Microsoft Word/Flashing screens


Hi Susan--

Word 2016 MS (16.0.7127.1021) 32-bit on Win10/64 Pro.

I have two large docs (~3MB each) with lots of internal links and lots of external links. They are two members of a set of about 50 docs that all have the same styles, same formats, same approximate types of content.

But the two big docs do something none of the smaller ones do:

When I open one of them, the document appears and then flashes at me anywhere from five to 20 or so times. It's like it is try to read or find something. Flash flash flash etc. This goes on for five to ten seconds, then document finishes (?) loading, builds navigation pane contents, and I can finally work on the document. I don't get an errors, the doc is fine, everything works as expected. But the flashing is annoying and uses up a fair amount of time.

I'd be interested to hear if you have any ideas.


I'm a long-time user and appreciator of your knowledge, experience and generous service. I would be very happy to send you $10 or $20 every time I ask a question if you'll reply with a PayPal address or something. Thanks again.

Sorry for the delay. I'm not sure how I missed seeing this question yesterday, but apparently it came in with a slew of other mail, and I was distracted anyway because we're closing in on completion of a bathroom renovation, and I was constantly checking on progress of the work.

Anyway, I think you've really identified the problem yourself: the docs are large and complex. When you open any document, Word immediately starts repaginating it (you can see the page count creep up in the status bar), and it's not always immediately usable. The longer and more complex the document, the longer it takes. I haven't seen the flashing, but then I'm mostly still using Word 2003. I do have Word 2007, 2010, and 2013 but don't have 2016 installed, so I can't test in that version. One thing that I've found seems to speed up the process a little is to press Ctrl+End to go to the end of the document. This seems to spur Word to finish the repagination faster, but that may be my imagination.

Since I can't really reply authoritatively about Word 2016, you might want to post your question at to get the attention of more knowledgeable users
About Microsoft Word
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

Microsoft Word

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

©2017 All rights reserved.