I'm working on a single page MS Word document with 64 small images on it. As I'm working with the document I keep getting the spinning wheel and the screen fades every few seconds and the status bar at the top shows "not responding". After about 10 ish seconds of it being frozen it wakes up again for a few more seconds and then it goes right back into being frozen again. It's making it impossible for me to make the adjustments to the document that I need to make before finishing it off.

I'm running MS Word Office 365 on Windows 10 with an Intel Core i7 4770 (4 core, 8 threads) @ 3.4 GHz. I have 16GB of DDR3 RAM @ 798 MHz. My system's memory usage is flat lined at 42%. The disk usage is very low at 0% - 3% with the odd spike to 100% occasionally.

I can't see anything that is causing the computer to get busied out so I don't understand why MS Word keeps freezing.

Any suggestions on how I can troubleshoot this problem?

  • Using Windows Resource Monitor, I can now see that the CPU - Total graph is pinned at 100% whenever MS Word freezes up so it does seem like a CPU bottleneck issue. I'm assuming that Word is not taking advantage of the multiple cores and it's getting bottlenecked. Strangely, when I look at the graphs for CPU0, CPU1, ..., CPU7, none of them are are at 100%.
    – Denis
    May 4 '19 at 21:28
  • Were those images pasted at the size you're using, or were they larger images and you've changed their display size to fit the page area?
    – fixer1234
    May 5 '19 at 1:05
  • I kept working on it yesterday and I think I've figured out the source of the problem. Each of the 64 images is an Enhanced Metafile rendering of a source image that consisted of 5 other images embedded within it and each of those embedded images had shadow effects enabled on them. The resulting document had something like 320 images. I think it was just pushing the CPU too hard. I simplified the file and the app is running smoother now.
    – Denis
    May 5 '19 at 12:29
  • Kudos for figuring this out. Consider posting an answer to help others with the same problem (and you can accept it 2 days after posting the question).
    – fixer1234
    May 5 '19 at 18:38

In Word, go to the File ribbon and select Options. Go to Advanced and scroll down to Show Document Content and select "Show picture placeholders".

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  • 2
    Thanks. I tried doing this and I didn't see any changes. I was expecting that all of my images would disappear and be replaced with placeholder symbols but that didn't happen. What should I be seeing with that option enabled?
    – Denis
    May 5 '19 at 12:31

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