How to use startup command line switches to start Word 2010, Word 2007, Word 2003, Word 2002, and Word 2000

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SUMMARY

This article describes the command-line switches that can be used to start Word and their purpose. Some of these switches are also described in Word Help.

For more information about startup switches, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type control what happens when you start word in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

MORE INFORMATION

To use a command-line switch to start Word, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Use the Run command

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Click Browse.
  3. Locate the Office folder, click the Winword.exe file, and then click Open. The Winword.exe file is located in the following folder by default:
    • Microsoft Office Word 2010
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
    • Microsoft Office Word 2007
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
    • Microsoft Office Word 2003
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11
    • Microsoft Word 2002
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10
    • Microsoft Word 2000
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office
    Note The path to Winword.exe is enclosed in quotation marks.
  4. Click in the Open box, and then reposition the insertion point outside of (to the right of) the closing quotation mark at the end of the path statement.
  5. Type a space, followed by the switch that you want to use.

    For example, if you want to start Word and prevent the loading of add-ins and global templates, type the following in the Open box, including the quotation marks:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe" /a
Note If a 32-bit version of Office is installed on a 64-bit computer, the program files folder is “Program Files (x86).”

Method 2: Use a shortcut

Follow these steps to create a shortcut to start Word from the Windows desktop:
  1. Right-click the Windows desktop, point to New on the shortcut menu that appears, and then click Shortcut.
  2. In the Create Shortcut dialog box, click Browse.
  3. In the Browse dialog box, change the Look in box to the following folder:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office
    Note This location of this folder may be different on your system.
  4. Click the Winword.exe file, and then click Open.
  5. Click in the Command line box, and then position the insertion point at the end of the path that is listed. The path that is listed in the Command line box should look similar to the following:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe"
  6. After the closing quotation mark, type a space and then type the switch that you want. The path that is listed in the Command line box should now look similar to the following:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe" /a
  7. In the Create Shortcut dialog box, click Next.
  8. In the Select a name for the shortcut box, type the name of your new shortcut, and then click Finish.

Method notes

If you put the switch inside the closing quotation mark and then click OK, you receive one of the following error messages:
Cannot find the file 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe /a' (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available.
-or-
Windows cannot find 'D:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\WINWORD.EXE /a'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.
If you specify a path or file name that contains spaces after a switch, enclose the path in quotation marks. For example, if you want to start Word and automatically create a document based on the Contemporary Fax template, the switch should look similar to the following:
/t"c:\program files\microsoft office\templates\1033\contemporary fax.dot"
Therefore, the complete startup command would be similar to the following:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe" /t"c:\program files\microsoft office\templates\1033\contemporary fax.dot"
This is also true for the /l switch.

List of Word startup switches

The following Word startup (command-line) switches are listed in Word Help.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
TypeTo do this
/aStarts Word and prevents add-ins and global templates (including the Normal template) from being loaded automatically.

The /a switch also locks the setting files; that is, the setting files cannot be read or modified if you use this switch.
/laddinpathStarts Word and then loads a specific Word add-in.
/mStarts a new instance of Word without running any AutoExec macros.
/mmacroname Starts Word and then runs a specific macro. The /m switch also prevents Word from running any AutoExec macros.
/nStarts a new instance of Word with no document open. Documents opened in each instance of Word will not appear as choices in the Window menu of other instances.
/safeStarts Word in Safe Mode.
/ttemplatenameStarts Word with a new document based on a template other than the Normal template.
/wStarts a new instance of Word with a blank document. Documents opened in each instance of Word will not appear as choices in the Window menu of the other instances.
(no switch) A new Word window is opened with a blank document using the existing instance of the Word program.
The following Word startup (command-line) switches are not listed in Word Help.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Type To do this
/cStarts a new instance of Word and then invokes NetMeeting.
/qStarts Word without displaying the Word splash screen. This switch is only available in Word 2000 Service Release 1 (SR-1).
/rStarts Word, starts Setup, makes changes in the Windows registry, and then quits. This switch forces a re-register of Word in the Windows registry.
/uHas no effect and does not start Word.
/xStarts a new instance of Word from the operating shell (for example, to print in Word). This instance of Word responds to only one DDE request and ignores all other DDE requests and multi-instances. If you are starting a new instance of Word in the operating environment (for example, in Windows), it is recommended that you use the /w switch, which starts a fully functioning instance.
/zThis is similar to the /t switch. However, this switch raises the New event. For example: winword.exe /z mytemplate.dot. For more information, visit the following MSDN Web site:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/h8c469ey.aspx
pathname\filenameStarts Word with a specific document open.

Note To open multiple files at once, use pathname\filename.

Example: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe" c:\filename1.doc c:\filename2.doc
(any other switch) Starts a new instance of Word. For example, if you start Word with just the / and no switch, or with any unlisted switch combination, Word just starts a new instance of Word with a new blank document.
The following Word startup (command-line) switch is listed in Word 2000 Help but not listed in Word 2002 or Word 2003 Help.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
TypeTo do this
/mfilenStarts Word and then opens the specified file on the Most Recently Used (MRU) list on the File menu.

The following Word startup (command-line) switches are for Word 2007 and for Word 2010.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
TypeTo do this
/fStarts Word with a new document based on an existing file.
/h http:// filenameStarts Word and opens a read-only copy of a document that is stored on a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site. The site must be on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Windows SharePoint Services 2.0.
/t filenameStarts Word and opens an existing file.
/pxslt Starts Word and opens an existing XML document based on the specified Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT).
Note XSLT: A file that is used to transform XML documents into other types of documents, such as HTML or XML. It is designed for use as part of XSL.


REFERENCES

For more information about how to use startup command line switches to start Word 2007, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HP101640101033.aspx
For more information about starting Word in Safe Mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
827706 Description of Office Safe Mode for Word 2003 and Word 2002

Properties

Article ID: 210565 - Last Review: May 21, 2010 - Revision: 11.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Word 2000
Keywords: 
kbcommandline kbinfo KB210565

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