MS Office dialog boxes slow to open and close

Posted on 2013-01-10
Last Modified: 2013-04-26
I have the strangest problem which I've had for many months now and really have to fix before it drives me mad - in any Microsoft Office program such as Word, Excel or Outlook, if I bring up any dialogue box in a program from the ribbon, it takes 2-3 seconds to open, and then 2-3 seconds to close afterwards, even if I select 'Cancel'. So, for example, if in Excel, on the home ribbon, in the font section, I hit the little square with the arrow to bring up the dialog, it takes 2-3 seconds to appear. On the other hand if I right click in a cell and seek to change the font that way, there is no time lag at all.

Will be quite impressed with anyone who can help me with this! (am a 20 year+ power user, and it has me stumped...)
Question by:Adrian_Harris
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

luconsta earned 168 total points
ID: 38763971
The problem may have multiple causes - starting with some viruses (or just an antivirus program that goes crazy - I have some experience with an antivirus program that caused "undefined" problems until I uninstall/reinstall it again) to other installed programs that could cause some compatibility problems.

Could you remember what happening when this problem started?  if you install or uninstall some applications or what did you changed on that compuer (if you changed something).

Anyway, the first thing you could use depending on your Office version: run the diagnostics or run the Office setup again selecting the "repair" option.

Assisted Solution

bcruse32347 earned 166 total points
ID: 38764234
Office products have the ability to have Add-ins installed that can give the product additional functionality. These add-ins can slow down the office product down and make it harder to use.

Lets start with Word. Open the Word Options dialog box. Click Add-Ins in the list on the left. A list of Add-ins displays in several groups. There are Active and Inactive Application Add-ins. There may also be Document Related Add-ins and Disabled Application Add-ins. Note the type of the add-in that you want to disable in the Type column. Select the type you noted for the add-in you want to disable from the Manage drop-down list at the bottom of the dialog box and click Go. To turn off the desired add-in, select the check box for the add-in so there is NO check mark in the box. Click OK.

Microsoft Office products all have the same Add-in options. It could be an individual Add-in that is causing the problem.
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

apache09 earned 166 total points
ID: 38765211
What version of Office is being used?

If office 2007 or 2010 make sure you have the latest SP installed.
There are some known performance issues in them
Office 2007 = SP3
Office 2010 = SP1

Now in both Office 2007 and Office 2010 I have seen slowness or lag, even with the latest Service packs installed

In our particluar case we found them related to
Mapped Network Drives, that had broken connections
Network Printers that were present but not connected
Shortcuts in My Document location that were broken

Removing them correct the issue nearly immediatley

Another place we have seen lag in Office Applications has also been in Windows 7 when on a network/Domain

If your using Windows 7 check your Sync Centre in Control Panel
Look at Manage Offline Files and try turning off the Sync

If the above doesnt, help it could possibly be related to your User profile
If you create a new user profile on your machine
then try using office, see if you have the same response times

If you dont, we know its related to your specific user profile
If you do its likley an issue related to the specific machine or OS

As mention in the post above, it could be an add-in applied to all profiles on the machine

You could quickly identify/eliminate an add-in issue by opneing outlook or Word in safe mode

Start>Run>Outlook.exe /safe

Start>run>winword.exe /safe

See if you have the same issue here
If you dont you know its add in related

could then look at identifying the sepecific add in or disabling it in the registry

Expert Comment

ID: 38779607
Was your issue resolved?

Author Comment

ID: 39100988
thanks and sorry for the late response - my conclusion was that it was add-in related in keeping with a number of the responders above who mentioned as such - therefore the suggested points in the Close Request seems sensible to me.

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