Freezing Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2011)

Some readers have complained of Word freezing or hanging when displaying a dialog box. Word works very closely with the operational environment provided by Windows, so if something is not set correctly in the Windows environment, it will affect the way in which Word functions. If Word is hanging when displaying a dialog box, then chances are good that there is a problem with one or more components that are related to the purpose of the dialog box. For instance, if Word hangs when displaying a dialog box related to the printer or fonts, then the problem may well be with the printer drivers installed in Windows.

The two most common devices which need to be checked are the video and printer drivers. To verify if you have a problem with the video driver, and you are using Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0, reboot and start Windows in Safe Mode. Then start Word to see if the problem has gone away. If the problem is gone, then it is your video driver. This is because in Safe Mode, Windows loads a plain-vanilla video driver that functions as the lowest common denominator.

If you determine the problem to be video related, then check to make sure you have the latest video driver. You can typically determine this by checking the card manufacturer's Web site. If you are using the latest driver, then check to make sure you are using a video resolution or color setting that will work with your system. You can determine this by simply setting these to lower settings and trying to recreate the problem. You can also try to set the refresh rate to a lower setting, as this can affect the display of information on your monitor.

The other potential problem is your printer driver. If you think this could be the problem, then make sure the generic text driver is installed as a printer on your system, and then choose it as the printer you want to use. If the Word problem goes away, then you should check to make sure you have the latest and greatest printer driver for your normal printer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1270) applies to Microsoft Word 97.

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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