Display issues in Office client applications

When you use Microsoft Office programs, you may notice that visual features differ from one computer to another. For example, on one computer, you may see animations in Excel when you scroll through a worksheet on one computer. However, on another computer, you do not see the same animations. 

Additionally, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms that reduce the functionality of an Office program:
  • An Office program is blurry.
  • Your screen flickers or flashes.
  • An Office program is either mostly all white or all black.
  • Text in your document is not displayed well.
  • Your Office program crashes.
  • The performance of an Office program (other than startup and shut down) is reduced.
  • In Microsoft Lync, there may be video delays or slowness when you are on a video call.
You may experience these symptoms if you have a video configuration on your computer that is incompatible with the Office feature set that is responsible for displaying the application and for animations in the application.

Note Hardware acceleration using the graphics card is always disabled when Office is running in a Remote Desktop session, as well as when the application was launched in Safe Mode.
The resolution will vary depending on your version of Windows and the symptom you are experiencing.

For the symptom: Poorly Displayed Text in Office Documents

If your symptom is poorly displayed text in Office documents, please try the following solutions first. Otherwise, skip to the next section titled All Other Symptoms.

Step 1: Use the "ClearType Text Tuner" Setting

  1. Search for ClearType

    Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8: On the Start Screen, search for ClearType.
    Windows 7: Click Start, and then enter ClearType in the Search Programs and Files box.
  2. Select Adjust ClearType Text.
  3. In the ClearType Text Tuner, enable the Turn on ClearType option and then click Next.
  4. Tune your monitor by following the steps and instructions in the ClearType Text Tuner, and then click Finish.
If you are still experiencing a problem after adjusting your ClearType settings, please continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Disable the Sub-Pixel Positioning Feature

Word 2016 and Word 2013 use sub-pixel text rendering by default. While this provides optimal spacing, you may prefer the appearance of pixel-snapped text for a minor improvement in contrast. To disable the sub-pixel positioning feature in Word 2016 or Word 2013, follow these steps.
  1. On the File tab, click Options.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Under the Display group, click to clear the Use the subpixel positioning to smooth fonts on screen option.
  4. Click OK.

If you are still experiencing a problem after turning off the sub-pixel text rendering setting, please re-enable the Use the subpixel positioning to smooth fonts on screen setting and then continue to Step 3.

Step 3: On Windows 7 clients, install the Windows 8 Inter-operability Pack

If you are using Windows10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, please skip this section and proceed to the steps under the For All Other Symptoms section of this article.

If you are using Windows 7, please install the update for improving video-related components that is available in the following article.

2670838 A platform update is available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

If the above steps did not resolve your poorly displayed text in Office documents symptom, please continue to troubleshoot your issue using the steps provided in the next section of this article.

For all other symptoms

Please follow these steps in the order in which they are presented. The order is deliberate and has proven to be the most successful approach to resolving video-related problems in Office programs.

Step 1: Update your video driver

The best way to update your video driver is to run Windows Update to see whether a newer driver is available for your computer.

To run Windows Update based on your version of Windows, follow these steps:

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
  1. On the Start Screen, click Settings on the Charms Bar.
  2. Click Change PC Settings.
  3. In the PC settings app, click Windows Update.
  4. Click Check for updates now.
  5. If updates are available, click the driver that you want to install, and then click Install.

Windows 7
  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Windows Update in the Search programs and files box.
  3. In the search results, click Check for updates.
  4. If updates are available, click the driver that you want to install, and then click Install.
If your video-related problems in Office were fixed by when you updated your video driver, you do not have to take any further steps. Go to step 2 if updating the video driver does not fix the problems.

Note Video card manufacturers frequently release updates to their drivers to improve performance or to fix compatibility issues with new programs.
If you do not find an updated video driver for your computer through Windows Update and must have the latest driver for your video card, go to the support or download section of your video card manufacturer's website for information about how to download and install the newest driver.

Step 2: Disable hardware acceleration in Office

If updating your drivers doesn’t resolve the issue, you can test by turning off hardware acceleration as a workaround until a fix is released by your video driver manufacturer. So be sure to check for updates to your video card regularly.

To disable hardware acceleration, follow these steps:
  1. Start any Office program.
  2. On the File tab, click Options.
  3. In the Options dialog box, click Advanced.
  4. In the list of available options, click to select the Disable hardware graphics acceleration check box.

    For example, the following figure shows this option in Microsoft Excel.

    The screenshot for the step D

  5. Click OK.

For Advanced users: How to determine whether your video configuration is compatible with Office

Note This step is optional as the information provided is mostly informative. The purpose of this step is simply to let you know if your video configuration is on the incompatible list for Office. 

If you still experience video-related problems in your Office programs after you update your video driver or you cannot locate an updated video driver for your computer, the next step is to see if your current video configuration is compatible with Office. You can use the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) to make this determination for you.
  1. Browse to the OffCAT tool page on the Microsoft Download site at the following location.


  2. Select OffCAT.msi and then click Next.

  3. Click Run when prompted to download the OffCAT tool.
  4. After OffCAT is installed, start OffCAT.

    • Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

      Search for OffCAT in Windows 10, 8.1 or 8
    • Windows 7

  5. On the NEW SCAN page, select any Office program.
  6. Click Scan.
  7. When the scan is finished, your results will be automatically displayed.
  8. On the All Issues tab (assuming issues were detected), review the list of symptoms.
    1. If you see the following warning under the Displaysymptom your current video configuration is not compatible with Office.

      Hardware acceleration is disabled by Office

      This warning is shown in the following figure.

      In this situation:
      • Please wait thirty days (or longer), and then follow the steps in this article again. Make sure that you start with "Step 1: Update your video driver."

        The next time you go through the steps in this article, your video manufacturer may have an updated driver that is compatible with Office.
      • Do not proceed with the steps in the next section of this article (Step 3: Disable hardware acceleration in Office).

        As your current video configuration is not compatible with Office, hardware acceleration is automatically disabled by Office programs. Manually turning off hardware acceleration using the steps in the next section will not have an impact in the current video configuration.
    2. If you do Not see the "Hardware acceleration is disabled by Office" warning under System Details section of the OffCAT report, please proceed to the next section of this article (Step 3: Disable hardware acceleration in Office).
More information
Important Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

Administration of the "Disable hardware graphics acceleration" option

If it is necessary, this setting can be deployed by using Group Policy. To configure the appropriate Group Policy setting, follow these steps:
  1. Add the following files to your domain controller for your version of Office: 

    Office 2016: Office16.admx and Office16.adml
    Office 2013: Office15.admx and Office15.adml
  2. In the Local Group Policy Editor, select the Miscellaneous node of the Microsoft Office 2016 or Microsoft Office 2013 tree. This setting is shown in the following figure.

    The screenshot for the step 2

For more information about how to use .admx and .adml files for Group Policy administration, go to the following Microsoft TechNet website:

Automatic disabling of hardware acceleration for some video cards

By default, hardware acceleration is automatically disabled in Office programs if certain video card and video card driver combinations are detected when you start an Office program. If hardware acceleration is automatically disabled by the program, nothing indicates that this change occurred. For example, if you examine the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option in the Options dialog box, the option will not be enabled unless you previously enabled it.

The list of video card/video driver combinations that trigger this automatic disabling of hardware graphics acceleration is not documented because the list is hard-coded in the Office programs and will be constantly changing as we discover additional video combinations that cause problems in Office programs. Therefore, if you do not see the same animation functionality on one computer that you see on another computer, we recommend that you update your video driver by using the instructions provided in the "Step 1: Update your video driver" section. If you still do not see the expected animation on your computer, update your video driver again soon. Microsoft is working with the major video card manufacturers on this issue, and these video card manufacturers will be releasing new video drivers as such drivers are developed.

Note If two computers have the same video card/video driver combinations, you may still see a difference in the Office animation features between the two computers if one computer is running Windows 7 and the other computer is running Windows 8. On a computer that is running Windows 7, animations in Office are disabled if the video card/video driver combination appears on the incompatibility list. However, the same video combination on Windows 8 will not have animations disabled because of the improved video capabilities in Windows 8.

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Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2768648 - Last Review: 05/20/2016 15:43:00 - Revision: 24.1

Outlook 2016, Excel 2016, Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016, OneNote 2016, Microsoft Publisher 2016, Visio Professional 2016, Access 2016, Microsoft Project Professional 2016, Microsoft Word 2013, Microsoft Excel 2013, Microsoft Lync 2013, Microsoft Outlook 2013, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, Microsoft OneNote 2013, Microsoft Publisher 2013, Microsoft Visio Professional 2013, Microsoft Access 2013, Microsoft Project Professional 2013

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