How to Disable the Splash Screen in Ms Word, Excel and PowerPoint

MS Office Suite has always had splash screens. Even the archaic Office 2003 had them, though less appealing and functional compared to what we have in the newer suites. With the entry of Office 2010 the splash screens got a makeover and they were no longer the functionless graphics that merely signified how slow or fast your computer was. They got some fancy animations, the close and minimize buttons which I'm just realizing I've never used and some loading information. Regardless, I've yet to find any practical use for the splash screen and prefer to get right to work by skipping over it and the new start screen introduced in Office 2013.
word 2013 splash screen
Word 2013 Splash Screen

Unfortunately, the splash screen cannot be disabled in all Office Programs but just in the three most popular ones: Word, PowerPoint and Excel. This will however work with any version of Office from 2003 and above. Here's how I disabled them:

The Switches

The splash screens are disabled by using command line switches which I realize may not be ideal for most users. The switches are:
Word: /q
PowerPoint: /s
Excel: /e (this will also skip creating an empty workbook)

So that means one has to navigate in command line to where the Office programs are installed then add that switch to the executable every time you need to launch a program e.g. for Word 2013 it would be:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15>WINWORD.EXE /q
Launching Office Programs from CMD

Clearly, that's not practical for everyday use not unless you prefer using the command line to the graphical user interface. To solve this problem we can simply create shortcuts that have the switches added to the target executable.

Shortcuts + Switches

1. So just go to the location where your Office Suite is installed and create shortcuts (right-click > create shortcut) for the following executables:
  • Word - WINWORD.EXE
  • PowerPoint - POWERPNT.EXE
  • Excel - EXCEL.EXE

The location will depend on the type of Windows (32-bit or 64-bit) you're running as well as the version and type of MS Office (32-bit or 64-bit):
32-bit Office on 32-bit Windows: 
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX

32-bit Office on 64-bit Windows:  
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX

64-bit Office on 64-bit Windows:  
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX or C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\OfficeXX
where OfficeXX is the version of Office:
  • Office11 - Office 2003
  • Office12 - Office 2007
  • Office14 - Office 2010
  • Office15 - Office 2013
  • Office16 - Office 2016

2. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. In the Properties window, just add the switch to the target after the quotes and click the Apply button e.g. in Office 2013
Shortcut Properties

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\WINWORD.EXE" /q

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\POWERPNT.EXE" /s

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\EXCEL.EXE" /e

3. To finish just copy the shortcuts to where typically you launch your programs from e.g. the Desktop. If you use the Start Menu or a launcher that indexes the Start Menu like Launchy, just copy the shortcuts to this folder (you'll have to enable display of hidden folders to see it):

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Alternatively, you can modify the existing Ms Office shortcuts that are in that folder. They can be in the root of the folder or in specific folders:
Word 2010 and below: 
 C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office

Word 2013 and later:  
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office 20XX
You may however find some of the shortcuts are not editable in which case just copy the shortcuts.
shortcut 2
Non-editable Shortcut