Controlling How Word Starts

You're probably accustomed to starting Word from the Windows Start menu, or perhaps from a desktop icon. But you have a good deal more control over how Word starts than you may realize. In the next two sections, for example, we'll show you how to automatically start Word whenever you start your computer?and how to start Word with a specific task or document.

Starting Word Automatically

For millions of people, it's a given: When they turn on their computers in the morning, they'll be working in Word. If you're one of those people, you can set up Windows to run Word automatically whenever you start your computer. You'll have a little more time to get coffee, and when you get back, Word will be all set for you to get started.


The downside of adding startup programs is that Windows takes longer to finish loading at startup.

To run Word at startup, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, Microsoft Office to display shortcuts for all your Microsoft Office programs.

  2. Right-click on the Microsoft Office Word 2003 shortcut, and choose Copy to copy it into the Clipboard.

  3. Browse to and open the Startup folder associated with the All Users profile (typically, C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start menu\Programs\Startup.

  4. Click Paste.


If you're working on a long-term project that involves the same document day in and day out, you can place a shortcut to a Word document in the StartUp folder. Then, whenever you start your computer or log into Windows, Word opens with that document already displayed.

These steps can also be applied to any other program that you want Windows to launch automatically when you start up or log in.

Starting Word with a Particular Task

You've already learned that you can automatically start Word when you start your computer and that you can open a document at the same time. But what if you start with a few different documents? Imagine, for example, that on Tuesday and Wednesday you usually work on correspondence; on Thursday and Friday you work on a manual. You can create one desktop shortcut that runs the Letter Wizard when Word starts, and another that opens the master document where your manual files are stored.

To create a desktop shortcut that loads Word with a custom behavior, follow these steps:

  1. In My Computer or Windows Explorer, browse to the Microsoft Word program file WINWORD.EXE. In a typical installation, its location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE 11\WINWORD.EXE.

  2. Right-click on WINWORD.EXE to display the shortcut menu, and click Send To, Desktop (Create Shortcut).

  3. On the Windows Desktop, right-click on the shortcut you just created, and choose Properties from the shortcut menu. Display the Shortcut tab if it is not already displayed.

  4. In the Target box, edit the text to add an instruction or switch that corresponds to the behavior you want Word to perform at startup.

    For example, if you want Word to load a specific document, add the complete path to the document you want to load, within quotation marks. The following example shows how this would look if the document were stored in your My Documents folder. (You would substitute your account name for the word Profile.)

    [View full width]
    "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE 11\WINWORD.EXE " "c:\Documents and Settings graphics/ccc.gif\Profile\My Documents\startup.doc"

    If you want to instruct Word to start in a specific way, enter one of the switches shown in Table 31.1.

    Table 31.1. Word Startup Options

    This Switch

    Does This


    Loads Word without loading add-ins or global templates.

    /l<addin name>

    Loads Word with a specific add-in. (Follow /l with the add-in's file name and complete path, for example, /l" c:\Documents and Settings\Profile\ApplicationData\Microsoft\Templates\" .)


    Loads Word without running any automatic macros (AutoExec and so on). (Follow /m with a macro name, and Word runs that macro instead.)


    Starts Word without opening a blank document.

    /t<template name>

    Starts Word and creates a new document based on the indicated template. (Follow /t with the name of the template?for example, /t"" .)


    Do not place the additional instructions within the quotation marks that already appear in the Target box.

  5. When you're finished customizing Word's behavior, click OK.

  6. Give the shortcut a descriptive name. On the desktop, right-click on the shortcut's current name (WINWORD.EXE), click Rename, and type a new name describing its purpose.

When might you use a startup option? You might run Word with the /a and /m options if you suspect that you have a macro virus infection (see Chapter 33, "Word Document Privacy and Security Options"). Or you might create a special desktop shortcut that runs Word and a specific custom macro that creates a unique editing environment for specific tasks. Figure 31.1 shows a Windows desktop with custom options for loading Word.

Figure 31.1. Sample custom options for loading Word from the Windows desktop.



To run a specific wizard at startup, record a macro that loads the wizard (see Chapter 33 for more information on recording and running macros). Then create a desktop shortcut that runs this macro rather than any of Word's automatic macros. In the following example, the name of the macro is runwizard, and Word has been installed in the default location. You would enter the following in the Target text box of the Shortcut tab:

"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\WINWORD.EXE " /mrunwizard

If you want, you can not only rename a shortcut but also assign it a new icon. After you create the shortcut, right-click on it and choose Properties; then click the Shortcut tab and click on Change Icon. A series of variations on the Word icon appears. You can select one of these or browse to another file containing icons. Windows typically includes two such files, Shell32.dll and Moricons.dll, both typically stored in the \Winnt\system32 folder.

After you've selected the icon you want, click OK in both of the open dialog boxes. The new icon now appears on your desktop.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word