Delay in Dialog Box Appearing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2014)

Rebecca noted that the first time she tries to use a function such as Find/Replace in a document, there is a several-second delay (the hourglass appears for 15+ seconds) before the Find and Replace dialog box appears. After the first time, there is no delay at all. This is a relatively new occurrence, as she never noticed this delay beyond the past couple of months.

In all likelihood, the problem is being caused by Windows and not by Word. There are a couple of things with Windows that could be causing the problem, and most of them have to do with your hard drive.

Why your hard drive? Because Windows relies on it quite a bit. If you don't have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of memory in your computer, then Windows needs to periodically swap information between memory and the hard drive. This swapping can take time. If your hard drive is having problems of any type that would result in a slow transfer of information, then it will slow down the programs you are using in Windows.

Part of the solution to the problem may be as simple as running a defragmenter to optimize the way information is stored on your hard drive. You can search for information in Windows' Help system on defragmenting hard drives, or you can do a search on the Internet for information. (It is not hard to do, but does take some time.)

If you are running a lot of programs at the same time on your system (i.e., you have a lot of tasks visible in the Taskbar area), then you might try closing a few of those programs to see if Word operates at a bit more perky level. Lots of open programs will use a lot of resources, and therefore those resources won't be available to Word when it needs them.

If these things don't significantly speed up your use of Word (so you don't see the delays in the dialog boxes appearing), then it could be that you have some other unseen problem with your system. For instance, it could be that you have some sort of malware infestation on your system. Many of these types of programs will "eat up" system resources, making your other programs appear slower. You can find out by getting a good anti-virus program and running it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (584) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inserting the Template Name in Your Document

Templates are a powerful part of the Word experience, as they allow you to create and format documents based on patterns. ...

Discover More

Adding a Missing Closing Bracket

When working with large amounts of data, it is a good idea to make sure that the data all consistently follows a pattern. ...

Discover More

Setting Web Fonts

Is your worksheet information destined for a Web page? Here's how you can specify the fonts that should be used when Excel ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Horizontally Viewing All Your Text

If you are viewing a document and your text runs off the right side of the document window, it can be a real bother to scroll ...

Discover More

Can't Split the Document View

Word allows you to split the screen so that you can view two different parts of the same document. This can come in very ...

Discover More

Automatically Updating Fields and Links

You can update fields and links automatically when you print your document, but what if you want them updated when you open ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.