Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Speeding Up Document Display.

Speeding Up Document Display

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 25, 2014)

If you routinely work with large, complex documents, and they are a bit sluggish in displaying on the screen, you may be interested in speeding up your display a bit. One way to do this is to use what Word refers to as Draft Fonts. With this option turned on, Word displays text using a single, bold typeface. It also suspends many other features, such as the displaying of graphics and typographic dingbats. (Dingbats are used to display things such as bullets and special characters.)

The Draft Fonts option affects only the display of your document; you can just as easily turn it off if you need to. To turn on the Draft Fonts option, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are viewing your document in either Normal or Outline view.
  2. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Draft Font check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK.

You should also consider choosing the Picture Placeholders check box (in the Show portion of the Options dialog box). This causes the graphics in your document to be replaced, on-screen, with a placeholder that is much faster to display than the actual graphic.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (651) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Speeding Up Document Display.

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. ...

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