Noticeable Delays when Switching Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2013)

Steven wrote about a problem he is having with Word. It seems that whenever he switches from one document to another, the actual switch takes much longer than it used to. It doesn't matter what size the document is, it takes several seconds to actually make the switch.

There are many things that could be causing the problem, and this tip will focus on a few things that you can try. (There are also many general speed-up tips you can follow, as discussed in other issues of WordTips. Because they are general, and this is a specific problem—document switching—the general ideas are not covered here but can be tried if the specific ideas don't pan out.)

The first thing to check is your anti-virus software. Some programs check Word documents for viruses before allowing you to see them. If you practice "safe document sharing" for your PC, you can disable or uninstall the virus-protection feature that checks documents. (You should leave the rest of your virus checking in place so you don't compromise security.)

Next, start Word using the /a switch on the command line. Doing so starts the program without any add-ins loaded. If this fixes the problem, you can then tell it was because of a Word add-in, and you can delete or modify the add-in.

It is also possible that a slowdown is due to some other program running on your system, and that program is hogging resources needed by Word. Try shutting down all your other programs, or open the Task Manager and examine (on the Processes tab) what programs are hogging your resources.

Another thing to try is to clear out both the temp folder used by Windows (normally called C:\Documents and Settings\[userid]\Local Settings\Temp) and the folder in which the documents are located. If the folders are cluttered with many files, then it can take longer to do the file manipulations that inherent in switching from one document to another.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3826) 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

Speeding Up Printing

Changing a couple of the print settings in Excel can speed up the printing of your worksheets. This tip examines those ...

Discover More

Read-Only Embedded Fonts

If you receive a document from somebody else, you might not be able to edit it if the document contains fonts that you don't ...

Discover More

Turning Off Document Protection

If you protect your document using the tools that Word provides, at some time you may need to turn off that protection. ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Saving and Closing All Open Documents

Want to close or save all your documents at the same time? This trick does it for you.

Discover More

Merging to Individual Files

The mail-merge feature in Word is a fast, easy way to create form letters addressed to many different people. Sometimes, ...

Discover More

The Case of the Disappearing MRU File List

If the MRU list has disappeared, follow this tip to reactivate the list in Word.

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 for this tip:

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 9 + 8?

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


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.

Links and Sharing
Share