Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Repairing Microsoft Office will usually preserve your settings. If you uninstall and then reinstall it, you will be back to the factory default settings.
Will running a repair on Office 2003 installation result in the software having the same condition as uninstalling and reinstalling the software?
In this excerpt from Answercast #75, I look at the difference between doing a "repair install" of Microsoft Office as compared to fully uninstalling the software from your computer and installing it again.
It's my understanding that the answer is no.
My understanding is that when you uninstall and reinstall the software, all of the default settings will be restored to their default settings - as if you had not had Office on your machine before and installed it completely from scratch.
As I understand it, a repair will actually attempt to repair the software without altering the settings that you may have configured since installing it.
So that would be the difference between the two. A repair is usually a good first step. I really like that Office includes that option as part of their setup.
If that doesn't work to solve whatever problem it might be that you're trying to solve here, then, yes, my next solution would be to completely uninstall it and then reinstall it from scratch - realizing that (at least in the latter case), you'll lose all of your settings.
In either case, you should not lose your documents.
It's always a good idea to back up first, but regardless of the "uninstall/reinstall" scenario versus repair, your documents are not at risk (or should not be at risk), only your settings.
So like I said, back up first, but you should be okay in that regard.
Next from Answercast 75 - Can I block all animation in web advertisements?
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