Menu or submenu appears dimmed or does not appear when selected in Office for Mac programs

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Article ID: 288341 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q288341
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SYMPTOMS

In the programs that are listed in the "Applies To" section, when you click a menu or point to a submenu, the menu may not appear, may be unavailable, or the commands on the menu may not appear or respond.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, use either of the following methods, as appropriate.

Method 1: Test for a damaged settings file

To test for a damaged settings file, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all Microsoft Office for Mac programs that are open.
  2. Open one of the following folders, depending on the version of Office for Mac that you are using:
    • For Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac or for Microsoft Office X for Mac, open /HD/Users/User/Library/Preferences/
    • For Microsoft Office 2001 for Macintosh, open HD:System Folder:Preferences
  3. Locate the Microsoft folder, and then drag it to the desktop.
  4. Start the application that is having the problem, and then test for the problem. If the application in question is still having the problem, you can safely assume that the preferences that are stored in the Microsoft folder are not the cause of the problem. If this is the case, go to step 5.

    If the problem is corrected at this point, go directly to the Note at the end of this procedure.
  5. Replace the Microsoft folder. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Quit all Office for Mac programs that are open.
    2. Locate the Microsoft folder on the desktop.
    3. In a Finder window, arrange the window so that the Preferences folder is visible. Make sure that the window does not cover the Microsoft folder on the desktop.
    4. Drag the Microsoft folder from the desktop and drop it onto the closed Preferences folder in the Finder window.
    5. Click OK when you are prompted to confirm replacement of the Microsoft folder.
Note The rest of this information assumes that step 4 in the previous procedure revealed that a file in the Microsoft folder is causing the problem.

If you are not concerned about saving any preference choices that were made in the Office applications, you could consider the problem to be solved at this point. If this is the case, drag the desktop/Microsoft folder to the Recycle Bin.

However, if you want to recover as much of your Office for Mac customization choices as possible, you have to determine which particular file in the Microsoft folder is causing the problem. You do this by using the process of elimination. To determine which file in the Microsoft folder is causing the problem, follow these steps:
  1. On a piece of scratch paper, write down the list of files that are contained in the desktop/Microsoft folder.
  2. Draw a horizontal line in the middle of the list.
  3. Drag the files that are listed in the top half of the list into the /System Folder/Preferences/Microsoft/ folder. Let these files overwrite the files that have the same names in the folder.
  4. Test for the problem. If the problem is back, one of the files in the top half of the list is the file that is damaged and is causing the problem. If the problem remains fixed, one of the files in the bottom half of the list is the file that is damaged and is causing the problem.
  5. Draw a diagonal line through the half of the list that has been eliminated in step 4.
  6. Continue to narrow the list in this manner by moving files into and out of the Microsoft folder until you have identified the file that is causing the problem. There may be more than one file that is causing the problem.
Note If a file in the Microsoft folder is missing, Office for Mac creates a new replacement folder that contains new preferences files during the next session for that application. All settings in the newly created preferences files are set to the default values. Any user preference settings and customizations that are contained in the Microsoft folder files are lost when the old file is deleted. If it is important to retain as many preference settings as possible, you must identify and remove only the files that are damaged, and then put the rest of the files back.

Method 2: Confirm that Word 5.1 menus are not enabled

Note This method is only available in Microsoft Word for Mac. Word for Mac has a command in the View menu, named Word 5.1 Menus, that make the menu commands appear as they did in Microsoft Word 5.1 for Macintosh. All Help files are written using the default Word menu commands for the version in question. If the Word 5.1 Menus feature is enabled, the Word commands may be renamed or moved to a different location than those referenced in Help. To make sure that the Word 5.1 Menus are not enabled, click View, and then verify that the Word 5.1 Menus check box is not selected. If the Word 5.1 Menus option is selected, the option is enabled. Select the command to toggle this setting, and disable Word 5.1 Menus. If you use the steps that are listed in Word Help, we recommend that you disable the Word 5.1 Menus.

Note that in both Microsoft Word X for Mac and Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, you can only turn on Word 5.1 menus from the command well because the command is not available on the View menu by default. However, you can still disable Word 5.1 Menus by using the steps in Method 2 for Microsoft Word 98 and later versions. The Word 5.1 Menus command will only appear in Word X for Mac and in Word 2004 for Mac if the feature is enabled.

Note The Word 5.1 option is not available in Microsoft Word for Mac 2008.

Method 3: Rename the Normal template

Note This method is available only in Microsoft Word for Mac.

To rename the Normal template, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all Office for Mac programs that are open.
  2. Open the following folder, depending on your version of Word.

    For Word 2004 for Mac: /HD/Users/User/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Normal

    For Word X for Mac: /Microsoft Office X/Templates/

    For Word 2001 for Mac: /Microsoft Office 2001/Templates
  3. Locate the Normal template, and then rename it to OldNormal.
The Normal template stores the styles, AutoText entries, toolbar customizations, and macros that you create. When you rename the Normal template, Word creates a new Normal template after you start and then quit the program.

If the behavior is not resolved by renaming the Normal template, remove the new Normal template from the Templates folder, and then rename OldNormal to Normal.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about problems with submenus, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
279235 Submenus do not appear in Office 2001 with PICTify 1.5 running
For more information about how to customize menus in an Office program, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
295403 How to customize or reset a menu in an Office program

Properties

Article ID: 288341 - Last Review: October 6, 2011 - Revision: 8.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel X for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word X for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2001 for Mac
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbbug kbpending KB288341

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