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PowerPoint crashes or becomes non-responsive when searching for More Auto-Shapes

Problem

You click AutoShapes on the drawing toolbar then choose "More AutoShapes ...."
PowerPoint displays an hourglass cursor and goes non-responsive; you can no longer select anything or perform any other operations.

Solution

Imagine this in large, friendly letters:

Don't Panic

Be patient. It may take a minute or two, but PowerPoint will probabaly "come back".

Background

When you click "More AutoShapes ..." PowerPoint may try to contact the Microsoft site to retrieve additional AutoShapes.

If there's a firewall (software or hardware) between you and the internet, it may prevent this. PowerPoint doesn't give up or notif you that there's a problem though. It keeps trying (in our tests, 14 or 15 times). Eventually it stops trying and lets you get back to work.

If you have access to the firewall logs, you'll probably see an application named MSTORDB.EXE attempting to contact b.r.office.microsoft.com [64.4.52.58], port http [80], Protocol: TCP. Setting a rule to permit this access should solve the problem.

If you can't set firewall rules, here's another way to prevent this from getting too annoying:

You'll no longer have access to online content and links from Microsoft (but your firewall was probably blocking that anyway). But More AutoShapes will now appear almost instantly, rather than after a long delay.


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PowerPoint crashes or becomes non-responsive when searching for More Auto-Shapes
http://www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00846_PowerPoint_crashes_or_becomes_non-responsive_when_searching_for_More_Auto-Shapes.htm
Last update 07 June, 2011
Created: