How to Change the Default Open View in Microsoft Word

By Allen Bethea

Although Microsoft Word has several different ways you can view or edit your documents, the Print Layout view is the default. If you want to make quick edits using the Draft view, however, you have to change views manually every time you open your documents. Although there are no application options to change your default view, you can use VBA or Visual Basic for Applications macros to force Word to open documents in the view you prefer.

Step 1

Open a new document using the "Blank document" template.

Step 2

Click "Views" and then "Macros" to open the Macros dialog box.

Step 3

Type "AutoOpen" in the "Macro name" input box and then click "Create."

Step 4

Add the VBA code to open previously saved documents in Draft view, to the boilerplate code Word automatically inserts. Your code will resemble the following:Sub AutoOpen()'' AutoOpen Macros''ActiveWindow.View.Draft=TrueEnd Sub

Step 5

Type the VBA code that will display new documents in Draft view on a blank line below the "End Sub." If you leave out VBA comments, your AutoNew macro should look like the code below: Sub AutoNew()ActiveWindow.View.Draft=TrueEnd Sub

Step 6

Close the "Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications" window and return to your document.

Step 7

Close all documents and then create a new document using the "Blank document" template. The new document will automatically open in Draft view.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you share Word files with others, avoid unnecessary confusion or alarm by informing them about the presence and purpose of the macros your documents contain. For example, if the person you email your document to has configured his copy of Word to disable all macros, not only will your document open to the default Print Layout view, it may trigger a security alert. If the recipient knows about your macro in advance, he can instruct Word to go ahead and run it.
  • Information in this article applies to Word 2013. Procedures may vary with other versions of Word.