Resolve Microsoft Office opening slowly on Mac OS X

I was using Microsoft Office 2008 (which was never that fast) and decided to try out Office 2011 for Mac to see if it offered any speed improvements. Even after the initial opening where it takes a while to build its font cache (I should have picked up on this foreshadow), both Word and Excel were extremely slow to open documents. By slow I mean 1-3 minutes sometimes. I kept scratching my head and looking for fixes online and then finally resolved the problem by using Font Book to validate my fonts and subsequently removing all the conflicts it found.

Over the years I had collected fonts and used the Apple Migration Assistant to transfer my “mac world” between four different computers.

I followed Apple’s guide to validate fonts and after successfully removing all of the conflicts it found, Word and Excel sprang back to life. Photoshop CS4 and Acrobat X were much faster as well and I experienced the “beach ball” much less.

To prevent bad fonts from being installed in the future you can now have Font Book automatically validate fonts before installing, from Apple:

To have Font Book automatically validate fonts before they’re installed:

  1. Select the “Validate fonts before installing” checkbox.
  2. Choose Font Book > Preferences.

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