Noticeable Delays when Switching Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2013)

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

Creating Add-Ins

Want to create your own add-in? Excel makes it easy to do. Here are all the steps you need.

Discover More

Resetting a Function Key

Function keys are often used, in Word, for common operations. You can, if desired, change the way in which a function key ...

Discover More

Removing Cells from a Selected Range

Select a large range of cells and you may later want to remove a few cells from that selection. This is not as easy as ...

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)

Creating Multiple Blank Documents in One Step

Word makes it easy to create a new, blank document. What if you want to create more than one document at a time, however? ...

Discover More

Turning Off HTML Conversions

Don't want Word to load up your HTML documents as formatted text? There are a couple of ways you can instruct Word to be ...

Discover More

Importing a Text File and Inserting after a Bookmark

Word macros are a great way to automate some of the ways in which you create documents. If you have a need to insert the ...

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 five less than 7?

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.