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. ...

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