Some Documents Open Slower than Others

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 12, 2018)

1

When David double-clicks some of the Word files on his computer, they open in about 3 seconds, but others take about 10 seconds to open. He has compared the faster- and slower-opening versions but can't detect any difference. He wonders what he can do to get the 10-second files to open faster.

When David mentions that he cannot detect any difference between the faster- and slower-opening versions, I'm assuming that means the documents are roughly the same. For instance, they are about the same number of pages, both have about the same number of graphics, both have the same number of tables, etc.

If this is the case, then the most probable cause of the difference in loading speed is where the documents are stored. Not all storage devices are as speedy as one another, and this can play into how quickly your documents load. For example, if you compare load speeds for a document on your local system vs. one stored on a network drive, the local file will invariably load quicker. Further, files on an SSD drive will load faster than those on a mechanical drive, which load quicker than ones on an external hard drive, which load faster than those on a USB flash drive, which load faster than those on a network drive.

If the files are actually on the same drive media, then there is one final thing that is often overlooked when comparing files—there could be external links in one document that are not in the other. Those links will often be refreshed when a file is opened, which can slow down the loading speed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13525) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box

Setting tabs in a paragraph is a common task. This is most easily done by using the Tabs dialog box. Displaying the ...

Discover More

ScreenTip for an Image

You can configure images in Excel so that if someone clicks on them, a macro is executed. You cannot, however, have a ...

Discover More

Rounded Corners on Cells

As you are formatting a worksheet, Excel allows you to easily add borders to cells. Adding rounded corners to cells is a ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Read-Only Files

Read-only documents (those that cannot be updated) are part and parcel of working with Word. There are many ways that a ...

Discover More

Document is Too Large for Word to Handle

Imagine trying to open a familiar document one day, only to find that Word gives you an error message that the file is ...

Discover More

Finding Duplicate Documents

Over time, it is very possible to end up with multiple copies of the same document on your system. If you have (or ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 3?

2018-05-14 04:53:20

Richard Price

Another factor is not just where the document is stored, but where the template is stored - and this can lead to very slow opening if the template cannot be accessed, for example if it's on a network drive that no longer exists or is not currently accessible. To check this, once you've got the document open select File -> Options -> Add-ins, then Templates on the drop-down. If the 'Document template' field contains 'Normal' that's not the problem (presumably your Normal template is readily accessible), but if it says anything else simply delete that and click OK then save the document. There's no need to remain connected to the original template once the document has been created (in fact I've never understood why Word does maintain that connection).


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.