Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21
  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,294
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    I know there have been similiar posts in the past.

    Being a legal firm the predominant application used is Microsoft Word.

    We work with alot of Word documents and come across word documents crashing.

    People would like to know why word docs crash and how we can prevent this.

    We are currently using Office XP and will be upgrading to Office 2007.

    Has there been anything official from Microsoft about Word documents crashing? why do word documents crash etc?

    diana

  2. Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!

    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    84,353
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    You can search Google for word 2002 crash site:support.microsoft.com for Knowledge Base articles on Word crashing. I don't think you'll find a general overview of "why does my document crash".

  4. #3
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Beckenham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    20
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    Hi Diana
    Is it possible that some of these documents were originally in WordPerfect? Particularly DOS based WordPerfect? The reason I ask is that I work a lot with (UK) law firms, and in my experience, there are still a fair few documents around that originated in WordPerfect. WordPerfect contained many formatting codes and, if these were not completely removed, the resultant Word document could become unstable - hanging & crashing. There was a code at the start of a converted WordPerfect document (sorry, can't remember what it was) and there could be things like paragraph numbering codes in the document too. Generally, poorly formatted documents can cause some problems too.
    Regards
    Archie

  5. #4
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    Posts
    660
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    Hi Diana,

    I don't think I've ever seen anything official from Microsoft. In my experience, the thing that causes Word to crash (that is, not open, not print, not save to pdf...) is poor formatting. A (long) while back the closest MSFT came to an official statement was to support "best practices" to ensure healthy documents -- which I believe they still do. You probably already know the list of causes, but in my experience, crashing (and even just oddities in formatting) has almost always been caused by:
    <UL><LI>Relying on Word's conversion process to convert a WP document (Word's conversion originally assumed the document was going back to WordPerfect, which is why it retained all those codes). Much of what it left in the document was useless to Word and just took up space in perpetuity. Some was visible and could be removed, such as {UNKNOWN} fields, and some was invisible. Pieces of this document (or the whole document) can now be copied and pasted or used as the basis of a new document. (See the next item.)
    <LI>Copying a document to create a new document rather than creating a whole new document from a template. This is rather like making a xerox of a xerox of a xerox...
    <LI>Formatting solely or primarily with manual or direct formatting rather than styles. This is often a holdover from using WordPerfect, or just incomplete or nonexistant training.
    <LI>Hitting the Enter key to put space between paragraphs ("empty" paragraphs).[/list]These are the offenders I've seen most often in my business. Everybody has done one or all of these things at least once in a while, but multiply this by many users with many different methods of formatting, over many years and you'll be lucky if only one or two documents crash. I work with a firm that used to have multiple crashes and missed deadlines on a weekly basis because of the above list. But since they've adjusted their work processes, it's extremely rare to see a broken document.

    I did see a blog recently from someone working at MSFT -- probably Office 2007 or Word 2007 blog -- which said that direct formatting would not cause documents to corrupt (or words to that effect). I tend to believe this as Word 2007 has a significantly different document structure. If you create documents in Word 07 and save them as Word 03 or XP documents, I suspect these documents can still develop crash problems, so it's still best to avoid items on the above list.

    I take just a little time when training to use liberal analogies and just enough background to explain why Word users should adopt practices that support the way Word was designed. Further, I've also found that once over the hump into using Word as designed, there is a significant decrease among the user population in comments like "I hate Word!" and "Word keeps changing my documents!" and, of course "I can't print my document and the judge is waiting for it!!!!"

    You can't ask your clients to adhere to best practices, but at least you'll know what to do when one of their documents comes in the door.

    Kim

  6. #5
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    705
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    kmurdock has pointed out that "Copying a document to create a new document rather than creating a whole new document from a template" may be asking for trouble.

    I suppose that, if the new document is going to be an awful lot like that old document you wanted to copy, then you could first create a whole new document from a template and then copy the contents of the old document into the new document. Come to think of it, though, copying large amounts of text from one document to another in Word can also be asking for trouble, especially if there are differences in styles, outlines, etc. (Additional concern: Do you really know where that old document has been, and what it may have picked up along the way?)

    It's really safest, in many cases, to create a whole new document from a template and then completely retype all the stuff in the old document into the new document. If somebody's determined to be a "corner cutter" and not do the retyping, and then their new document crashes -- well, you can hardly blame Microsoft, can you? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  7. #6
    liner
    Guest

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    "Hitting the Enter key to put space between paragraphs ("empty" paragraphs)."

    Oh my! THAT would cause Word to gag? As I need to regularly alternate between double and single-spaced paragraphs in the course of a document, I apparently need to change the paragraph style? What a Crock!!!

  8. #7
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    Posts
    660
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    Do you really alternate?

    If so, you can tell the single paragraph style to be followed by the double paragraph style, and vice versa (see screenshot). When you hit the enter key, the next paragraph is automatically the other style.

    The reason you want to avoid "empty" paragraphs is that they are not simply a carriage return. The paragraph mark has information about formatting -- if there was actually something there to format. And Word can handle this right up until it can't.

    A crock? Maybe, but Word has rules (some of them not very intuitive) and when you follow them, it works pretty well.

    K
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #8
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    Posts
    660
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    st3333ve is right in that you can copy and paste a whole lot of nasty stuff from existing Word documents.

    However, I've found that in addition to creating a brand new document from a template, one can copy and paste text with great success if you don't copy the formatting.

    Start by creating a new document from a template.

    Open the old document and select and copy the content you want. Click in the new document where you want the content to go and click Edit>Paste Special>Unformatted text. This technique will paste only the text. You'll then have to work through the document formatting it, but if you use styles, even this can go pretty quickly.

    K

  10. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    84,353
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    I agree with the others that you should avoid using empty paragraphs, but mostly because it makes editing a document a lot more work. Frankly, I don't believe it causes Word to crash.

    Using style-based formatting prevents a lot of problems, it'll save you a lot of time in the end, even if it takes more time to set up initially.

  11. #10
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Beckenham, United Kingdom
    Posts
    20
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    "Hitting the Enter key to put space between paragraphs ("empty" paragraphs)."

    We almost always put empty paragraphs between typed paragraphs - our users (1000's) are more confortable with this. Admittedly I am no longer familiar with how typists/secretaries are taught today but most of the ones I come across are still used to having two returns after a paragrah. The documents are strictly controlled with styles, it's just this bit that differs from what you other readers have said. I can honestly say that we do not have problems with these documents. From time to time, secondary formatting is also applied. Whereas I think Word styles are absolutely the bees knees, there are always occasions when a little secondary formatting - maybe emboldening a word or such like - is necessary and desirable. It is important, as kmurdock said, to follow Word's rules and to format documents correctly but, in the real world, I believe there is also a need for a certain degree of flexibility.

    I've found too that a quick fix to try for documents which are only a bit broken (!) can be to save them to html format and then back in to Word format - this can help when up against the Friday-at-5:30 deadline. However, if a document has been heavily & poorly edited, copy & paste special into a brand new document - and leaving out the last carriage return when selecting text - is the best route. If your styles are correctly defined then reformatting should be a reasonably quick process.

    One thing that we also do to improve the stability of Word generally is to overwrite normal.dot every time a user logs in.

  12. #11
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    Posts
    660
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    "...but mostly because it makes editing a document a lot more work."

    I agree with this completely, but I'm not sure people who use that kind of formatting would agree with you. They're used to those blank lines and it's easier to use and remove them than to ponder Space Before and Space After.

    "...I don't believe it causes Word to crash."

    Well, maybe. I've seen too many oddities fixed by removing empty paragraphs to think they don't at least contribute to a broken document. Perhaps it merely causes possible dizziness.

    K

  13. #12
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    Posts
    660
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    ArchieDog, it sounds like your firm uses very consistent formatting, even with the empty returns. That makes a world of difference in a number of ways.

    And you have to use direct formatting, otherwise how would you underline the case name? And am I really going to create and name a style for the one time in the document that I have to have extra Space After? (But I do tend to use Space After rather than an empty paragraph... you've gotta practice what you preach!)

    K

  14. #13
    liner
    Guest

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    "Do you really alternate?"

    No, I don't alternate as such. But there are regular places in which I must use single spaces after paragraphs.

    That said, I decided to try it on my current document. I changed Normal to include 6 points after the paragraph to simulate a double space. But then my tables all had an extra space below the text. I tried to change to modify "Table Grid" style which is what my table uses. I opened the MODIFY PARAGRAPH window, and discovered that in this section the paragraphs do not have a space after them. So, for the meantime I am returning to single spacing after a paragraph and putting in an "empty" paragraph.

    If you can tell me how to AUTOMATICALLY have the table behave differently from the main body of the report, well I will be glad to take the time to set up things differently.

  15. #14
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    Posts
    660
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    Hi liner,

    Well, the first thing is to not modify the Normal style. It is the default style from which most other styles derive their formatting. If you change Normal, all other styles based on Normal, including Table Grid, will be affected, unless you then modify Table Grid style to have 0 space after. (You can see which style a style is based on by opening the Modify dialog -- it's right at the top.)

    This may sound like a silly complication, but it helps to know a little about how styles work. First, all paragraphs have a style. Because of this, Word was obliged to start with a default style with a set of generic format attributes.

    But because other styles derive their own formatting from Normal, the best thing is to NOT use Normal (and adjust it manually), but create a different set of styles (based on Normal or not) to format your document. Word comes with 100-plus built-in styles such as Body Text and Body Text 2 -- try using these for your experiment.

    Modify Body Text as the style you use most of the time and Body Text 2 as the style with extra space after. In Body Text, have it apply itself when you hit the enter key -- this way you don't have to "style" each paragraph, it styles itself. Then set Body Text 2 to apply Body Text, so when you're finished with the paragraph that has the extra space, you'll go back to your "default" style. When you get to the paragraph that will need extra space after, change the style for that one paragraph. If you can't see Body Text or Body Text 2 in the style pane, click the drop-down at the bottom and choose "All styles."

    There are a bunch of ways to apply a style. Press Ctrl+Shift+S and your cursor will appear in the Styles drop-down on the formatting toolbar. In this example, "Body Text" should already be highlighted in the box. Hit the End key to add " 2" to the end of "Body Text" and press the Enter key. I've found the easiest is to map an often-used style to a key-combo on the keyboard. Then you don't even need to take your hands off the keys to change styles while typing. You can also assign it to a toolbar, but keystrokes work great when you only have a handful of styles to use.

    I know I sound like a style zealot, but I've worked with law firms for years and encountered mild to ferocious hostility toward Word and Microsoft. Not that it's all unfounded, but I've found that making just a few small adjustments in the way folks work makes a huge difference.

    K <img src=/S/bananas.gif border=0 alt=bananas width=33 height=35>

  16. #15
    liner
    Guest

    Re: official from Microsoft re Word docs crashing?

    I understand what you are saying, and I probably will modify my documents to do exactly what you recommend.

    (Just a comment about changing the Table Grid: I TRIED to change it to give zero space after; that option is not available.)

    BTW, what would you recommend as the easiest way to get the "standard" text to default to something other than Normal?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •