office, and then choose Remove.
    3. Prior to reinstalling any program, make sure that there are no programs running in the background that could interfere with the installation.
    4. Reinstall Office.

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