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    Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Windows/20

    Our small legal firm is currently migrating from Office 97 to Office 2000. We first tested 2000 as completely as possible and then ran a pilot for a couple of months. During that time, no one had troubles, including our Word Processing group, who saw a wide variety of all the kinds of documents created and maintained by our firm. So we proceeded to the rollout.

    Soon afterwards, users reported a few problems, and I'm hoping someone can shed some light on whether it has to do with version incompatibility (which we believed should not be a problem between the two releases). We use DOCS Open (Hummingbird) as our document management system. Here are the problems we're experiencing.

    1. Winword.exe crash when opening a corrupted document. Said doc crashed any 2000 system. It also crashed on 97, but it opened long enough to create a recovery version, from which we were able to retrieve the contents without any loss of text or formatting. No problems with the new documents.

    2. Another document would crash any 2000 system if one attempted a print preview of the document. One could print preview the document in 97. I copied the contents (during a 2000 session) to a new document and no longer have the problem.

    3. Finally, our System admins share an event log document. They have edited it over a hundred times since creating it last December. One uses 2000 (since before the pilot), the other 97. Yesterday, after the 2000 user made some edits, the document was corrupted. Upon recovering the document, the 97 user asked the 2000 user to repeat the edits. Same result.

    I'm curious to know if other users have noticed compatibility problems between 97 and 2000. Also, if the symptoms I mentioned above should ring a bell with anyone, I'd be very grateful if you could share your insights.

    Thank you
    Michael Dagley

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    Michael,

    No solutions to point to unfortunately - just want to mention that since our firm moved from Word 97 to Word 2000, the number of corrupted documents we see has increased by quite a bit.

    One suspected cause is that Word 2000 handles tables differently from Word 97.
    We also see quite a few documents that spontaneously corrupt in that portions of text suddenly change to square boxes and other unintelligible stuff; we changed things like print and graphics drivers without seeing any improvement.
    Another thing we were advised to look into was to ensure that our templates have Compatibility set to Word 2000 - a good idea, but hasn't seemed to help one way or the other.

    We've had Microsoft 'investigating' this for some time but have not gotten any useful solutions.

    Gary

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    Thanks very much for sharing your experience. If we figure anything out to address this, we'll let you know. We are fortunate that so far, with about 100 users rolled out, we've only had a couple of problems. But I'm guessing we're headed for more if no fix can be found.

    If Microsoft offers you any further information, could you be so kind as to post it here? I doubt I'm the only one who would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks again!
    Michael Dagley

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    <hr> ensure that our templates have Compatibility set to Word 2000<hr>
    Hi Gary:
    Does it make a difference if the templates are set with compatibility options for Word 97? Are these Word 97 templates that were used in Word 2000 or Word 2000 templates?

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    I'm interested in the comment made about 97 compatibility versus 2000 compatibility. We use 2000, but our templates are 97 compatible -- simply because we put white space above and below paras and Word 2000 strips out the white space before. The styles may call for it, but it simply isn't there. Wish I knew a way around this problem without having to depend on 97 compatibility.

    Nancy Potter

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    Phil,

    MS advised us that since we were now using Word 2000, we should ensure that all of our templates had compatibility set to Word 2000.
    One possible wrench in that works is all of the (miilions of) documents that were created with Word 97, using the Word 97 versions of the templates - most all of these documents still have compatibility set to Word 97 - no idea whether Word 97 docs attached to Word 2000 templates should make any difference.

    One other tidbit I forgot to mention in my post to Michael - we are a global firm and have filestores for different regions (Europe, Asia, Americas - although they are all accessible on the network firmwide). So far all of the document corruptions have occurred in documents on the Europe or Asia filestores - there have been none (or perhaps just a few) on the Americas filestore. I have completely no idea why this may be.....

    Gary

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    Nancy,

    You put your finger on a major issue between Word 97 and Word 2000 compatibility. When we changed our templates to Word 2000 compatibility, we had to change the SpaceBefore/SpaceAfter definitions of many of our custom styles, since they behave differently between Word 97 and Word 2000.

    Essentially we have legacy documents which still have compability set to Word 97 (it's a document-specific setting - even if the attached template has been updated to have compability set to Word 2000, the original document still has it set to Word 97); in these documents our custom styleset has one set of definitions for Before/After. And then we have all the documents produced since we moved to Word 2000 and updated the templates - these have the different style definitions for Before/After appropriate to Word 2000. (And have to confess: there's a third category of documents that were created after we moved to Word 2000, but before we realized we needed to change the Before/After properties of the styles - these now have the wrong space before/after settings!)

    All and all it's a big mess and there is no practical solution. We could instruct the document center to always check compatibility and change it to Word 2000, and at the same time update the document styles from the template; the problem with this is that the document may contain other user-customized styles whose behavior would change unexpectedly - these being legal documents, we are constrained not to make changes to their appearance or even pagination. For similar reasons, a scripted macro solution would not avail either. And no one wants to fund 'converting' every older document and doing a full proofread for these factors. All of this because MS decided to flip-flop the behavior of SpaceBefore/SpaceAfter from Word 95/Word97/Word 2000.

    Gary

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    THANK YOU !!! This has been one big headache and now we won't have to take so much aspirin.

    Nancy Potter

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    Re: Sharing documents between Word in 97 and in 200 (Office 97/2000 Window

    <P ID="edit" class=small>Edited by Phil Rabichow on 13-Aug-02 09:52.</P>Edited to correct the word "ticking" to "unticking". Must remember to think while typing. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Hi Nancy (& Gary):
    Whether you adjust the compatibility to 97 or 2000, you can make one adjustment to take care of the different way 97 & 2000 handles spacing. Word 2000 was designed more with web pages in mind. If you go to Tools/Comptatibility Options & tick "Don't use HTML paragraph auto spacing", it will behave like Word 97 (the space before & after is added). Unticking the option means Word uses the greater of the settings.
    Cheers,

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