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  1. #1
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    Embedding dotx into docx; works in PC but not in Mac?

    I have a set of instructions in .docx format and a matching template (.dotx).

    Rather than have to deal with two files, I tried embedding the template in the document file so the files always travel together. This works beautifully for those of us in PC-land/Office 2010. One opens the instructions, then when one is ready, one double-clicks the embedded template, which spawns a new new file ready for editing.

    But when I send this file to someone who uses Office 2008 on Mac, this doesn't work for them. They get a weird error when they try to double click the file.

    Is what I am trying to do even possible for Mac Office/Word users?

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    Please let us know what the weird error message is

    I can't say whether or not this applies in the MAC owners case but I know someone who had to install a MAC stuff it application on their MAC PC in order to read and use some files that was sent to her
    --- It cost my friend a few bucks to get it but she's happy with it
    --- Ask your friend to research what MAC has to take care of this problem

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    Here is the error message

    mac error.png

    My coworker is running a pure Mac -- not sure if Stuffit applies if I understand you... which I may not .

    I've done some preliminary searching on the forums for Mac office 2008 at Microsoft. No joy there, plus frankly I've always had better luck here.

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    Thank you for the exact error message
    --- I do not have a MAC computer so I'm not able to get into specifics on how to troubleshoot the problem but the error message tells me the MAC computer needs an application (?) to open a Microsoft 2010 Word document

    I just talked to my friend and all she knows is that the stuff-it program worked for her in order to work with Microsoft’s Word 2007
    --- I suspect if your friend can contact Apple he/she could find out
    --- If he/she has an Apple outlet nearby that’s where I would go personally
    --- Anyway my friend is going to contact her brother for his advice since he’s a MAC user
    --- The way I understand your issue is that you have Microsoft Office 2010 & your friend uses Office 2008 on Mac

    However in the meantime you can try our Non-Microsoft Oses forum because it includes MAC OS for help
    --- A MAC user can help you much better than I can

    You & your friend can also refer to http://forums.cnet.com/mac-forums/

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arianna View Post
    Rather than have to deal with two files, I tried embedding the template in the document file so the files always travel together.
    Arianna, what exactly do you mean by embedding? Did you take the text in the template and copy it to the document? Does the file have a .docx extension or .dotx?

    Kim

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    Arianna (2013-03-29)

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    According to http://www.file-extensions.org/micro...ile-extensions dotx files are native to Microsoft Office for Mac so this one shouldn’t be a problem
    However, docx files are noted further down the list as a common file extension used by Microsoft Office for MAC but it isn’t listed as a native file extension so this is the file type you probably need an app for

    I know I'm focusing on whether or not your friend needs an app until I find out otherwise but at the same time I'm interested in Kim's questions

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    Arianna (2013-03-29)

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    Thank you both for your feedback on this!

    I'm waiting to hear back from someone who has Mac Office 2011 to see they run into the same issues as the Mac Office 2008 user.

    kmurdock, by embedding, I mean I used the Insert | Object | Create From File option in Word. The "container" file is docx. The embedded template is dotx.

    If the Mac Office 2011 user runs into the same problems, I'm going to start chasing down some of the leads that cmptrgy offered.

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    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Hi Ariana, thanks for the clarification.

    I'm not sure inserting a template into a document in this way is ultimately a good way to achieve what you want to do. The purpose of inserting an object into a document is so you can double-click or right-click on the object and edit it in the program in which it was originally created. For example, you can insert a spreadsheet object into a Word document then launch Excel from Word to edit the spreadsheet. If you check the Link to file check box, you can edit directly in Excel and the changes will appear in the Word document.

    Also, the relationship between a template and a document is such that they really can't be bundled into one document and retain their properties. The resulting file will either have to be a template or a document, but not both. I don't see the advantage to bundling them together.

    Is there any reason you can't put everything into the template and let people create a new document from that? If you format the template the way the document is formatted, and include any text that's in the document but not the template, this is the best practice for creating a new document. Then you'll be sending a single file (the template) to your Mac user.

    If I'm misunderstanding something, please let me know. And if my suggestion above won't work for you, please describe in greater detail what's in the document and what's in the template, plus any mitigating circumstances in your environment.

    Best, Kim

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    Arianna (2013-04-02),cmptrgy (2013-03-29)

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    If the Mac Office 2011 user doesn't run into the same problem they might already have the necessary app or whatever it takes to manage what's going on and not know it
    --- It could be that the newer version version accomodates more than the older version

    I found Kim's explanation very good and I agree you probably would be better off sending a single file
    --- What you are doing works for you because you have "coordinating" programs
    ------ Although it doesn't work to whomever you are sending your work to it might not even work for example if you sent it to me since I'm still using Microsoft Office 2000 although it might by using Microsoft's Compatibility Pack
    ------ In my case I do have the Microsoft Compatibility Pack and it has served me very well in interacting with about 300 volunteers in a non-profit organization I volunteer at
    ------ So the Microsoft Compatibility Pack is the "app" I need to do what I need to do
    ------ And that's one reason I believe your friend needs an "app" to accomodate the docx
    ------ My friend is still waiting to hear back from her brother and she is interested in knowing the solution also because she has a MAC

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    Mac Word 2008 does not support VBA, but Microsoft did put in VBA support for Mac Word 2011. I'm guessing that you might be able to work around the "insert object" with an Applescript for your Mac user, but it won't be worth trying to creatively hack. Test with a Mac Word 2011 version.

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    Arianna (2013-04-02)

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    hernandz

    Mac Word 2008 does not support VBA, but Microsoft did put in VBA support for Mac Word 2011. I'm guessing that you might be able to work around the "insert object" with an Applescript for your Mac user, but it won't be worth trying to creatively hack. Test with a Mac Word 2011 version.
    hernandz, I think you captured the root cause in a nutshell! My Mac Office 2011 user hasn't gotten back to me yet. Hopefully soon.

    kmurdock

    Is there any reason you can't put everything into the template and let people create a new document from that?
    As to the reasoning why I'm embedding a template into a document file -- here is what I was trying to do:

    I've worked in several environments where templates (be they actual Word templates or just doc/docx files that we called templates) had embedded instructions. Those instructions were sometimes getting deleted prematurely, with users grumbling that they would have to go get another copy of the template so see what the instructions were), or more often, not getting deleted at all, and getting included in supposedly "final documents". This last part has given me recurring headaches over the years...

    So my thought was this:

    I'd create a file with detailed instructions for the template, and embed a clean template. The user opens the instructions document, sees some explanatory text, and then can open the template. The template manifests itself as a new file, which has the needed framework but with no instructions to be cleaned out. This new file is saved locally and edited as needed; the embedded template is not invoked again unless another new file is needed. The balance of the detailed instructions file contains a section by section breakdown of what information needs to go where in the newly created file.

    The hope was to have the convenience of a single file (sorta) but still keeping the template and instructions separate. The idea was not to modify the embedded template, but just to use it as a springboard to create a new document (dotx) file. That was the plan, anyway.

    kmurdock, you statement about properties has me wondering -- while my overall plan might be of dubious usefulness, I'm not sure I see a problem with properties. When the embedded template is opened, a new file is spawned with it's own set of properties. The new file is saved with its own new name and it's properties can be modified or not. The properties of the instructions file and of the embedded template would remain unchanged as there is no intent to edit either the instructions file or the embedded template (usually). I'm hoping that makes sense...

    cmptrgy, your point about older versions is well taken but fortunately my organization has standardized on Office 2007 or later. What I didn't know was the gotcha about no VBA for Mac Word 2008. We only have two Mac users and only one of them is on 2008.

    Maybe what I am trying do do is just too weird. (sigh). But I appreciate your help with figuring out what the technical hangup is.

    As to the practical usefulness of this, maybe this won't be worth it in the end. But I felt like I had to try...

  16. #12
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arianna View Post
    Maybe what I am trying do do is just too weird. (sigh).
    That remains to be seen.

    It isn't too weird unless 1) it can't be effectively supported, 2) it breaks something somewhere else, or 3) it doesn't work in all the environments you support.

    The error message you described 'way back at the beginning makes more sense now. The Mac error seems to be saying it doesn't have the ability to open the template because it's missing the server application. As has been pointed out, it could be Word 2008 simply doesn't support this kind of object embedding.

    I think hernandz may be on the right track by thinking of ways to manage the instructions differently. VBA/Applescript is one way. But have you considered putting your instructions in a comment? Or in a content control on the first page, formatting the text with the hidden attribute, and set to not be deletable? Each of these options might require adjustment on the part of your users, but they're dealing with an "issue" now, so.... If you start thinking outside the box, you might be able to come up with a solution that's a little less problematic now that you're supporting Mac users.

    Best,
    Kim

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    Unfortunately my friend has had a death in the family out of state and her brother is on a business trip so I haven't heard back yet but my friend sent me an email letting me know she'll she what she can find out when she gets back but that's going to be another week at least

    I'm still hung up on whether or not your friend may or may not be able to open the docx document without an appropriate app, can you send them only the docx document to see if it does open?
    --- If it opens, that's fine and that eliminates the possibility that an app or whatever is needed to work with a docx document and certainly points to the embedding factor
    --- If it doesn't open, then it's possible the embedding factor may not be an issue but that will continue to need to be determined since it will need to be determined how to get the docx document opened in the first place

    The other ideas are fine also and I'm learning from them

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