Summary: Disable the “Getting Started” pane that appears when running Microsoft Word 2003.
When you start Microsoft Word 2003 from Explorer without opening a document, a “Getting Started” pane appears to the right of the new document window. This contains options such as “Connect to Microsoft Office Online”, “Get the latest news about using Word”, plus a list of your most recently accessed documents. Though some find this feature useful, others may find it annoying. If you are in the latter group, here is how to remove the “Getting Started” pane.
1. From Microsoft Word 2003, choose “Tools” then “Options”.
2. When the “Options” multi-tabbed dialog box appears, select the “View” tab.
3. Uncheck “Startup Task Pane”.
4. Click “OK” to close the dialog box.