Just because I lost two hours to this yesterday and it’s hard to find this information online* hopefully this will pop up in the search engines.
Search in finder for the file linkCreation.dotm and then delete it. Reopen MS Word and the problem should be gone.
This works on MacOS Mojave; I haven’t tested elsewhere.
Why would you need this solution? Here’s why I needed it. I installed a desktop version of Adobe Acrobat, which I had purchased before they went to their execrable subscription model. It added some code to MS Word (also desktop) that froze the application every time I opened a new document. NOT helpful. I deleted Acrobat using their Acrobat deleter app. The garbage code was still freezing Word. I found it listed in Word’s macros but was unable to delete it using the “minus” button in the macros list. Why? Who knows?
Since Preview does most things I need with pdfs, I just needed Acrobat for redaction. There are two options I have found outside Acrobat: 1) PDF Expert and 2) In Preview: add a black box over the text you want to redact, export as tiff image, reimport as pdf. That will destroy all the OCR but also make the redaction “stick.”
*It was buried in a thread on the Adobe support forums where the wrong answer was marked as the right answer.