Chapter 6. Housekeeping

Introduction: Hacks #51-56

Word is a big, complicated piece of software that tends to produce (with some help from us, of course) some big, complicated files. That’s a recipe for trouble, and if you’ve worked with Word for any length of time, you know the heartache of a corrupt document or a sudden crash that can wipe out a lot of work.

The hacks in this chapter show a few ways to tackle the most common Word problems, as well as how to hack some of the parts of a Word document that are next to impossible to get at from Word itself.

Troubleshoot Common Word Problems

This hack offers a systematic approach to fixing common frustrations.

You can solve a number of common Word problems using the same systematic approach. Typical symptoms include:

  • Missing toolbars

  • Word crashes repeatedly

  • Word freezes right after opening

  • Any strange Word behavior unrelated to a particular document

There are three likely culprits: your Normal template, an add-in, or a corrupt data key in your registry. Additionally, extraneous temporary files can contribute to the problems.


If you run Word 2002 or 2003, Microsoft offers troubleshooting templates for automating most of this process. You can find these templates at:

Delete Any Temporary Files

Whenever you open a document, Word creates a temporary file to store various information about ...

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