WD: How to Troubleshoot a Visual Basic Compile or Runtime Error in Word

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Article ID: 555221 - View products that this article applies to.
Author: Beth Melton MVP
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SYMPTOMS

Errors messages could be similar to the following:
 
• Microsoft Visual Basic Compile Error in Hidden Module
• Compile Error in Hidden Module

CAUSE

A runtime or compile error means there is an error in a macro or add-in attempting to run. Typically these macros are created by a third-party and are not part of the Word installation. These errors could be caused by a malfunctioning virus as well.

RESOLUTION

A Visual Basic Runtime or Compile error indicates the error lies in a global template (*.dot) or add-in (*.wll) located in one of the Startup folders recognized by Word.
 
If you are unable to start Word then you should be able to utilize the Run command and the /a startup switch to start Word in a troubleshooting mode which uses the application defaults and prevents add-ins from loading.
 
Starting Word with the /a switch
1. On the Start menu click Run
2. In the Run command text box type: winword /a (note the space before the forward slash)
3. Click OK to start Word
 
To determine if you are using global templates or add-ins:
1. On the Tools menu, click Templates and Add-Ins…
2. If any files are listed under the Global templates and add-ins section then typically they are located in either your Word Startup folder or your Office Startup folder
 
Locating the Word Startup folder
1. On the Tools menu, click Options…
2. Select the File Locations tab
3. Select Startup folder
4. Click Modify
 
Word 2000 and below:
1. Select the path in the Folder Name dialog and press Ctrl + C to copy the path
2. Open an Exploring window, such as My Computer
3. Click in the Address bar
4. Press Ctrl + V to paste the Startup folder path
5. Press Enter to navigate to the folder
6. Follow the directions in the Resolution section at the end of this article
 
Word 2002 and above:
1. Note the folder listed in the Look in drop down
2. Click the Up one Level command in the Modify Location dialog
3. Right-click the folder previously noted and click Explore
4. Follow the directions in the Resolution section at the end of this article
 
Locating the Office Startup folder
1. Open an Exploring window, such as My Computer
2.Navigate to the Office Installation location
3. Locate the Startup folder
 
Notes:
• The installation path for Office would be similar to: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Startup
 
You can also use Windows Search and search for the file names listed in the Templates and Add-ins dialog box. Some COM Add-ins may manually add a global template and using Windows Search is the only means of locating the file.
 
Resolution
To prevent a global template or add-in from loading when Word starts:
 
1. Exit Word
2. Move the template out of its respective Startup folder. If more than one file is found then they should be moved one at a time in order to determine the exact file causing the error.
 
Note: You can also rename the files in the Startup folder however it is imperative to rename the file extension and not the file name. Otherwise they will still load but under a different name. If in doubt move the files as they can be moved back into the folder at anytime.

MORE INFORMATION

This article also applies to Word 2003

Properties

Article ID: 555221 - Last Review: November 9, 2004 - Revision: 1.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
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