The Getting Started task pane that appears when I start Word gets me started all rightthe wrong way. How do I get rid of it?
Choose Tools » Options, click the View tab, uncheck the Startup Task Pane box in the Show area, and then click the OK button.
If you find that the task pane doesn't obey the Startup Task Pane setting in Word 2003, change the Registry setting that controls it:
Close Word and create a system restore point before tackling the Registry: choose Start » All Programs » Accessories » System Tools » System Restore, click the "Create a restore point" option, click the Next button, and follow through the prompts.
Choose Start » Run, type
regedit, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
Navigate to this Registry key:
Right-click the DoNotDismissFileNewTaskPane key, choose Delete from the shortcut menu, and click the OK button to confirm the deletion. Choose File » Exit to close the Registry Editor.
Word Takes Ages to Close a Document
The longer I've been working on a document, the longer Word takes to close it. And if I use Save As to save the document under a different name, it takes even longer to close.
Sorry, there's no fix for this problem, other than shortening your sessions with any particular document. What's happening is that Word is disposing of the temporary files that it has created while you've been working with the document. Word is also clearing out of its Undo buffer the data for the undoable actions in this document. (It leaves the data for any other documents that are open.)