Quickest way to check whether it's a corrupted template is to rename 'normal.dot' to, say, 'normal.old'. If that doesn't fix it then change the name back to 'normal.dot' and use VoGs link and work through the list.
I don't think there is an easier way than already suggested by VoG and Big Elf. Try the "Detect and repair" as VoG says. If your not sure quite how to do it, please post back and VoG or another forum member will talk you through the procedure. If you go to the help button on the "Word" toolbar, click on "Detect and repair" then just follow the instructions. j.
Would you believe it? I Found the answer on my computer, In Tips I have downloaded from various sites for reference - this ones from 'Annoyances .com'.
The answer is.....
Recent Documents are Missing from File Menus in Office XP
In most applications, a list of the most frequently opened documents is shown at the bottom of that application's File menu. However, due to a bug in Microsoft Office XP, there may be no such list in Word 2002, Access 2002, Excel 2002, or PowerPoint 2002. To find out if the bug affects you, open any Office XP application, select Options from the Tools menu, and choose the General tab. If the Recently used file list is grayed out (disabled), then the bug affects you. Otherwise, place a check in the checkbox, and you're done! Here's how to fix this bug: • Run the Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE). • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Policies\ Explorer. • On the right side, delete the NoRecentDocsHistory value. • Close the Registry Editor when you're done; the change will take affect the next time you start any Office XP application.