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  1. #1
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    Word 2003 Opens Sloooow

    I'm still using Word 2003 and don't plan to upgrade anytime soon. My problem is that it takes at least 15 seconds to open the program and the same to close it. I have all the security updates and the Word Compatibility patch installed. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Please give us more information about your PC. Hardware specifications, operating system, what other programs you have running at the same time, etc.

    Joe

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    Check your Normal.dot template. If it is large or complex, exit Word and rename it. Then restart Word to see if it improves the start-up time. If Word doesn't find a Normal.dot, it creates a new one with just the minimal "factory" settings.

    If this speeds up your stating time, use the Organizer (Format > Templates and Add-ins, Organizer button) to copy things you need to retain from the renamed old Normal template to the newly-created default template (i.e. styles, macros, etc.). Over time, the default template often gets cluttered up with stuff, so doing this fairly regularly can often help.

    Since you can have many different templates, consider keeping related content in different ones and just attaching them when needed.

    Oh yes, and if you don't see an appreciable difference in the start-up time, just reverse the renaming of the Normal.dot template to restore it.

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    Charles Kenyon (2013-09-30)

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    Thanks for the input. My Normal.dot template was over 1.4 MB. I renamed it and let Word create a new one, and now it opens in an instant.

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    Some add-ins, notably the Microsoft redaction tool, (re)attach themselves to the normal template every time Word starts; each time the normal template grows in size. In addition to the normal template becoming bloated over time with the addition of styles, auto-text, etc., add-ins can be responsible as well.

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilsons View Post
    Thanks for the input. My Normal.dot template was over 1.4 MB. I renamed it and let Word create a new one, and now it opens in an instant.
    As Eric pointed out, you can use the Organizer to copy customizations from your old normal.dot file to the new one.
    To get to the Organizer dialog:
    Tools > Templates and Add-Ins > Organizer (button at the bottom)

    Copying these should not result in bloat. If it does, copy less until you find out what is causing the bloat.

    Templates in Microsoft Word
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Glad it helped wilsons...

    Over the years I've accumulated a pretty large collection of helpful chunks of VBA code (and even still retain some useful WordBasic macros). If they were all contained within my Normal template it would be completely unmanageable. Instead, I have a number of specific templates set up solely to hold related code. My "EditTools" template has routines to assist in editing stages -- fix common typos, correct common numbering problems, ensure specific spelling preferences, etc.; code in my "LayoutTools" template helps with such tasks as converting footnotes to text, ensuring consistent page and table presentation within a document; a "ProofingTools" template contains routines I use to relate citations to a reference listing, flag acronyms, manage bibliographies, etc.; and, inevitably, a "CoolCode" template exists as a catch-all for interesting routines I run across.

    If you use this strategy, you can just attach a given template when you need it to get access to the related tools. The document's main underlying template can be kept small -- focusing on managing styles, and need not contain any VBA code.

    And BTW, Charles Kenyon's link (above) is an excellent resource for how to make effective use of one of Word's least-understood and possibly most-useful features.

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    What Eric is referring to is what are called Global Templates. These are resource holders, not document templates. They can be automatically loaded when you start Word or can be loaded as needed using the Templates and Add-Ins dialog. In my Word 2003 I usually have 17 of my Add-Ins load at startup. That takes a while to start, though. When I want a quick start, I access my Word Startup Folder and move these to a separate folder for that session before starting Word. This reduction strategy is only useful because I have very quick access to that folder from my Start menu.

    Each of these global templates or Add-Ins has a different function, mostly toolbars, macros, and AutoText. Having them in separate files lets me easily share customizations with others. You NEVER want to share normal.dot.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    EricFletcher (2013-10-02)

  11. #9
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    That's a useful clarification Charles. And for people using Word 2010+, the Templates and Add-Ins dialog is no longer easily accessible, so you'll need to modify the QAT to add it or—my preferred method—activate the "Developer" ribbon to get at it. This latter method provides access to a number of other useful features too. (Right-click in the ribbon area and choose "Customize the ribbon", then on the right box, choose Main Tabs and turn on the Developer tab.)

    Further to Charles' warning not to share the Normal template, I recommend never using the Normal template for managing document styles (except maybe for very simple one-off short documents). The Normal template can too easily—and often unintentionally—be modified at any time, and as discussed here, completely rebuilt.

    Instead, create a custom template and attach it (or start new documents from it) so you have full control over the formatting. A custom template can be deployed to other people who need to have consistent formatting.

    You can also maintain different versions of a custom template so that the styles can be automatically applied for a different purpose. For example, I have two template for training manuals: the instructor template prints the full text with the instructor notes; the student version sets the style-managed instructor notes as invisible text so they won't print or be included in the pagination. The same document contains all content so it is not necessary to maintain two versions for editing. I only need to attach the different template for the purpose needed.

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