Converting Word 2003 macros to Word 2010 (or 2007)

Normally, I write about things that make many people, including my boss, head explode.  But today, I want to talk about Macros, not the C++ Macros, but rather the down to earth macros that the hardworking paralegals, administrative assistants or secretaries might use.

Why? My sister-in-law, Kathy, was visiting this week, and just before she left to return to the lovely land of Seattle, she ask a question:

The law firm I work for upgraded to Word 2010 and I no longer have my macros that I used in the previous version of Office (which I think was Office 2003, but could have been Office XP), what happened to them?  Is it Office 2010 fault?

The answer is pretty simple: Usually when a system is upgraded a proposal is written between the IT consulting firm and the customer, especially if it is for a law firm.  Often, the “” template is not part of the contract between the IT consulting firm and the law firm, or any firm for that matter.  However, the line workers, in this case the paralegals, often use recorded macros for efficiency purposes, but lawyers usually don’t use these macros.  After a number of years using Office XP, these paralegals build up a significant amount of macros that they are used to having.

When the new Office 2010 is put into place the from Office XP or Office 2003 is not used to build the new normal.dotx.  Unfortunate since it is very easy to do, of course some macros will not translate because they may use features unique to Office 2003 or Office XP.  But most will.

Here is one way to do (make sure to test that everything works before committing to this as a consultant):

Change the name of the Office 2003 or XP to normal1.doc

Build Office 2010

Open Office 2010

On the ribbon, select View, Macros, View Macro, select or click the Organize button, then the dialog box below will show up:


In the box on the left select normal1.doc, select the macros you need to move to the new normal.

Close and that will do it, the macros will now be available for you to use in your documents.

So, you might ask, what about autocorrect?  Well I will describe how to move your autocorrect from an earlier version to a later version in a later blog post.

Finally, why hasn’t Microsoft clearly documented this procedure?  I have no idea, it appears to be an oversight that needs to be addressed by the Office team, frankly, I could not easily find the answer on, so why should you?  And the user experience is that the end users blame Microsoft for the upgrades, etc. when the ease of fixing that dissatisfaction could easily be accomplished.

After all, Administrative assistance, secretaries, paralegals, etc. really make use of this kind of thing and they need to be taken care of as well.

Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no guarantee that anything I write is correct…

    So why do you write at all.

    Sorry no offences meant.

  2. Surf4Fun says:


    Not to be disrespectful, do you really think that everything other's write is accurate?  People write because the enjoy writing, and when it comes to technology things change, or things I write were incorrectly transcribed, etc.

    However, I make every effort to ensure what I write is correct when published, and depend on careful readers like you to let me know when I am incorrect.

    No author, scientist, researcher is correct all of the time and all depend on a robust readership to give feedback.  There is one BIG area of research recently that wasn't doing this and it has created more problems than the poor research solved.

    Feedback from readers like you makes life better for all of us.

    And as to the reason that I write this blog is that I enjoy writing, and hope that you enjoy reading the blog.

    Thank you for your honest question Anonymous,


  3. cron22 says:

    That's awesome.  I don't use Macros, though boy, I really should.  I'm in college, and Word 2010's like the lifeblood of my school career.  Though I do have one thing I'd like to ask really quick.  To make a macro run, don't you have to save the file as a .docm?  Didn't Microsoft make that change in Office 2010 for macro recognition to stop macro Viruses in these newer versions?  

  4. Socal Sam says:


    A macro enabled template would be DOTM, a macro enabled document is DOCM

  5. cron22 says:

    Interesting.  I didn't know what the point of that was.  Because the only time I ever remember getting a macro-enabled file was when my professor accidently spread W97M/Marker in an assignment she sent us.  That file was a .doc (but it was set to compatibility mode since she doesn't have the latest version of office), so I never knew there was a macro there.  (in fact, I think I have Office 2010 macros set to not run since that's the default.)  But this sounds like a handy way to get things done.  I think I'll set one up for my headers and stuff for research papers since formatting's my nemesis right now.  That way, no more asking sighted people to check my formatting every time.  

  6. Surf4Fun says:


    As to your research papers did you know that Word 2010 supports LATEXT?

  7. Ann says:

    how do you say thank you to someone like you…ALL I KNOW TO DO IS TO SAY THANKS.  

  8. Wilma Pienaar says:

    Wow Sam…I tried to do what you said.  Take note I'm BBC! I had no luck – could not even find the normal1.doc to select. It only gives me Normal.dotm(global template) which i could get to change. Bur I'm in DESPERATE need of those macros!!

  9. Surf4Fun says:

    Wilma, I am checking the writing on this blog right now, check back for more data or for link to a blog that discusses the problems with this one.

    It was working when I posted.  But I do hate blogs that don't work, even if I wrote them.

    Apologies for the delay in dealing with this.

  10. Surf4Fun says:

    Hi Wilma,

    In the current way that the Office products, especially Word and Power Point are designed for security reasons, macros are only in a macro-enabled document, which has the extension docm, the 'm' indicates that the document is macro enabled.  The image I show here is not clear for your case and I will work up a blog and attempt to get it onto the blog by 11 AM PST.  

    Apologies for the poor experience.  I should have clarified the document that are macroenabled, etc.

  11. Surf4Fun says:

    Wilma, Open your Office XP or 2003 document in Office 20007 or 10, then save the document as a Macro enabled document.  Then try it again.

    If that doesn't work, EMAIL (and comment if you wish) this blog.  It will help with the conversation.

  12. How do you mean by "Change the name of the Office 2003 or XP to normal1.doc"?

    How do you mean by "Build Office 2010"?

    with "Open Office 2010", do I save the 2003 document as 2010 first?

    On the ribbon, select View, Macros, View Macro, select or click the Organize button, then the dialog box below will show up:

    Somehow Macro button under View was disabled when I open up the 2003 document in 2010, what happened?

    with "In the box on the left select normal1.doc, select the macros you need to move to the new normal", I couldn't see normal1.doc in the left box, what happened?

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