Office for Mac application hangs on splash screen "Optimizing font menu performance" or does not start

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Article ID: 313535 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When you try to open a document or file for an Office for Mac application, the application's splash screen may appear with Optimizing font menu performance... but then the application closes unexpectedly or hangs.

Note: If you can launch Entourage for Mac or Outlook for Mac on your computer and when Word, Excel and PowerPoint are hanging on the splash screen, most likely the issue is font related and the steps in the article may resolve the issue.   .

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Cause


This problem may occur if there is a damaged or an unsupported font in one of the Fonts folders on the computer.

When a Microsoft Office for Mac program starts, the program will try to read and to create an optimized list of the fonts that are available in the operating system. If the program finds a damaged font, the program may close unexpectedly or hang. The following conditions can cause this problem to occur:
  • Duplicate font files.
  • Corrupted Font Cache file.
  • Corrupted font files and folders.

Resolution


Rebuild the Office Font cache


1.    Quit all Applications.

2.    In Finder click Go in the top menu and choose Home.

3.    Open the Library folder

4.    Open the Preferences folder

5.    Open the Microsoft folder

6.    Locate the Office Font Cache 11 (if present), and move to the Trash

7.    Open the Office 2008 Folder, and move the Office Font Cache 12 (if present) to the Trash

If you have Office 2011, follow this additional step:

8.    Open the Office 2011 folder in the Microsoft folder, and move the Office Font Cache to the Trash

9.    Launch Word, this will rebuild the Office Font cache

When the problem still persists, repeat the above steps and continue with the steps below.

Clear the System font cache (Mac OS X v10.4.x and later) 

In Mac OS X 10.4.x and later, safe boot disables all fonts other than those in the System\Library\Fonts folder, and it trashes all system font caches.

To start up in Safe Boot or Safe Mode, do the following:
  1. Shut down the computer by going to the Apple menu and choosing Shut Down
  2. Press the power button
  3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard
  4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator (gear going around), during startup in Mac OS X v10.4.x or later, you will see "Safe Boot" on the login screen, even if you normally log in automatically
  5. Launch Word when you are in Safe Boot, when it launches, do nothing and go to Word in the top menu and choose Quit Word
To leave Safe Mode, restart the Mac normally, by going to the Apple menu and choosing restart, without holding any keys during startup.

Once back in Normal Mode, test the Office for Mac applications again.

Disable the Microsoft Fonts

1.    Click Go in the top menu in Finder and choose Computer

2.    Open the Macintosh HD

3.    Click on Library

4.    Click on Fonts

5.    Drag the Microsoft Folder to the Desktop

6.    Restart the Mac

7.    Attempt to perform the action which previously produced the problem (launching your application, accessing the font menu, etc).If the problem doesn't recur, then disable 50% of the Microsoft fonts and compare the results with both halves, and continuing in this process for the half that reproduces the problem. See Isolating half of the fonts in a font folder below.

Check for bad fonts

1.    Resolve Duplicates and Validate Fonts in Font Book:

a.    Quit all applications

b.    Click on Go in the top menu in Finder and choose Applications

c.    Open Font Book

d.    Click on All Fonts

e.    Highlight the first font

f.     Click on Edit, and choose Select All

g.    Click on Edit, and choose Resolve Duplicates

h.    When finished, with the Fonts still highlighted, click on Edit and select Validate Fonts

i.      If any fonts show with the Red X beside them, disable these fonts and restart the Mac


2.    Check for number of fonts installed in the folder: Macintosh HD/System Folder/Fonts. There should be NO MORE than 255 files in this folder.

3.    A bad font in Classic can cause a problem with any application and even OSX itself, not just MS Office. OSX checks several places for fonts. One of those places is fonts in OS9, whether Classic is running or not.


Create a new Mac User Profile

In a new Mac user you have a complete fresh set of preferences and all other related files will be freshly generated as well.For more information about how to create a new user account, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2439218 Testing your user account to troubleshoot Office for Mac applications

Note. You can move files from one user account to another user account when you move it to the Shared folder on your system.

You can find the Shared folder here:

Macintosh HD / Users / Shared

This Shared folder can be accessed from both user accounts, move a copy of your files into this folder in your original user and then login to your new Mac user and access this Shared folder and drag the files to a location in your new Mac user, to the Desktop for example, don't leave them in Shared.

When there is no problem in the new Mac user profile, we know this is an issue with the original Mac user profile; you can continue the steps below in the old profile but exclude the Troubleshoot All Users Library Fonts Folder steps.

When there is still a problem in the new Mac user profile, then this means that the font problem is related to the System Font folder or the Hard Drive font folder (or the Office 2004 fonts folder when Office 2004 is on the system), continue with the Troubleshoot All Users Library Fonts Folder steps when this is the case, when there is still a problem, then you need to contact Apple Support to troubleshoot the System Fonts.

Deactivate Font Management Utilities

1.    Deactivate all font management utilities, such as Adobe Type Manager, Extensis Suitcase Fusion, Insider FontAgent Pro, Linotype FontExplorer X, etc.

2.    Attempt to perform the action which previously produced the problem (launching your application, accessing the font menu, etc). Then do one of the following:

  • If the problem recurs, then move on to the next section below.
  • If the problem doesn't recur, then re-activate your font management utility, and use it to disable 50% of your fonts and compare the results with both halves, and continuing in this process for the half that reproduces the problem. See Isolating half of the fonts in a font folder below.
Troubleshoot All Users Library Fonts Folder

  1. Create a folder on your desktop named Disabled User Fonts.
  2. Open the folder /Users/<user name>/Library/Fonts/.
  3. Choose Edit > Select All, and then drag the contents of this folder (fonts and subfolders) to the Disabled User Fonts folder on the desktop.
  4. Attempt to perform the action which previously produced the problem (launching your application, accessing the font menu, etc). Then do one of the following:
If the problem reoccurs, then move on to the next section below.

If the problem doesn't recur, then disable 50% of your fonts and compare the results with both halves, and continuing in this process for the half that reproduces the problem. See Isolating half of the fonts in a font folder below.


Troubleshoot Your User Library Fonts Folder

  1. Create a folder on your desktop named Disabled User Fonts.
  2. Open the folder /Users/<user name>/Library/Fonts/.
  3. Choose Edit > Select All, and then drag the contents of this folder (fonts and subfolders) to the Disabled User Fonts folder on the desktop.
  4. Attempt to perform the action which previously produced the problem (launching your application, accessing the font menu, etc). Then do one of the following:
  • If the problem recurs, then move on to the next section below.
  • If the problem doesn't recur, then disable 50% of your fonts and compare the results with both halves, and continuing in this process for the half that reproduces the problem. See Isolating half of the fonts in a font folder below.
Troubleshoot The Office 2004 Fonts Folder


  1. Create a folder on your desktop named Disabled Office 2004 Fonts.
  2. Open the folder \Applications\Microsoft Office 2004\Office\Fonts.
  3. Choose Edit > Select All, and then drag the contents of this folder (fonts and subfolders) to the Disabled Office 2004 Fonts folder on the desktop.
  4. Attempt to perform the action which previously produced the problem (launching your application, accessing the font menu, etc). Then do one of the following:
  • If the problem recurs, then move on to the next section below.
  • If the problem doesn't recur, then disable 50% of your fonts and compare the results with both halves, and continuing in this process for the half that reproduces the problem. See Isolating half of the fonts in a font folder below.
Isolating half of the fonts in a font folder

This is a process of testing half of your data, in this case, fonts, then the other half to see which half contains data that is causing a problem. Once a set of fonts are found to not cause the problem, they can be set aside as having been tested proven as not causing the problem. Then, the process is repeated with the set of fonts that are demonstrating the problem, by splitting them in half again, and so on.

  1. Having disabled all fonts through one of the above methods and confirming that the issue you are troubleshooting no longer recurs, re-enable half of the fonts.
  2. Attempt to perform the action which previously produced the problem (launching your application, accessing the font menu, etc). Then do one of the following:
  • If the problem doesn't recur, then disable these fonts by moving them into a new folder on the desktop named Tested Good Fonts, then re-enable the other half, and repeat step 2.If the problem recurs, then disable half of the currently enabled font

Properties

Article ID: 313535 - Last Review: September 28, 2012 - Revision: 14.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft Word for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2004 for Mac
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbprb KB313535

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