Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23
  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gloucester, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hi folks,

    I am trying to decide the best way forward for our company's user documentation. Everything is currently authored in Word 2003, but it is struggling with the largest document (400 pages, including lots of index entries and cross-references, and some imported images). One option is to split the document contents, and another is to move to FrameMaker (which is expensive). But is moving to Word 2007 or Word 2010 another option worth considering? Can anyone tell me whether the more recent versions of Word are better at handling large documents than Word 2003, or will there be no real benefit in upgrading?

    Look forward to hearing your opinions.

    Many thanks,

    Anne

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manning, South Carolina
    Posts
    9,434
    Thanks
    372
    Thanked 1,457 Times in 1,326 Posts
    Anne,

    Although I can't say for sure but logic leads me to think that you may be a candidate for 64 Bit Office 2010. Since this version will use more than 4Gb of memory it should handle your large documents much better.

    Let's see what the other loungers have to say.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    2,970
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts
    I'd have to disagree with RG's advice here - at least in the case of Office 2007, the 64 bit version had problems, and even Microsoft steered people away from it. I don't know if that has changed with Office 2010, but I'd steer clear of the 64 bit version for the time being.

    Wish I could give advice on Word 2007 or 2010 and large documents, but I haven't really had to torture-test these versions with large complex documents, the way I have with earlier versions. Hopefully someone else here with that experience will pitch in with an opinion.

    One other question: do you have a sufficient amount of memory on your PC?

    Gary

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Posts
    6,623
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 60 Times in 60 Posts
    I have to agree with Gary on this one. From what I've seen the 64-bit apps still aren't as stable as the 32 bit apps. And I seriously doubt that even a 400 page document would use more than say 1GB of space - unless it is loaded with graphics. Word has never been really good at handling large documents, and I think most people who do that sort of thing break them into smaller documents when editing them and then combine them either using Includes or Master documents when they want to produce the final product. Perhaps one of the book authors can comment on those issues.
    Wendell

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    790
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts
    I agree with Wendel B.

    However, maybe there is room for optimism as far as word 2010 is concerned: I have recently been editing a 234-page Word 2003 document in Word 2010. It includes a number of large tables (some flowing over several pages) and 5 graphs linked to an Exel 2010 spread sheet, (Intel core i7 and 4Gb RAM and Word 2010, 32 bit under Windows 7 Professional, stand-alone desktop).

    I have saved, and now work on the document, as a Word 2010 document and, so far, it has been working fine and certainly much quicker than it did with Word 2003. I have particularly noted that when moving paragraphs within it, the repagination is much faster and the automatic page numbering updating is almost instantaneous and so is the updating of cross-referencing. The original document had been created as sub-documents of a Master in 2003, but is now one large document because of its ease of "manipulation" in 2010. Whether this will hold true for 400 pages....I don't know, and how this would work over a network, I also do not know. (Large Word 2003 documents over a busy company network are still, in my case, a nightmare and cause me to work with a Master and sub-documents).

    Perhaps it's worth playing around with a copy of your 400-pager and seeing how it performs in Word 2010 before you commit your company to change.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gloucester, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hi folks,

    Many thanks for your responses so far. I am intending to give the trial version of Word 2010 a go, but as I am going on holiday soon for a couple of weeks, I will wait until I get back before downloading it. Are Master documents more stable in Word 2010? I have avoided them until now as I have seen so many warnings against using Master documents, but if they are more stable then maybe they are an option worth considering?

    The 400-page document will need to grow in the future as the product functionality grows. It could reach 500 pages eventually - hence the need for a decision on the right documentation tool. Fortunately I don't have to worry about opening documents over a network, as I am the sole technical writer here.

    If anyone else has any other useful insights, I would be very grateful to hear them.

    Anne

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    790
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts
    Hello Anne. I am sorry, but I have not worked with master documents in Word 2010 because of the satisfactory performance with a large (234 page) document reported in my earlier post.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Posts
    6,623
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 60 Times in 60 Posts
    Sorry Anne - I've not worked with master documents in Word 2010 either, but I have worked with a rather large (100 pages) document loaded with graphics, and it seems to manage it quite well. Hopefully others with experience will chime in.
    Wendell

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gloucester, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Have just discovered that there doesn't seem to be any such thing as a 30-day free trial of Office/Word 2010. Or does anyone know different?

  10. #10
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,580
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,058 Times in 927 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorAnne View Post
    Have just discovered that there doesn't seem to be any such thing as a 30-day free trial of Office/Word 2010. Or does anyone know different?
    In the USA, there are trial versions available at Try Office 2010 - Microsoft Office.

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    790
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts
    By the way: One factor that can make documents, especially large documents, crash, is poor automatic paragraph numbering. Word's paragraph numbering system is extremely complex and misuse of the various numbering methods that can be applied to paragraphs can cause chaos, often leading to slow response of the document to key-strokes and eventually crashing. It can also result in documents created by one author, behaving differently (as far as paragraph or list numbering are concerned) when opened by someone else on a different PC.

    If you are feeling fresh, alert and brave, have a look at the following excllent (but mind-bending) article: http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Numbering/...lained.htm#Toc --especially the "Outline Numbering" section: I quote an interesting sentence: "A Word document tends to crash if the number of List Templates in a single List Gallery exceeds 256, so we have potentially 2,304 combinations of formatting for each list. In a 300-page manual with a list on each page, that's more than half a million differences in the numbering within a single document."

    So, knowing when to use Outline Numbering as opposed to Numbered Lists can have a profound effect on the stability of a docment; the larger the document, the greater the potential for instability if you get your automatic numbering setups wrong. In general, Outline Lists are the way to go.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    2,970
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts
    Peter,

    Getting automatic numbering right is important, especially when you get to longer and/or more complex documents, but the article you link to should be taken with more than a couple of grains of salt.

    For starters, the piece you quote about excess list templates gunking things up hasn't been an issue since Word 2000 - I believe it was starting with Word 2002 that a feature was built in which automatically reduces extra, unused list templates. In general, it looks like this article was written for Word 2000, and never updated.

    Second, the author's take on successful use of automatic numbering is way too gloomy:

    Unless you create them using styles, and define the styles using VBA, Outline- numbered list paragraphs will break pretty much every time you close the document unless you happen to be a highly-skilled user such as a technical writer who understands all the stuff you read here and bears it all in mind every minute they work! If you do that, the numbering will break only about half the time {grin}.
    - that's just not right!
    Just to cite personal experience, I've been associated over the years, with two of the world's largest law firms, where many thousands of documents using numbering are produced each year. At both firms, automatic numbering is set up in templates, using styles (and in most cases without VBA), and for the vast majority of users and documents, the numbering stays stable - the key being to use the styles provided in the templates, to apply numbering.

    The issue you mention about numbering being unstable from user to user, or PC to PC, doesn't arise as long as everyone has the same templates installed, and everyone uses the same styles. Documents with problem numbering are relatively rare, and usually result from a user going outside the provided styles.
    Word numbering does have its quirks that you have to steer clear of, but it's not so problematic as many people make it out to be.

    Gary

  13. #13
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    790
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts
    @Gary. Thanks for your comments. I agree with you entirley, but quoted the extract to point out that automatic numbering CAN lead to major hassles. (btw, as I read the article, it has been updated to address Word 2003).

    It is, however a fact that Word (even word 2010) can really behave crazily if you get auto numbering of lists/paragraphs, etc wrong: Sorting out the mess can be extremely taxing. I have, fortunately some time back now, had to try to deal with documents that had been created by personnel at home and then brought in to the work place network: Different templates, numbering set up differently---DISASTER. Your comment "as long as everyone has the same templates installed, and everyone uses the same styles" is the key. Not all Word users know this and end up with problems they can not easily comprehend or solve.

    I also work in an environment where many users use large documents with auto numbered paragraphs/lists. The KEY to avoiding hassles (company policy) is the use of common templates with outline numbering as foundation.

    I cited the examples because the original post to this thread by AuthorAnne mentioned "struggling with larger document of more then 400 pages" containing what (my deduction) could be data in numerous lists (possibly numbered?).

    Similarly, Master Documents can be a headache, as discussed here: Once again, yes the article is rather melodramatic, particularly the final paragraph, (I have successfully used Master Documents extensively for many years) but does help explain what can go wrong. Forewarned is fore-armed. http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/General/Wh...ocsCorrupt.htm But, as stated before in an earlier post to this thread, I have found Word 2010 to be stable with single, complex, documents of up 234 pages. (There is no Master Docs functionality in Word 2010 anyway: It's been dropped[s][/s]). (See Edit below).

    Edit on 18 August 2010: PamCaswell has identified a "Master Documents" function somewhat hidden in Word 2010. As she states in a post lower down in this thread:

    "...The master document group still appears on the outline tab of the ribbon in W2010"

    And:

    "Terry:

    They have hidden it pretty well. First switch to outline view. The Outlining tab will appear. I don't use the outline view nearly as much as I did with W2003 & 2007, so I didn't find it on my own."

    Thanks, Pam. I had not discovered it (like Terry, so I am not alone in this!), hence my (incorrect) assertion that Master Docs is no-longer supported in Word 2010. My apologies to anyone I may have misled. "mea culpa" as an Ancient Roman would have said.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  14. #14
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gloucester, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Peter and Gary,

    Yes, the document does contain some auto-numbered lists, which I handle using styles. The only problem that I've ever had is trying to restart a list from '1' when the option to restart has been greyed out, but I've found a way round it (by restarting the next numbered item at '1' and then deleting the numbered item that had the Restart option greyed out - but that's an entirely separate issue).

    There's certainly no issue with other users editing the documents, since I am the sole technical writer here.

    I will give Word 2010 a test drive after my holiday - thank you Joe for providing a link to the trial version.

    Many thanks for all the responses. I will post back after trying Word 2010 and let you know how well it handles the 400-page document.

    Anne

  15. #15
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    790
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 43 Times in 33 Posts
    Thanks Anne. Good luck. I hope you will find Word 2010 an improvement (I cerainly have, despite that darned ribbon which I am still adjusting to, in between using Ubit Menu when I am under pressure to get a document finshed within deadline).
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

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
  •