In my experience -- and I have to shift between MS Office 2003 and current software when not at home -- you don't really gain any advantage from the newer software. It isn't any faster or any more practical. In some regards I find it less intuitive.
Did you try the reinstall solution? If that works I'd stick with 2000 and save yourself money. If it doesn't, you could try Open Office for an evening and see how you get on.
It's a long time since I've used Open Office, so I honestly can't recall what facilities it offers. Perhaps someone else can advise here. If it does all you need, again, happy days, as you don't need to shell out for new software.
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Check on your C drive for...
'Program Files' then click on 'Common Files' then click 'Microsoft shared' then click 'PROOF'.
Amongst that list you should see msspell3.dll and mssp3en.lex (dictionary file and application extensions for US English).
If not, then find them on your Word Installation CD and copy them into the 'PROOF' folder.
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Have not had chance yet. I am thinking about buying Microsoft office 365 too, I need to learn how to use Outlook and Access too.
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Can't find PROOF.
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