Fixing Typing Lag in Microsoft Word 2013

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Joseph Hornsey
I built my first network in 1994 using PowerLAN.  From there I messed around with NetWare and then moved to Windows NT and Cisco.
Using Word 2013, I was experiencing some incredible lag when typing.  Here's what worked for me....
Generally speaking, I think Microsoft Office is a solid suite of applications.  However, I found myself pulling my hair out because of some serious lag when typing.
This was  the basic symptom:
When I typed something in a Word document - whether it's a blank document, a document created from a template, or an existing document - I experienced incredible lag.  It would take a while for the characters to appear in the document.  Sometimes 2-3 seconds, other times as much as 45 seconds or more.
Of course, this happened right in the middle of a huge project with very, very tight deadlines.  And, of course, I was already running behind.
My first thought was I had a virus of some sort.  So, I did deep scan, and nothing was found.  I ran a repair through Control Panel > Programs and that didn't help.  It felt like the CPU was pegged, but it wasn't... although Word was using more than its fair share of CPU time.  I closed all other programs and that didn't help.  I was getting pretty frustrated.
I finally figured out the problem, and it had to do with my video cards.  Apparently, Word didn't like the fact the video cards were trying to handle the graphics.    Considering I have two heavy-hitting NVIDIA cards with SLI, I was a little surprised.

1. In Word 2013, go to "File" and "Options"


2. Click on "Advanced" and scroll down to find the "Display" settings.

Advanced Display

3. Find the "Disable hardware graphics acceleration" setting.

Here's where it gets a little wonky.  One would think checking this box would be a bad thing as it would slow down your graphics rendering and cause the lag.  That very well could be the case.

Or, it might be that Word doesn't like your video card and so this box needs to be checked.  Basically, if it's checked, remove the check from the box.  If it's not checked, then put a check in the box.  Either way, it should fix your problem.

In my particular case, I had to disable acceleration, so I put a check in the box.

I hope this helps you out!  If you find that this article has helpful, please click the blue and white ‘Good Article?’ button below.
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