Problem with Menus Crashing Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 19, 2015)

I use Word 2003 on one of my machines, and recently it began acting strange. Shortly after allowing Microsoft to install the latest updates on the system, I noticed that the menu no longer worked properly. When I would click the Tools menu, it would not appear and Word would crash. (Other menus worked fine; it was just the Tools menu.) I also noticed that some of my add-ins had been automatically disabled by Word and were no longer available within the program. If I told Word to enable the add-ins, Word would again crash.

I ran the repair feature in Word, but to no avail—the problems were still there. (Word reported it could find no problems.) Thinking it was the add-ins, I reinstalled them, but to no avail. I then uninstalled Office, cleaned out all the Registry entries I could find, and reinstalled, but to no avail. No matter what I did, the problem still existed, the Tools menu was inaccessible, and Word would crash.

Finally I tried something I should have tried earlier—knowing that the problem was apparently with the menus and that menus were maintained in templates, I renamed my Normal.dot file (outside of Word) and restarted the program. All of a sudden everything was back to normal with both Word and the add-ins; they all worked as they should.

Apparently the problem was with a corrupt Normal.dot template. So, through first-hand experience, I learned that if there is something strange going on with your user interface (menus, toolbars, etc.), one of the first things you should check is whether your Normal.dot template is corrupt or not. It is simple to do (just rename the template, as I did), and it gives you immediate results.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3816) 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

Turning Off Background Repagination

When you use Word, it normally performs several tasks in the background, while you are typing. One of those tasks is to ...

Discover More

Returning to Your Document after Adding an Endnote

Endnotes are a required element in some types of writing. When you add an endnote, Word moves you to the end of your ...

Discover More

Noting Table Rows Containing a Character

If you want to have Word highlight rows in a table that contain a certain character, you need to resort to using a macro. ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Deleting Menu Items

Want to get rid of some menu options so that they can't be selected? It's easy to do when customizing Word by using these ...

Discover More

Animated Menus

Want to get a bit fancy with how the Word interface behaves? You can configure Word so that its menus don't just appear, ...

Discover More

Keeping Full Menus Displayed

Word allows menus to be displayed in two modes. The default mode, which displays menu options dynamically, drives some ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 seven less than 9?

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.