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Microsoft: Office FAQ

Tips and Tricks

How to start Word with different switches. by Hasit
Posted: 13 Nov 01

There are a number of ways in which you can start Word, other than double clicking on the Word icon. The reason you may want to start Word with a switch (i.e. winword.exe /<SWITCH>) could range from problems with add-ins, your normal.dot or problems with macros.

To use swicthes, you could either use the command line editor (DOS prompt), or from within Windows, START->RUN  would also work.

Generally, the default path where you can find Winword.exe (the Word executable file) is:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office

If you decide you want to use a switch to open up Word all the time, the switch can be added to the shortcut for Word (you can have several instances of the Word icon, all with different switches if you wish).

Listed below are swicthes that are available to start Word, some documented, others that are not documented.

The command line entry should read:

winword.exe /<SWITCH>

so in the first example to prevent add-ins and global templates from being loaded, the command line entry would be:

winword.exe /a

Starts Word and prevents add-ins and global templates (including the Normal template) from being loaded automatically. The /a switch also locks the setting files; that is, the setting files cannot be read or modified if you use this switch.

Starts Word and then loads a specific Word add-in.

Starts a new instance of Word without running any AutoExec macros.

Starts Word and then runs a specific macro. The /m switch also prevents Word from running any AutoExec macros.

Starts a new instance of Word with no document open. Documents opened in each instance of Word will not appear as choices in the Window menu of other instances.

Starts Word with a new document based on a template other than the Normal template.

Starts a new instance of Word with a blank document. Documents opened in each instance of Word will not appear as choices in the Window menu of the other instances.

(no switch)
A new Word window is opened with a blank document using the existing instance of the Word application.

The following Word startup (command-line) switches are not listed in Word Help.
Starts a new instance of Word and then invokes NetMeeting.

Starts Word without displaying the Word splash screen. This switch is only available in Word 2000 Service Release 1 (SR-1).

Starts Word in the background, makes changes in the Windows registry, and then quits. This switch forces a re-register of Word in the Windows registry.

Has no effect and does not start Word.

Starts a new instance of Word from the operating shell (for example, to print in Word). This instance of Word responds to only one DDE request and ignores all other DDE requests and multi-instances. If starting a new instance of Word within the operating environment (for example, within Windows), it is recommended that you use the /w switch, which starts a fully functioning instance.

(any other switch)
Starts a new instance of Word. For example, if you start Word with just the / and no switch, or with any unlisted switch combination, Word doesn't understand what you want and just starts a new instance of Word with a new blank document.

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