If MS Word or Excel is taking a long time to open or a long time to close, follow these steps related to "Add-ins" that are set to run on startup.
To Resolve: Edit
1. Navigate to the "normal.dotm" file and delete it. This file will re-populate when you start MS Word again.
a. For Windows XP: Run - %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\
b. For Windows 7: Run - %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates
2. If it is still slow delete the following registry values.
a. For Word 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Word\Data
b. For Word 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word\Data
c. For Word 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Data
3. If neither of those work, see if you have more than one instance open at once. I have seen where if you have two spreadsheets open in Excel, it will take forever to open a new (but totally unrelated) spreadsheet. To fix, you just click save on the current worksheet and the new one will open right up.