Word Toolbars Disappear from HotDocs DOT Templates

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When the user edits a HotDocs .dot template, no HotDocs toolbars are displayed. Sometimes, the user sees the HotDocs toolbars displayed briefly when the template is opened, but then the toolbar disappear. Similar behavior occurs when a new HotDocs template is created.


A HotDocs .dot template should contain three HotDocs toolbars: HotDocs 2008 Edit, HotDocs 2008 Menu, and HotDocs 2008 Navigation. When a .DOT template is opened for editing from the HotDocs library, HotDocs runs a Word macro named HD6EditTemplate. This macro deletes any HotDocs toolbars older than the 2008 versions. Then the macro opens C:\Program Files\HotDocs 6\Hotdocs6.dot and attempts to copy the three HotDocs toolbars from Hotdocs6.dot into the template being edited. The brief display and disappearance of the toolbars occurs because older toolbars existing in the template are displayed and then deleted, but HotDocs is unable to copy the new toolbars into the template.

To correct the problem, try, in the order listed below, each of the following options. (If the first option does not work, try the second option, and so forth.)

  • After opening a HotDocs template for editing, right-click in the toolbar area. Check the list of toolbars to make sure the above-mentioned toolbars are in the list and that they are selected for display. If they are in the list but not selected, select them. This should correct the problem.
  • Check to make sure the Hotdocs6.dot file exists in C:\Program Files\HotDocs 6. If this file is missing, repair or reinstall HotDocs. This should correct the problem.
  • Locate and rename the Normal.dot template being used by word to a backup name (like Normal.bak) and then try editing a template again. If this corrects the problem, the Normal.dot file may be corrupt. If it does not correct the problem, rename Normal.bak to Normal.dot.
  • Attempt to open Hotdocs6.dot in Word by going to the file in Windows File Explorer, right-clicking the file, and choosing Open. If Hotdocs6.dot is corrupt or otherwise cannot be opened, delete it and repair or reinstall HotDocs. This should correct the problem. Note that Hotdocs6.dot is normally installed read-only, so this fact will not cause the symptoms described.
  • With Hotdocs6.dot open, right-click in the toolbar area and check the list of toolbars to make sure the three toolbars mentioned are included. If they are not, delete Hotdocs6.dot and repair or reinstall HotDocs. This should correct the problem.

If Hotdocs6.dot exists, is not corrupt, and contains the expected toolbars, the problem likely lies in Word itself. For some reason, Word is unwilling or unable to copy the toolbars from Hotdocs6.dot to your template. To check this:

  • Close Hotdocs6.dot, find any of your own HotDocs .DOT templates in Windows File Explorer, and open your template by right-clicking and choosing Open. Then go to Tools > Templates and Add-Ins > Organizer > Toolbars. If the HotDocs 2008 toolbars appear in your template (the list on the left), delete them. Now, close the list on the right (click the Close File button), and then browse to and open C:\Program Files\HotDocs 6\Hotdocs6.dot. Select any toolbar in the list on the right and click the Copy button. If the toolbar is copied over to the template on the left, then you have an as-yet unencountered problem and this article isn’t going to help solve it. You will need a consultant.
  • If the toolbar is not copied over, it means there is something in Word that is keeping toolbars from being copied, which is why the HD6EditTemplate macro can’t copy toolbars over. It’s possible that there is a company-level, group security policy that disallows this, but usually the problem is that something about Word is “broken.” To fix Word, try reinstalling it or repairing the installation. One simple (but dangerous, if you’re not experienced) way to force a quick, quasi-repair is to close all copies of Word, choose Start > Run, type regedit in the box, and press Enter. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Office > 11.0 > Word. Right-click the Word folder, choose Rename, and rename the folder to Word Saved. Then, open Word. It should go through a short installation/configuration process. Doing this will create a new Word registry key in place of the one you renamed. Now, close Word, delete the new Word key from the registry, and then rename Word Saved back to Word so you get your personal settings back. In our testing, this has corrected the disappearing toolbar problem.