How to Change the Default Open View in Microsoft Word

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.

Couple in home office with computer and paperwork
Word's Print Layout view shows the way your document should look when printed.
credit: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images

Step

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

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

Step

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

Step

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:

Step

Sub AutoOpen() ' ' AutoOpen Macros ' ' ActiveWindow.View.Draft=True

Step

End Sub

Step

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:

Step

Sub AutoNew() ActiveWindow.View.Draft=True End Sub

Step

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

Step

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