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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times Apps
I got tired of waiting for Microsoft Word to finish optimizing its font menu every time it started up, but never tired enough to do something about it. Today, I finally did.

Turning off WYSIWYG font and style menus has greatly reduced my Word startup times. To do so, go to Word » Preferences (or press Command-,). In the General section, deselect WYSIWYG font and style menus -- it's third from the bottom. VoilĂ ! Faster Word. To be sure, don't do this if you like to preview fonts and styles in their respective menus.

[robg adds: Interestingly, this option is Office-wide switch -- turn off WYSIWYG menus in Word, and you'll also disable them in Excel and PowerPoint. You can also disable them in Excel or PowerPoint (the effect is still Office-wide). Of course, the setting is found in an entirely different location in those two apps: Go to Tools » Customize » Customize Toolbars/Menus, not Preferences. At the bottom right of this window, uncheck WYSIWYG font menus.]
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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Great hint
Authored by: azraq27 on May 21, '07 08:16:37AM

Holy cow... I might actually start using Word now.

Thanks (I think)



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: ateichman on May 21, '07 08:26:22AM

I have WYSIWYG on in Word, and the only time that it optimises the font menu is after an upgrade or addition of a font. I'm not certain why it should happen every time for someone. In fact, it's pretty rare.



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: brycesutherland on May 21, '07 08:55:43AM

Same here -- "Optimizing font menu..." only appears after the font directories have been changed. Something else must be amiss on the OP's system -- perhaps a font cache issue?



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: fds on May 21, '07 09:14:47AM

Office 2004 is buggy - no wonder there - and if you install a significant amount of fonts on your system, the font caching crap reruns every time you restart an Office application, even if you haven't changed your fonts.

Some rough testing I did seems to put the number of font files after the bug occurs at around 1000. And every style counts separately in that number, eg. Bold, Italic, etc. Which fonts you install doesn't matter, only the number of them.

For me to stop the font caching nightmare to stop for good was to actually trash the FontCacheTool application. Even if I unchecked the WYSIWYG font menus option it kept on remaking its stupid cache.



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: bupkis on May 21, '07 09:59:20AM

My machine developed a problem where Word and other Office apps would do the "Optimizing Font Menu Performance" tango on every start. I solved it by opening Font Book and:

1) Highlighting all fonts and selecting "Resolve Duplicates" from the Edit menu;

2) Turning off little-used fonts.

I still have quite a few fonts active, but this seems to have cured the problem.



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: kidzmatter2me on May 21, '07 11:30:11AM

All I have to say is thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I am running a 1.25 GHz PowerBook G4 Al with Word v.X, and launches are atrociously slow for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Me and my boss (small company) do a lot of graphic design, and so have somewhere over 1900 fonts (Not including the likes of Bold, Italics, Light and Condensed, etc.) on each of our systems. He still uses Office for most things, but I have gone to using Keynote and Pages for everything and simply using their MS Office export formats. I can finally go back to the easy way of getting the file formats right for Office! Thanks again!



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: kidzmatter2me on May 21, '07 11:32:41AM

Correction, I spoke too soon. After a Word restart, the caching issue has returned. Grrrr.



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: styrafome on May 21, '07 01:32:19PM

Anybody who has enough fonts to make this an issue should be using a font manager to shut off all fonts that you are not using at the moment. Font caching isn't just going to impact Office startup time and performance, but other applications too. I use FontExplorer because it's free and works better than FontBook.

Office 2004 may be buggy, but it's less buggy than previous versions.



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Or... use a blunt object
Authored by: joelbruner on May 21, '07 02:28:56PM

Well when you work at an ad agency and no one needs the font previews in Office apps, and they only want to look at a Word document and not click OK 20 or 30 times because Word think that this or that font is corrupt (despite trashing ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office Font Cache (11)) then you can also do this:

Move/delete this file:
/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/Support Files/FontCacheTool

Same effect as the tip, but more final in case you trash prefs and it turns back on.



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: Michael.Massing on May 21, '07 03:46:26PM
[robg adds: Interestingly, this option is Office-wide switch -- turn off WYSIWYG menus in Word, and you'll also disable them in Excel and PowerPoint. You can also disable them in Excel or PowerPoint (the effect is still Office-wide). Of course, the setting is found in an entirely different location in those two apps: Go to Tools » Customize » Customize Toolbars/Menus, not Preferences. At the bottom right of this window, uncheck WYSIWYG font menus.]
I recall from when I had to live more in Office that this kind of change-in-one-reset-in-all behavior was fairly common. It was also common, as Rob points out in this case, for the switches to be located in different places. Since in that environment I mostly thought of the universal settings as a good thing, I didn't keep notes on the particulars, but it's definitely something for Office users to be aware of.

---
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. - Thomas Jefferson to Col. C. Yancey, 1816

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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: blubbernaut on May 21, '07 07:12:02PM

It happens to me every time I start word. We use a lot of fonts, and consequently have to turn them on and off using a font manager all the time. Maybe that is why.

However, I find that it still goes through the optimizing font menu dance even after turning WYSIWYG font menus in preferences.

Removing the file suggested above does the trick. It's like i have a new machine!



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: eAspenwood on May 22, '07 05:52:52AM

excellent hint. worked great for me.

looks like i wont be so anxious to upgrade to the next version of ms office afterall. rosetta forever! just kidding.



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Beware deleting Office FontCacheTool
Authored by: gfowler on May 24, '07 02:03:19PM

joelbruner recommends trashing (or at least moving) Office 2004's FontCacheTool to stop problems with optimizing the font menu on startup. I have a lot of fonts and get this frequently, combined with the familiar problem of cascading bogus corrupt font messages. The fonts aren't corrupt, but something about having lots of fonts corrupts one or more cache file frequently. For me, the solution (workaround) has been to u8se Font Finagles, a $7 shareware product thqat nukes font cache files.

Readers should be careful about deleting the FontCacheTool. I have tried this. One consequence is that Word no longer substitutes correct weights of fonts when you use Word's Bold, Italic, etc. For example, if you are in Times New Roman and hit the Bold button (or do Command-B), Word normally substitute the true Bold weight of the font. However, with this tool removed, it will do its own fairly crude approximation of boldrace, using letters thickened in Word. You can overcome this by always faithfully choosing the true Bold weight of the font from the font menu, or by doing a global find/replace before printing. Each of these is a nuisance. For me the irritqation of having to run Font Finagler ($7) most of the time before a restart is less irritating than dealing with crud-looking Bold, Italic, etc. characters.

YMMV.

George



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Reduce Microsoft Word launch times
Authored by: montylee on Jun 02, '07 09:15:52AM

First, some readers say it doesn't happen to them. I've found that it will always "optimize" if there has been an unexpected quit of any type (system crash, word crash, et al). I've experienced this on multiple Macs, even those that automatically restart after a power failure, so it is very common, contrary to some user's experiences.

Second, I could not get this hint to work for me. Word still insists on optimizing even with the checkbox off (verified in Word and Excel both). It again may be related to a crash or some other issue. I've repaired fonts, repaired permissions, and just about everything else, but it still happens. One of the major annoyances of Word because of the protacted launch time.

What gets me is even after Word has "optimized" the fonts, launching Excel will result in the same activity. You'd think the suite would be smart enough to rely on the other running application to let it know the fonts are OK.

Monty



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