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

Making Pictures Show in Word

What are you to do if you can't see all the pictures you know are in your document? The answer may lie in where those ...

Discover More

Combinations for Members in Meetings

Got a large group of people listed in a worksheet and you want to make sure that each person has met with every other person ...

Discover More

Using Check Boxes

Check boxes, just like those used in Windows dialog boxes, can be a great addition to a worksheet. Here's how to add them and ...

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)

Floating Menus

Some of the secondary menus used in Word can be made into floating toolbars, if you know the trick. It's not that hard; just ...

Discover More

Changing the Context (Shortcut) Menus

A shortcut menu is a great way to quickly access the commands you regularly use. If you want to modify how Context menus are ...

Discover More

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
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 four 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.