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Aug 09, 2002: This Week's Microsoft Gripe

WARNING: narcissism ahead

Is it just me, or is Microsoft Word unusable on a G3 Mac (iBook) running OS X (10.1.5) with 640Mb of memory?

It often takes a few minutes to completely load, even without other apps open. Even closing a document can inflict the rolling beachball of death for a minute or two.

I know that MS Word is synonomous with bloat, but is there some obvious setting problem that I've missed? Or is de-evolution simply the path that Word is taking? If anyone can point me to a document that can help me soup up, er, just plain get Word to the point that it's usable, I'd be grateful. Especially all of you who insisted that I move from a PC to a Mac. ;-)

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Comment: Rich Wiggins (Aug 10, 2002)

Lou, several minutes to load Word??! On a brand new Mac? I thought that kind of sluggishness was left behind after the fat binary era (switching CPU architectures).

If I were you I'd do a Google Groups search on this, and/or post to an Apple forum. This ain't right in 2002. Hardware capacity has grown faster than bloat.

Question: do you have one or more network drives involved? Have you tried the same operations disconnected from your LAN?

Comment: Lou (Aug 11, 2002)

Nope, no network drives, no impact from my LAN.

Someone suggested removing the fonts from the font folder. Might be worth a try, although the fonts I have came along with the shrink-wrapped version of Office.


Comment: jjg (Aug 11, 2002)

The first course of action with any Mac app that gives you trouble on booting is to check if your prefs file is corrupted. The file in this case is /Users/[your-username]/Preferences/Microsoft/Word Settings (10). Pull this file out (drag it to the desktop or something) before you launch Word. Sure, you lose your settings, but they're easy enough to reconstruct. When you launch Word, it'll create a fresh, blank prefs file when it sees that the old one is gone. If Word still runs slow, reinstall the app.

Comment: Grant Carmichael (Aug 12, 2002)

Hi Lou, I've been thinking about your Word problem since we last spoke and I agree with jjg that this sounds like a prefs issue. So definitely try his prescription. If you have to reinstall the app, be sure to run the office uninstaller for that 'zestfully clean'. The font issue I encountered previously involved an error trying to install Office v.x on X so that is an unlikely culprit. Also, Be sure that your OS and Office versions are all patched and current.

I've had Word start slowly in X only when I have a lot of fonts loaded but it will indicate this ('configuring the font menu') on startup. Slowness throughout is definitely odd.

Good luck!

Comment: Lou (Aug 12, 2002)

Thanks for the advice all. I've tried Jesse's advice, but it's made no difference. Will try reinstalling as soon as I can find the danged CD.


Comment: ~brian christiansen (Aug 12, 2002)

Lou, perhaps we *encouraged* you to go Mac, but no one *insisted.* Sounds like you need http://OpenOffice.org (although that won't be for the casual user till winter, unless you're familiar with X11).

Anyhow, tips to speed up your Mac in general, which might help out office. Check out System Optimizer X or MOX Optimize What you want to do is "update prebindings." This will likely show an increase in speed. Also, the latter will allow you to do a bunch of good stuff, in addition to the prebindings. Give it a shot.

Comment: ~bc (Aug 12, 2002)

OK, I made the mistake of putting greater/lessthans around the links, and your sys doesn't like them, so I'll have to post these again, in a kosher manner.

SOX: http://mirror.macupdate.com/info.php/id/7076

MOX: http://fly.to/infosoft

Comment: Grant Carmichael (Aug 15, 2002)

On the subject of OSX speed ups...Once I figure it out, there's apparently a way to make your 'paging files' reside on a different partition or drive enabling a modest speed increase in a limited ram environ in OSX. Hmmm. More news on that hopefully later. An of course, for the low, low price of around $130 ($99 if you look hard enough) you can get the new OS 10.2 "Jaguar" which is purported to include many optimizations (and some new app incompatibilities no doubt) for all supported macs. That System Optimizer X mentioned by bc seems interesting.

Comment: Rich Wiggins (Aug 15, 2002)

Lou's problem doesn't sound like suboptimal paging or a fragmented hard drive, and therefore doesn't sound susceptible to some tuning pixie dust. Lou doesn't need to tweak his performance at the margin, he needs to find out why his V-8 is getting 2 miles to the gallon and 30 horsepower.

The Prefs issue sounds most promising (roughly analogous to a screwed up Registry in Windows?)

MINUTES to load or unload Word is just nuckin' futs. I just loaded Word in about 10 seconds on an ancient IBM Thinkpad running Windows 2000 and Office XP. It should take less time on a new Mac with a faster processor and more memory.

OS-X is Unix with Mac window dressing. It should perform amazingly well. I suspect a horrible issue with the window dressing. On any computer, I'd re-install Word or the OS, or format the hard drive, before putting up with minutes to load Word.

Comment: Rod Cardoza (Oct 7, 2002)

Sounds like he may have installed Acrobat 5's pdfMaker.dot in Word v.X's startup folder. If so, simply remove "pdfMaker.dot " from office/startup/word and ... presto!


Comment: Chad (Nov 9, 2002)

Two more suggestions. Go into Preferences in Word and...

1. Turn off "Status Bar and Live Word Count" in the View section.
2. Turn off "WYSIWYG font and style menus" in the General section.

Those should help quite a bit.

Comment: Leslie (Dec 31, 2002)


I stumbled on this thread in my (now 3 week) search to solve my painfully slow Word problem. I am running the exact same system, but did not experience the problem untill after I installed new versions of Adobe Photoshop//Illustrator//Acrobat. I too tried the prefs, the word count...all of it...

But Rod is a God!!!! get rid of "pdfMaker.dot " That was the fix for me! Thanks!!!! Now I can work again!

- Leslie

Comment: mats (Oct 17, 2003)


experiencing the same problems with PDFMaker.dot ( Adobe Elements 6 on W2K ). But need this thing to run. Any Suggestions ?


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