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This article describes how to optimize performance in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and in Microsoft Office Word 2010.
Note If you are unfamiliar with any of the terms that are described in this article, see the "Glossary" section.

More information

Make sure that your computer meets minimum requirements for Word 2007 and for Word 2010

Word 2007

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA101668651033.aspx

Word 2010

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624351(v=office.14).aspx

Add memory (RAM) to the computer

The amount of memory (RAM) that Word requires to run at optimal speed depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the number of programs that are running at the same time and the types of operations that Word performs.

When you add RAM to the computer, performance is improved. Also, you can run many programs at the same time.

If you regularly work with large documents that are 50 pages or more, or if you use graphics or embedded objects in your documents, you can achieve significant improvement in the operating speed of Word when you add RAM.

Note To make sure that all the RAM is available for use by the operating system and the programs, do not use any RAM for a RAM drive.

Defragment the hard disk

To defragment the hard disk, periodically use a utility such as the Windows Disk Defragmenter. Disk Defragmenter analyzes local volumes. Additionally, Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files and folders so that the files and folders occupy contiguous spaces on the volume. Therefore, the computer's speed of access to files and folders can be increased. Disk Defragmenter and third-party disk optimization software can help minimize the area on the disk in which Microsoft Windows searches for information.

Note Make sure that you create backup copies of important files before you perform the defragmentation operation.

To use Disk Defragmenter, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Click to select the volume that you want to defragment, and then click Defragment.
  3. After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results in the Defragmentation display. Click View Report to view detailed information about the volume that you defragmented.

Optimize virtual memory use

When a program uses virtual memory, Windows simulates a large continuous block of primary memory (RAM). Windows does this by using smaller blocks of primary memory that are supplemented by secondary memory, such as a hard disk. To temporarily free space in RAM, blocks of data (pages) are moved between RAM and a paging file that is located on the hard disk.

By default, the Windows paging file is dynamic. Therefore, the paging file can change size according to available disk space and the operations that are performed on the system. The paging file can also occupy a fragmented region of the hard disk without incurring a significant performance penalty. A dynamic paging file is typically the most efficient use of resources. A paging file that is dynamic typically is the most efficient user of resources. For high virtual memory performance, make sure that the disk that contains the paging file has lots of free space, so that the paging file size can change as necessary.

Because the Windows paging file is dynamic, you do not typically have to change virtual memory settings. However, in some cases, you can improve performance when you adjust virtual memory settings. If you still experience a performance issue after you free space on the hard disk by deleting unnecessary files, you may want to change the default virtual memory settings.

If you have more than one drive on the computer, you may experience better performance when you specify that Windows locate the paging file on a drive other than the default drive. Do this if either or both of the following conditions are true:
  • The default drive has almost no available free space, and another local drive contains more available free space.
  • Another local drive is faster and is used less than the current drive.
You may also experience better performance when you specify that the minimum disk space available for virtual memory be at least two times the available RAM. For example, if a computer has 64 MB of RAM, specify at least 128 MB of virtual memory.

Note Unless you are an advanced user, we recommend that you let Windows manage virtual memory settings. Whenever possible, use the default virtual memory settings. For information about virtual memory settings in Windows, search for "virtual memory settings" in Windows Help.

Use fewer fonts

If you use many fonts, there may be an effect on performance, such as when you print or preview a document for the first time. Additionally, dialog boxes, such as the Font dialog box or the Symbol dialog box, may take a longer time to appear the first time that you view them. When multiple fonts are used, Word may use additional memory and file resources when Word must perform some complex actions.

Use lower screen resolution and color settings

Configure your display settings to use the correct video driver to receive the fastest screen display. You may not have to use the maximum screen resolution or the maximum color settings that are supported by your video driver. Additional color support can significantly reduce the speed of screen updates when you scroll or update graphics.

For some operations, such as writing reports and working with spreadsheets, you may want to configure your display settings to use a lower screen resolution and color setting. For example, you may want to use only 256 colors.

If there is no increase in performance or if you require additional display capabilities, you can specify a higher resolution and color setting.

Store documents on uncompressed drives

When you compress a hard disk, you create more free space in which you can store files. Although more disk space is available, disk compression can slow the performance of programs that use the compressed drive.

When you use disk compression, data is decompressed or compressed every time that a read or a write operation is made on the disk. This decompression and compression makes additional demands on the computer processor. Therefore, performance can be reduced.

Note Computers that have fast processors may not experience a decrease in performance when disk compression is used.

Store documents on the local hard disk

When you run Word from a network drive, performance may be slower than when you run Word from files that are stored on the local hard disk. Additionally, when you work with files that are located on a floppy disk or on a network drive, performance may be slower than when you work from files that are stored on the local hard disk.

Try to avoid working with files that are located on a floppy disk. Instead, copy the files to the local hard disk, and then work with the local copy on the hard disk.

When you are finished with a file, save your changes, and then close the file before you copy the file to its original location.

Disable the "Use printer metrics to lay out document" option

When you work with documents that were created in Microsoft Word 6.0 for Windows or Microsoft Word for Windows 95, disable the Use printer metrics to lay out document option. When you do this, Word does not check printer settings to calculate formatting and layout. Therefore, scrolling speed is increased.

Note By default, this option is enabled in documents that are converted to preserve Word for Windows 95 or Word 6.0 for Windows document formatting. When you disable this option, minor changes in line wrapping or document pagination may occur.

To disable the Use printer metrics to lay out document option, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, scroll down to the Compatibility options for section, and then click All New Documents.
  4. Expand Layout Options, click to clear the Use printer metrics to lay out document check box, and then click OK.

Use the "Allow background saves" option

By default, the Allow background saves option is enabled. When this option is enabled, you can continue to work in Word while you save a document.

This option uses additional system memory. If you want to conserve system resources, you may want to disable this option. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Save section.
  4. Click to clear the Allow background saves check box, and then click OK.
Note When Word saves a document in the background, a status indicator bar appears on the status bar. If Word cannot save a document in the background, Word saves the document in the foreground. For example, this may occur if there is insufficient free disk space available or if you save a document to a floppy disk.

Disable automatic spelling and grammar check

By default, Word automatically checks spelling and grammar as you type. Spelling errors are marked by using wavy red underlines and grammatical errors are marked by using wavy green underlines. On some computers, these options can adversely affect performance.

To disable automatic spelling and grammar check, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Proofing, and then locate the When correcting spelling in Word section.
  4. Click to clear the Check spelling as you type check box.
  5. Locate the When correcting grammar in Word section, and then click to clear the Check grammar with spelling check box
  6. Click OK.

Use different view settings

Use one or more of the following methods to optimize the way that you view your document in Word:
  • Use the Picture placeholders option if your document contains lots of graphics. This option displays an empty box instead of each graphic in your document. When you do this, you increase the speed with which you can scroll through and display a document that contains many graphics.

    To use the Picture placeholders option, follow these steps:
    1. Start Word.
    2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
    3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Show document content section.
    4. Click to select the Show picture placeholders check box, and then click OK.
  • Use a draft font to speed up screen display in documents that contain lots of formatting and graphics. This option displays most character formatting as underlined and bold, and displays graphics as empty boxes. This option is available in the Draft and Outline views.

    To use a draft font, follow these steps:
    1. Start Word.
    2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
    3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Show document content section.
    4. Click to select the Use draft font in Draft and Outline views check box, and then click OK.

Adjust printer settings to improve printing speed

To optimize printing, use one of the following methods.

Optimize the printing of large documents

To optimize the printing of large documents, disable any screen savers during the print job. Alternatively, switch to a blank screen saver. Animated screen savers use computer processor time, and may take time away from the processing of your print job.

For more information about how to change the screen saver settings, see Windows Help.

Print proofs quickly


Enable the Draft output option. When you use this option, the document prints with minimal formatting. Therefore, the document may print faster. This option is ideal for printing proofs.

To enable the Draft output option, follow these steps.

Note Some printers may not support this option.
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Printing section.
  4. Click to select the Use draft quality check box, and then click OK.

Use the background printing option that best fits your requirements

When background printing is enabled, you can continue to work in Word while your document prints in the background. Background printing uses additional memory, and your document may print more slowly.

When background printing is disabled, your document prints faster. However you cannot work in Word until the print job is completed. If you do not have to continue to work in Word while your document prints, disable background printing to speed up printing.

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Printing section.
  4. Click to clear the Print in background check box, and then click OK.

Change the printer spool settings

Printer speed is measured by the return to application (RTA) speed and by the printer page drop speed. The RTA is defined as the time from when you click Print to when you regain control of the program. The printer page drop speed is defined as the time from when you click Print to when the print job is completed.

You can modify both the RTA and printer page drop speed by changing the printer spool settings.

To change printer spool settings in Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Printers or Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the printer that you want to use, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. For a faster RTA speed, click to select Start printing immediately, if this option is not already selected. For a faster printer page drop speed, click to select Print directly to the printer.

    Note If the printer is shared, the Print directly to the printer option is unavailable. Sometimes, this option prevents laser printer engines from turning on and off during a print job.
  5. Click OK.

Disable Outlook Journal options

You can configure the Journal in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to automatically record items such as when you open, close, and save documents. On some computers, this may cause a noticeable delay during the open, close, or save operation.

To disable Outlook Journal options, follow these steps:
  1. Start Outlook 2007.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. In the Contacts area, click Journal Options.
  4. Click to clear all the check boxes in the Automatically record these items area, and then click OK.
  5. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.

Use a different Windows desktop theme

When you change the Windows desktop themes, performance may improve on some computers. The theme that you select must not be graphics-intensive. The theme must be as simple as possible to save memory.

To change the desktop theme, follow these steps, as appropriate for the version of Windows that you are running.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, and then click Personalize.
  2. Click Theme.
  3. In the Theme Settings dialog box, click the theme that you want to use. For example, click Windows Vista.
  4. Click OK.

Windows XP

  1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Themes tab.
  3. In the Theme box, click the theme that you want to use. For example, click Windows Classic.
  4. Click OK.

Disable the mouse scheme

When you disable the animated mouse scheme, system performance increases. However, the increase in performance may not be noticeable on some computers.

To disable the mouse scheme, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Mouse icon.
  3. Click the Pointers tab.
  4. In the Scheme box, click None, and then click OK.

Do not generate graphics when you download Web pages

You can speed up the download process if you decide not to generate graphics images during the download. Use this procedure if you save documents as Web pages and view the documents in a Web browser that supports Vector Markup Language (VML). If graphics are not downloaded every time that you open the page, it takes less time to download and to view a Web page. Additionally, less disk space is used.

To use VML to display graphics in browsers when you view documents in a Web browser, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, scroll down to the General section, and then click Web Options.
  4. On the Browsers tab, click Internet Explorer 3.0, Netscape Navigator 3.0, or later in the People who view this Web page will be using box.
  5. In the Options box, click to select the Rely on VML for displaying graphics in browsers check box, and then click OK.

Save documents in the current format

When you open a document that was saved in a different file format, a conversion engine runs. This process may cause the document to open slowly. To improve performance, save the document in the current format. For example, in Word, save the document as a Word document (.docx).

Disable the "Update automatic links on Open" option

When you disable the Update automatic links on Open option, documents may open faster. You can manually update links later.

To disable the Update automatic links on Open option, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the General section.
  4. Click to clear the Update automatic links on Open check box, and then click OK.
To manually update links, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), point to Finish, and then click Edit Links to Files.
  3. Click the link that you want to update, and then click Update Now.

Disable the "Recently used file list" option

To disable the Recently used file list option, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Display section.
  4. In the Number of documents in Recent Documents list box, click 0, and then click OK.

Disable the cut and paste options

When you disable the Smart cut and paste option and the Show Paste Options button option, Word 2007 may perform better.

To disable these options, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced, and then scroll down to the Cut, copy and paste section.
  4. Click to clear the Show Past Options buttons check box and the use smart cut and paste check box, and then click OK.

Disable ScreenTips

For some items in Word, such as comments, tracked changes, or hyperlinks, a short description appears when the mouse pointer rests over the object. This description is known as a ScreenTip. When you disable ScreenTips, Word may perform better.

To disable ScreenTips, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button (In Word 2010, click File), and then click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options dialog box in Word 2007, click Popular. In Word 2010, click General.
  4. In the ScreenTip Scheme box, click Don't show ScreenTips, and then click OK.

Use local folders instead of redirected folders when you access data across a Wide Area Network (WAN)

Word may perform more slowly when folders that you access for data are redirected to a location on a server.

Note An example of a folder that you access for data is the Application Data folder.

To improve performance, use one or both of the following methods:
  • Use local folders instead of redirected folders.
  • Use roaming profiles instead of redirecting system folders.

References

For more information about other ways to improve how applications perform, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
328237 Some programs do not work as expected when large files are opened

Glossary

  • Driver: A program that makes it possible for a specific device, such as a video adapter or a printer, to communicate with the operating system. Although a device may be installed, Windows cannot use the device until you have installed and configured the appropriate driver.
  • Pagination: In the arrangement of the layout of a document, pagination specifically refers to where page breaks are located in a document.
  • Paging file: A hidden file on the hard disk that Windows uses to hold parts of programs and data files that do not fit in memory. The paging file and the physical memory (RAM) together make up virtual memory. Windows moves data from the paging file to memory and moves data from memory to the paging file to make room for new data. "Swap file" is another name for a paging file.
  • Uncompressed drive: A drive that does not have its data compressed to occupy less space.
  • Virtual memory: Temporary storage that is used by a computer to run programs that require more memory than the computer has in RAM. For example, programs can have access to 4 gigabytes (GB) of virtual memory on a computer's hard disk, even if the computer has only 32 MB of RAM. The program data that does not currently fit in the computer's memory is saved in paging files.

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Article ID: 918793 - Last Review: May 7, 2013 - Revision: 5.0
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbexpertisebeginner kbhowto KB918793

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