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Word slow to open: FIXED

  1. #1
    ululator's Avatar
    Join Date : Oct 2008
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    Word slow to open: FIXED

    I have MS Office 2003 & Vista Home Premium. A few weeks ago, Word suddenly became extremely sluggish: it would take more than 10 full seconds to open or close (very aggravating!)

    I hunted online for a solution & found several suggestions, ranging from checking for viruses to editing the Registry: I tried them all, with no improvement.

    I recall having seen other questions about the same problem, so I thought I’d share what finally worked for me.

    I renamed global template: from normal.dot to OldNormal.dot

    C > Users > user’s name > App Data > Roaming > Microsoft > Templates

    The global template had somehow gotten corrupted. By renaming it, Word had to automatically create a new (clean) global template the next time the program opened. The fix was instantaneous: Word opened properly as soon as I made the change.

    The old (corrupt) global template was relatively large: over 2,900kb.
    The new (clean) global template is only 35kb.

    Once Word had created new (clean) global template & I saw that it worked well, I deleted the old (corrupt) one I had renamed.

    Hope this can help someone!!


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  2. #2
    Imperfect1's Avatar
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    Re: Word slow to open: FIXED

    Thanks for posting this, ululator. Good tip, one that a user wouldn't normally think of.

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  3. #3


    Join Date : Mar 2011
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    Re: Word slow to open: FIXED

    Fantastic fix, brought much happiness to life in the UK.
    I have noticed that everytime I open a word document, the normal file increases in size so this is likely to be a slowly recurring problem.
    Is there a way to avoid the increasing size of "normal"?
    Thanks, Durge

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  4. #4
    Imperfect1's Avatar
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    Re: Word slow to open: FIXED

    I don't have the answer, but it seems to me that if you periodically (say, once or twice a year) use ululator's suggestion and just create a new global template, it really won't matter if the current one increases in size or not, because you'll be deleting it once you start using its replacement.

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  5. #5


    Join Date : Mar 2011
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    Re: Word slow to open: FIXED

    Re. Ululator's advice, after clicking on templates in the list of instructions beginning with C/Users how do you arrive at the global template and change normal.dot to old etc..? If I click on templates I just get a list of word docs ending in .tmp

    Last edited by zaniac625; 30 Mar 2011 at 08:48 AM. Reason: spelling
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  6. #6
    ululator's Avatar
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      Thread Starter

    Re: Word slow to open: FIXED

    Durge: I’m glad this helped. I certainly know just how very aggravating that lag time could be!

    I really don’t know whether the increased size of the corrupted file was in any way significant. I only mentioned it because the size difference between the corrupt file & the new global template was so noticeable.


    Zaniac: Microsoft makes it extremely difficult to locate/see hidden or system files in Vista – it’s hardly an intuitive or user-friendly system.

    Try this:
    Go into Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder Options
    Click the VIEW tab
    Under Files & Folders > Hidden Files & Folders, click SHOW HIDDEN FILES & FOLDERS

    Now try following the route I described in my original post:
    C > Users > user’s name > App Data > Roaming > Microsoft > Templates
    and you should be able to see the normal.dot file.

    ~ OR ~

    Go into Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder Options
    Click the VIEW tab
    Under Files & Folders > Hidden Files & Folders, click SHOW HIDDEN FILES & FOLDERS
    Then do a regular Explorer search for normal.dot using the search box in the upper right corner.
    This WON’T bring up the Global Template… But it WILL bring up an Advanced Search option.

    Click Advanced Search.
    This opens a panel at the top, offering several new search options.
    Click Include non-indexed, hidden, & system files.
    Click Search again.

    This time, the search should bring up the normal.dot file you need.
    Right-click on that file & select Open file location… and there you are!

    Let me know if this works for you.

    Last edited by ululator; 31 Mar 2011 at 02:06 PM. Reason: formatting
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  7. #7


    Join Date : Mar 2011
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    Re: Word slow to open: FIXED

    FIXED! Thank you Ululator for the trouble and promptness. However, the instructions for find normal.dot files didn't help. The only way I can locate the FOLDER OPTIONS is by going to CTRL -APPEARANCES & PERSONALIZATION. The hidden files facility is already ticked. Anyone else struggling with this might like to try another suggestion on the Forum of entering Search: %appdata%/Microsoft/Templates. I don't know if this shows the normal.dot files as I haven't tried it as I am now leaving well alone having solved my problem.

    My problem was solved by following Ululator's advise above, i.e. C/USERS etc.. I found at the bottom of the temporary tmp files an icon for the Word Program similar to the one on the Start Menu. I don't know how it arrived there but I deleted it and now Word opens and closes in a flash. Thanks for assistance.

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