Word: Very slow to load and respond. Solved.April 21, 2011
Word 2007 — and now Word 2010 — on my Vista laptop has often been very slow to load a document and to respond to a document command (like Save). I’ve been blaming Vista…
But when I started to edit a 300+ page Word 2010 document on my Vista laptop, the unresponsiveness was going to be a huge productivity drain. So off to Google to see if there was an answer to this problem. And there is! And it’s not related to Vista at all, but to how a Word document interacts with the default printer. If the default printer is a networked printer, then there can be response issues.
In my case, the default printer is not only a networked printer, but when I opened this 300+ page document, the printer was turned off (it was a Sunday and I don’t use the printer all the time, especially on weekends).
After following the advice of people in this forum thread, I changed my default printer on the Vista laptop to Adobe PDF (Microsoft EPS works well too, I believe). And guess what? The document responded beautifully! No more achingly long Not responding messages in the Word 2010 title bar; no more watching the ‘spinning wheel of death’ (as I like to call it) while waiting and waiting for the Word document to respond because it was trying to talk to my network printer.
But I have to question WHY Microsoft still ties things like Word documents so closely to the default printer. Most of us have many ‘printers’ listed these days — many of which aren’t even printers, but instead are printer drivers. If a network printer is set as the default and it can’t find it, then why don’t we get a message to tell us to change to another printer driver so we can work in a fully responsive document?
[Link last checked April 2011]