Category Archives: tips

Solving MS Word menus that disappear too quickly

Both my father’s computer and mine had an unusual problem: when using Microsoft Word and trying to select an item from a menu, the menu went away before it could be selected.  It was as if there was a timer, and it was only going to stay visible for 3 seconds.   Maddening if you want to select something at the bottom of the menus.  Both primary menus and pop-up menus showed this premature disappearing behavior.  The way a popup menu is supposed to work is it stays up until you select something or leave the visual zone of the menu.  Both our computers are Windows 7.  I have Word 2007, he has Word 2010.

You can test for the problem by doing a right mouse click in the writing area of a document, taking your hand totally off the mouse, and counting to 10.  If the menu disappears, you’re seeing the problem.

A search of the internet showed many potential solutions.  They did not help me, but I’ll mention them anyway.

These didn’t solve the problem:

  • Remove all Word Apps
  • Clean install  (too much work!)
  • Create a new user profile and use Word from there.   This is not really a good solution, but it proved that the problem was somehow with the original user.
  • Change the MenuShowDelay value of registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

What did solve the problem was to set MS Word to run with administrator privileges. Now you’d think that because we installed as administrator and ran as administrator, it would have already done that, but apparently not.


Give MS Word administrator authority by the following steps:

  1. Finding the MS Word program object in the file system or menus.  I found it by Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Office ->  Word
  2. Right click on that icon and select Properties
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab
  4. Select Run this program as Administrator  (see image)
  5. Press OK
  6. Restart MS Word

Hopefully that works for you, too.


Solved: e-File requires issue date of MN driver’s license

I ran into a problem with e-Filing my Minnesota Taxes.  Using H&R Block software, the pre-check for e-Filing requires a valid driver’s license number, issued date, and date of expiration.  Most states are doing this to prevent e-Filing fraud.  That seems simple to do, but not with a Minnesota license.

The problem is the Minnesota licenses provide only the month of issuance.  The H&R Block software would have none of that.  It required an exact date.  Chat support and H&R Block didn’t know what to do.  They suggested maybe I could remember.   I did my last renewal by mail three years ago.  I have no idea what that day might be.  Guessing could cause the e-File to be rejected.  They suggested I call the DMV and ask for the date.

It turns out there is a DMV / DVS website you can do a query on any Minnesota license to check whether is it valid, and that site shows both the issuance and expiration dates!  Here is a link to the Minnesota driver’s license lookup. Problem solved!

Hopefully this can help some other Minnesotan with their e-File!