Improving Mac Office 2008 Startup Times

Ever since my MacBook Pro was upgraded to Mac Office 2008 I’d had appallingly slow app start up times, with hangs and delays of over 3 minutes being pretty much the order of the day.

After some determined surfing this I’ve managed to dramatically improve my startup times to around 15 seconds by applying a combination of hints and tips.

With the standard disclaimers of YMMV, here be dragons and so on …

1. In PowerPoint go to Preferences -> General and deselect “Show Project Gallery at Startup”

2. In Excel go to Preferences -> General and deselect “Open Project Gallery when application opens”

3. In Word go to Preferences -> General and deselect “Show Project Gallery at Startup” and “WYSIWYG font and style menus”

4. In Entourage go to Preferences -> General and deselect “WYSIWYG font menu”

5. Quit any running Office 2008 apps

6. Remove any folders called either “Fonts Disabled” or “Microsoft” from /Library/Fonts and from ~/Library/Fonts; either drag them to the Desktop or into Trash to verify this has no adverse effect before deleting them permanently.

7. Restart your Office apps. I found that the increase in speed was the best for Entourage and Excel, with PowerPoint occupying the mid-group and Word being the slowest. Despite this the startup time for Word is still increased by around 2 and a half minutes.

Written by Gary

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Gary is co-founder of Malstow Geospatial, which provides handmade, professional geospatial consulting. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them...
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