Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Files Opening Slowly If Many Files Exist.

Files Opening Slowly If Many Files Exist

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 14, 2012)

1

Lew has some directories that have a lot of document files in them. When he opens a document from that long list of files, Word seems to take a long time to actually do the opening. He wonders if this is a problem with Word or a problem with Windows.

If all you want to do is discover whether the problem is related to Word or Windows, there is an easy way to figure it out: Copy one of the files to its own directory. Grab a watch with a second hand and time how long it takes to open the copy in its own directory. Then, time how long it takes to open the original file in the directory with all the other files.

If it takes just as long to open both files, the problem is most likely with Word. If the file copy opens quicker than the original one, then the problem is most likely with Windows.

If you determine that the problem is with Word, then chances are good that the problem is related to either the size and complexity of the documents you are opening or the document (if the problem only happens with one of two of them) may be on the verge of corruption. The only thing you can do if the issue is size and complexity is to simplify the document, perhaps by breaking it into multiple documents instead of one large document. If you suspect the document is flirting with corruption, you can search through the WordTips website to figure out how to deal with document corruption.

If you suspect the problem is with Windows, then you should reduce the number of files in the original directory. Check to make sure that the directory with all your documents doesn't have any non-document files in it. Get rid of any temporary files and move any backup files to a different directory. You may also want to restructure your directory into multiple directories. It is also a good idea to defragment your hard drive; the slowness could be related to a severely fragmented disk.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11590) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Files Opening Slowly If Many Files Exist.

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

Converting a Table into Text

Word includes a power table editor that allows you to create and work with tables easily. At some point, however, you might ...

Discover More

Using a Custom Format to Add Dashes

Want some dashes automatically added in values you display in a cell? It may be trickier to develop a custom format than you ...

Discover More

Viewing Comments From a Specific Reviewer

If you have multiple editors (or authors) working on the same document, and each of them is adding comments, you may want to ...

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)

Dates Updating when Converting

Word allows you to convert documents from WordPerfect format to Word. In doing so, you may notice that some dates in the ...

Discover More

Error Generated if Files Opened in Word Session

Greg has a problem with Word 2002 crashing, depending on how he opens files. This seems to be a problem that Microsoft knows ...

Discover More

Deleting the Open Document File

Want to delete the document you are currently viewing? Word doesn't provide a way to do it, but you can use the macro in this ...

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 two minus 2?

2012-04-15 17:52:20

Jill Sharkey

If the problem is with Word, then it may be because it has a template associated with it that has been deleted or moved.
Open Templates and Add Ins and delete the name of the template. Select OK. The document will now be attached to Normal.dot and will open as fast as any other document.


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.