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Chapter 2. How Word Works > Word's Global Architecture - Pg. 24

Word's Global Architecture When using Word, you are looking at the program through several layers, the current document being closest to you. All of these layers combine to form Word's global layer, the overall interface that is built and presented each time Word starts and a document is created (or opened). Basically, the global layer is built like this: 1. When Word first starts, it begins to build the interface based on the built-in application layer. The basic Word interface and all of the menus, toolbars and commands are programmatically loaded on the screen based on settings in the program files and the Windows Registry. 2. Word then finds the template and adds it into the interface. Any custom commands, toolbars, and options override those in the application layer. 3. Word then looks at files in \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Startup (the default location -- change it using Tools Options User Location). It first loads any .dot (template) files in alphabetical order and then any .dll and COM add-in files, also in alphabetical order. Any customizations in these files over- ride those built so far. For example, if a file named and a file named both exist in the startup folder,'s customizations are loaded and then's customizations are loaded, overriding's. 4. Once these three steps are complete, Word has officially loaded, assuming Word starts without opening a document at the same time. At this point, ad- ditional templates and add-ins can be manually loaded using Tools Templates