Noticeable Delays when Switching Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 28, 2018)

1

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

Printing Personalized Copies of a Document

Need to have a series of documents customized for individual users? Mail merge may be overkill, but the macro presented ...

Discover More

Starting a New Section on an Odd Page Number

A common pagination convention used in publishing is for new chapters (and sometimes new sections) to start on an ...

Discover More

Changing Excel's Starting Date

When keeping track of dates, internally, Excel uses special date serial numbers that are based upon a specific day in the ...

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)

Opening Only a Merge Document

After merging the information from a data source into a document, you may decide that you only want to open the merge ...

Discover More

Open Documents Suddenly Become Read-Only

If a Word document is marked as "read only," that means that you cannot save updates to the document; they must be saved ...

Discover More

Full Path Names in Word

An easy way to display the document's full path name in the title bar.

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 two more than 2?

2017-11-29 15:24:04

Vaughn Nystrom

Thanks, Allen! Your tip was spot on. I disabled a few add-in's and we're back up to speed. Really appreciate it.


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.