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

Slow Excel Response Times

Many people use Excel on a notebook computer, so they can do work at the office and elsewhere. In some situations, Excel may ...

Discover More

Saving Custom Formats

While the implementation of custom formats in Excel is not terribly robust, you can still achieve some amazing results with ...

Discover More

Self-Deleting Macros

Macros are very powerful, but you may not want them to always be available to a user. Here are some ways you can limit their ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Inserting a File Name without an Extension

Sometimes you might like to insert a file name into your document without including the file extension. The FILENAME field ...

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 to a ...

Discover More

Printing Documents in a Folder

If you want to print a group of documents at the same time there are a couple of ways you can accomplish the task. Here are ...

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. 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 three more than 8?

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.