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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Locked for editing

    There is a word file in My Documents which I add to every day. Once in awhile, when I open it, add content, and go to save, I get a message saying the file is locked for editing by Al (me). As I am the only user, I can't understand why this happens. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Word may leave a file locked if it crashes with the document open, or sometimes if it crashes between the time you use Save As and close the new document. In rare cases, you also can have two independent sessions of Word running. I don't know why that happens; it might have something to do with process isolation for security reasons when you open a Word document from a browser or email client.

  3. #3
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    When you open a Word document, Word creates an owner file that has the same name as the file opened except for the first two characters ( ~$). Normally, Word deletes the owner file when the file is closed. But if Word closes is unable to close gracefully (such as because of a power outage), Word can't close the file. As long as it is present, Word thinks the file is in use. Change your file viewing preferences so you can see system files and, with the file closed, delete its owner file.

    There may be other temp files in the folder. My suggestion is only about deleting owner files (such as, ~$XXXXX.docx).

    Pam

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Every once in a while, with Word closed, search your hard drive for files that start ~$ and delete them.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  5. #5
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    To add to what Charles said, owner files can show up in any folder that holds Word files. If an event caused left over files in your document folder, there may also be leftovers in the templates folder (such as ~$rmal.dotm) and in the Word/STARTUP folder where add-on reside.

    Going to those folders directly may be faster than a drive search. If you don't know how to get to those folders, let us know whether you are using Windows XP, Vista, or 7. Doing a drive search, though, should find all of them.

    Pam

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