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Carbon Registration Database
~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Carbon Registration Database
Carbon Registration Database is created the first time you launch Office and stores the location of all the components Office applications need to use (helper application like the equation editor, components for VBA...).
It seems that over time, this file can get corrupted and Office applications loose track of where the files they need are. Simply deleting the CRD forces Office applications to re-create it from scratch the first time you launch them. That's the reason why the first startup of the first Office application after deleting this file probably took a little longer.