Get Word 2007 to use draft mode as default

Get Word 2007 to use draft mode as default

In Office 2007, Word automatically defaults to full print preview mode, which is fine if you’re a design obsessive but a big waste of screen real estate if you just want to get some words written. Fortunately, you can make Word default to draft view, though it’s a very obscure option. (Proving the point: while Microsoft notes how to fix this in its online support site, somewhat remarkably this information isn’t included in Word 2007’s own online help.)
To make Draft the default view, select Word Options from the main Office menu (or just type Alt-T then O), and scroll down to the General section. Tick ‘Allow opening a document in Draft view’ (despite the confusing phrasing, this actually affects new documents as well). In my experience, you need to exit and relaunch Word to make the setting stick. To really maximise your available screen real estate, you can also minimise the Ribbon (an option under the nearly invisible ‘Customize Quick Access Toolbar’ downward arrow button to the right of the Office button).


  • I think you omitted a step between “select Word Options from the main Office menu” and “scroll down to the General section”. The missing step is “click the ‘Advanced’ button”.

  • why does Draft view have its left side blank, and you can’t write on it. Why on earth is this a better page to write on? Unless you change it, a size 14 font looks like an 8 or 9.

  • Answer to Saidra questions.

    2nd question: The cosmic rule for working in Word, especially in long documents, is “content first, format second”. The second cosmic rule is “do global things formatting first and then do local formatting”. Print Preview mode shows how the document will look when it comes out a a printer. When you first start, you often don’t need to think about that so seeing margins just waste space. This is especially true if you are not seeing the whole page.

    1st question. In the Draft View, the blank area to the left of the windows is the Style Area. You can resize the area by grabbing and moving the bar / border. This is especially useful as it lets you know the style applied to a given paragraph.

    3rd question. If you need to be able to see at a higher scale, simply change the Zoom percentage. In many / most cases, changing fonts (size) can have unanticipated formatting consequences. Unless a specific object (paragraph, word, line, etc.) needs a specific format change, it is far better to effect the change by using Styles.

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