Word 2003 tool bar icons take too long to appear everytime screen focus moved away from Word

My o/s is XP 64bit. I had a problem with Word 2003 which suddenly started not to keep personalised settings in Options - such as insert images should be 'behind text'; recently used file list always reverts to 4, etc. Other settings would retain. I am sure this started after a MSoft update - I always take updates.

A reliable advice service said to delete Normal.dot and let Word re-create. After deleting Normal.dot which Word re-created in the correct place, now everytime I start Word, it takes Word 5 secs to display the toolbars at top - it first shows default bars, they disappear and secs later my customised ones appear. Whenever I change screen focus from Word to another programme or Desktop, Word stalls for 3 or 4 secs before starting again. I frequently switch focus to take content from elswhere to the Word doc, using it now is almost impossible. It is the same whether I have 10 programmes open at same time, or just Word alone.

Word access used to be instant. I have a reasonably powerful PC with dual core AMD Athlon 2.4 CPU, 6Mb Ram, my o/s and Office progs are on a physically separate drive; and data is on a pair of RAID drives, at least 60% spare capacity on both; paging is set at let system manage; graphics is by NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT with 512 Mb RAM, so, its not a graphics issue. I built my own machine (focus on video processing) which has worked reliably for 2 years.

I tried deleting all of Offie 2003 except Outlook and re-installing, that had no beneficial effect. I tried  MS Tech advice for Word always reverting to default settings, to modify registry (took backup first) but problem remains the same.

I can put up with always reverting to default settings, but, the constant delay in Word starting after change of screen focus is unbearable with the amount of work I do on Word. It seems as if there is a conflict in the registry settings and Word config data in them. I don't know enough on Word settings there, but, am skilled anough to make guided changes to Registry which auto backed up every 3 days. I have always used a reliable 64bit Registry optimiser which runs every 3 days.  Please can you help :)
Regards Jonathan
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By design, the Word settings are kept for one installation to another and they can become corrupt, so re-installing won't clear the problem.

Try the troubleshooting steps in this Microsoft article:

nextensoAuthor Commented:
Hi thanks for this link,, very useful. Slight problem, I have gone through the Normal and Global template re-create without resolving the issue, but, when I come to the instruction for disabling the StartUp folder, which may contain my problem, XP64 has a slightly different file structure. The instruction is to run ......
%programfiles%\Microsoft\Office\Office11\Startup\ ..... I have tried replacing ProgramFiles with ProgramFiles86, and renaming Microsoft\Offiice with MicrosoftOffice as I can see when looking at the location in a File Explorer.

However, this produces the error 'Windows can not find ....check your address' Using File Explorer, I can not see any data whatsover in that Startup folder which could be why Word is spending time looking each time. Or is it that maybe in XP64, that Folder content is held elsewhere. I have my folder view set to see all hidden and system files. But, surely when I re-installed Word, and check for errors. missing data there would have been re-built.

What should be in that Word Startup folder ??  Any ideas ....please ?

Regards Jonathan
I have look at that, and it seems to be plain wrong. The Word startup folder in in the user profile. On my Win7/64 it is here.

C:\Users\*User Name*\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

There is a good chance that it is empty. It is where additional Global templates are put, so that their macros and toolbars are available for use when the Word application starts.

Incidentally, I have recommended that link many times, and no-one else has commented about the startup path.
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nextensoAuthor Commented:
Hi, the file structure you describe is as it is in Vista o/s versions and Win7. The XPx64 o/s uses a similar file structure to XP Pro with a few differences, such as the main Progam File folder is called 'Program Files [x86]' and is additional to a folder called 'Program Files' which contains program utilities such as SQL Server and base files for other programs. Certain other files are kept in differently named folders to those in XP Pro.

If Startup folder for Word is only for add-ins, and I have none, then that is why my folder is empty. I checked the COM ADDINS folder, I have only 1 extra one which has always been there, removing it has not improved the base problem. Other than that addin (Omnipage), my Word ADDIN folder has 14 files which I assume are normal ones and are Word system files.

So, I am still stuck with my impossibly frustrating delay before Word activates after any move of screen focus from Word. Any more thoughts ... pleeease ??? Rgds Jonathan
Is there any noticeable difference depending on whether the you are connected to the Internet and/or an internal network?
nextensoAuthor Commented:
Hi, I typed a reply last night, clicked send and the site closed saying it was being revised, so, I post the reply again now.

In answer to your q, I tried both without Internet and local network, no difference to the problem at all.

To clarify what happens. If I open Word, doc 1 appears almost instantly as normal, the top toolbars briefly appear and go leaving 3 blank rows, after about 3 or 4 secs, the tool bars appear and I can use the doc.

If with blank doc1 displayed I then click File, there is a 3 sec saltcellar delay with File highlighted, that ends with no result and I then have to click File again and the drop down instantly appears (but if there is no blank or other doc displayed the dropdown instantly appears on first click)

If in the File dropdown I then select a previous doc from the list, the doc instantly appears and the toolbars display all greyed out, saltcellar displays for about 3 or 4 secs, then the greyed toolbars dissappear leaving the 3 blank rows and after about 3 or 4 secs the toolbars re-appear and I can use the doc. Normally, docs would just open and be useable instantly.

If I click top right 'X' to close the doc, the 'X' highlights with the saltcellar for about 3 secs and ends with no result. I can then click 'X' again which instantly closes the doc. If I wait 20 secs or more after the 'X' highlight ends and then click 'X' it goes through the same process of highlight for 3 secs then I click 'X' again, it instantly closes the doc.

It is as if some conflict or wrongly located file is causing Word to search for compnents to load with the doc, or close down when ending a doc.

Hopefully this helps find a cure. All this suddenly started, as first noted, when I deleted Normal to make Word re-create it as a suggested solution for Word reverting to default settings and ignoring some but not all of my customised options.
To be sure there is no other addin present, try running AddInSpy.exe: http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/AddInSpy/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=1584

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nextensoAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jmdion, I have installed and will run and report back later today.

Rgds Jonathan
nextensoAuthor Commented:
Hi Jmdion,  many thanks for suggesting AddInSpy tool, it showed there were still some resident files hooked into Word after I took a trial of ExpertPDF and then deleted it using Windows File Remover.

I usually use RevoUninstaller which backtracks all registry entries and leftovers after an uninstall, forgot to use it for ExpertPDF. I ran it again using  the file name search function it has and it removed many hooks the program had to others including Word. Now Word works quickly as it did before.

Brilliant, many thanks : )))))) Rgds Jonathan
nextensoAuthor Commented:
This is my first time of awarding points, so, aplogies to the first experts if I should have distributed points.
To be fair to those other experts who proposed solutions that eliminated what was not the solution, Jmdion was able focus on a  deeperer look for a solution after I had given a more detailed description of how the problem presented itself.
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