MS Office 2010 graphic glitch/flickering?

Posted on 2011-05-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

Might as well cut to the chase - I'm having a strange issue with someone's PC (running Windows 7) at work. He noticed it begin today and it's pretty irritating - when using Excel 2010, everything appears to be fine until he goes to print. One or two of the print options will then begin flickering/rapidly disappearing and reappearing repeatedly. It doesn't stop and it seems to spread to the rest of the program after you encounter it.

If you go back to the spreadsheet after this, you will see the columns and rows doing sort of the same flickering, as well as the box on the currently selected cell. A similar issue exists when dropping down the menu for available fonts - as you scroll through the different fonts you will notice the cells sort of shifting (resizing ever so slightly) and just doing that extremely annoying flicker.

MS Word is another beast altogether. When you start it up, the mouse icon immediately begins glitching out. It cycles (rather rapidly) through the regular arrow, the arrow with the loading circle, and the typical icon used where you can click to begin inserting text. The print menu in word does not act the same as excel, but the mouse continues to do this throughout every menu.

Publisher appears to be completely fine, while powerpoint freezes as soon as it is launched and never works.

Any ideas on what could cause this? I ran some Windows updates (excluding Win7 sp1 so far - not sure if maybe this will help?). I ran a repair of office 2010, but I'm just wondering if maybe someone has experienced this before. It's kind of hard to search for when I don't know quite how to explain it in simple terms. Maybe just a complete re-installation of office is due?
Question by:mdey
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    This sounds like a graphics driver or printer driver issue to me.

    You didn't mention PPT, but this info on installing a test printer driver locally and as the default is a good set of instructions to follow for troubleshooting. I'd start with it:

    Next thing I'd try is knocking Windows hardware acceleration back. Actually, this is the first thing I'd probably do:

    Author Comment

    I am going to head over and check that out, the printer driver especially is interesting to me because I actually changed the driver on his default printer only yesterday since he was having some issues with .PDF files. Do you know if the printer driver would cause an issue with Excel and Word as well?

    I mentioned ppt briefly towards the end, but only to say that it does not even work whatsoever. I start it and it loads to a blank ppt document, only to immediately freeze and never work, which makes it seem like it really could be the print driver...
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Yes, the printer driver could cause issues with any of the Office apps. They all rely heavily on printer drivers.

    Sorry, I missed your mention of PPT.

    Send to Bluetooth add-in is also problematic for PPT, but try the printer driver and hardware acceleration first. Then we can look at Office-wide add-ins especially.

    Author Comment

    So I had changed the printer driver and this issue was cleared up for a while, but suddenly it's back again in full force. Same deal as my original question, and I have tried all of your suggestions as well as the new printer driver, even setting up the test printer (which cleared it up a bit, but the issue still exists).

    What could be causing this?
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    What about Windows hardware acceleration? Maybe try adjusting that on the user's system.

    Oh, wait. I see I already suggested that.

    Next thought is add-ins. Open Word and go to File | Options | Add-ins. What's listed there?

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