I have done everything you have suggested and I'm afraid that it has not worked. The spinning disk is even worse. Could it be a problem with the hard drive? Strange that it is only Word 7 that is affected.
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I have tried everything and nothing has worked. Been chatting on a forum and have now solved the problem. It was the HP printer laser jet (1500) that was attached as my default printer. It appears that many people have this problem. I have made the other printer (HP inkjet 1400) my default printer and will just have to select the laser everytime I want to print.
Thanks for your help and this may help if you encounter the same problem again in the future.