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Microsoft KB Archive/171406

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Article ID: 171406

Article Last Modified on 7/18/2003


  • Microsoft Word 97 Service Pack 1

This article was previously published under Q171406

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


Microsoft Word 97 SR-1 allows you to use drive letter mappings and disable Universal Naming Convention (UNC) by using the DontUseUNC registry switch.

There are many situations in which a network administrator may prefer to have Word use a mapped drive letter rather than the UNC file location. For example, Word returns a UNC file location similar to the following:


However, when you use the DontUseUNC registry switch, Word returns a drive mapping similar to the following:


NOTE: The DontUseUNC switch does not work with earlier versions of Word. It only works with Microsoft Word 97 Service Release 1 or later. The switch also does not affect the Link field, the path to an attached Template, or the Visual Basic Editor, which is a separate program. In the Visual Basic Editor, if a reference is made to a template on a mapped network drive through the References command on the Tools menu, it stores the path with the UNC information rather than with a mapped drive letter.


By design, when you save a document or change a setting to a location specified with a drive letter, Microsoft Word converts the setting from a location containing a logical drive letter to a UNC location. When you use the DontUseUNC registry switch, the following new created/attached paths contain the logical drive letter instead of using the UNC path:

  • The FileName field when the \p switch is used.
  • The IncludePicture field.

To add the DontUseUNC registry switch, use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Change the Registry

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

IMPORTANT: Quit all instances of Word, including WordMail, before you follow these steps.

To change the DontUseUNC registry setting, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate the following registry key:


  4. Double-click the Options key.

    If an entry exists in the right pane named DontUseUNC, skip to step 7.

    NOTE: Use steps 5 through 6 only when you are adding the DontUseUNC option to the registry.
  5. With the Options key selected, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value. This inserts a new option named New Value #1.
  6. In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, do either of the following:
    • If New Value #1 is selected:
      1. Press DELETE on the keyboard to delete the option name New Value #1.
      2. Type DontUseUNC, and then press ENTER.

        This renames the new option to the correct DontUseUNC name.


    • If New Value #1 is not selected:
      1. Click to select New Value #1.
      2. On the Edit menu, click Rename.
      3. Type DontUseUNC, and then press ENTER. This renames the new option to the correct DontUseUNC name.
  7. With DontUseUNC selected, click Modify on the Edit menu.
  8. In the Value Data box, type 1.

    This setting disables the use of UNC and forces Word to use a logical drive letter.

    NOTE: Setting Value Data to 0 or deleting the DontUseUNC key resets Word to the default and allows it to resolve file locations using UNC.

Method 2: Use the RegOptions Macro

The RegOptions macro is part of the template that ships with Word 97 SR-1 Enterprise Update. If you used the SR-1 Patch to update Word, you must obtain the template separately.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

172492 WD: Templates and Wizards Not Included with SR-1 Patch

To use the RegOptions macro, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Templates And Add-ins.
  2. Click Add. Select the following folder:

    Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Macros

  3. Select the Support8 template ( Click OK twice.
  4. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros.
  5. Click to select the RegOptions macro, and then click Run.
  6. Click the Word 8.0 Options tab. Click to select DontUseUNC. In the Setting box, type 1. Click OK.
  7. Quit and restart Word.

When you reset Word to use UNC by changing the DontUseUNC value from 1 to 0, quit all programs, restart Microsoft Windows, and then restart Word.

For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

145091 WD: Can't Use NoLongNetNames with Word Versions Later Than 6.0

138418 WD: Can't Use UNC Drive for Document Path on Some Networks

136393 How to Modify the Windows Registry

Additional query words: sr1 release1 8.0 8.00

Keywords: kbhowto kbnetwork kbfaq KB171406