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  1. #1
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    Problem with locked document (2000)

    I have since found some possible answers to this on the Word forum here and at the Word mvps site - a great help, unlike Winword's Help! But now I'm wondering about the template "bloat" issue I've read about. I wonder if it's this that's causing the problem I mention below - creating a new template based on an existing one?

    Is there any way to bypass Word and unlock a mail merge data source document? According to Word, the document is locked (variously) by myself or by 'another user' when I try to open it - I'm the only user on this machine BTW. But it's only sometimes locked (not immediately after reboot, but subsequently). I've followed every lead in the Help file, but nothing there works. All of the toolbar buttons mentioned either don't exist or are grayed out and it doesn't seem to be regarded as a subdocument in any template that uses it, even though it is I suppose.

    Perhaps related to this, when I try to create a new *template* based on one of the existing templates that uses this merge document, even when I'm not informed that the source is locked by someone or other, I get the message that Word has performed an illegal operation and I have to close it down - although it doesn't really close either, as it's still a running process that has to be killed. It will allow the creation of a new *document* based on such a template, with or without all the guff about a locked file.

    This is the most debilitating bug I've come across in Word so far, so thanks for any (much needed) assistance

    Alan

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Hi Alan:
    The problem with a locked document or "in use" is usually an owner file that wasn't deleted the last time Word crashed. Delete the temp files as mentioned in Step 1 of <post#=197827>post 197827</post#> and see if that helps.
    Cheers,

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Thanks Phil - great post reference. I followed through the steps thoroughly in a similar post and, indeed, it appears that the temp files created when Winword caused the IPFs were the culprits. As I said in the amendment, these were caused when I tried to create a template based on another template. I followed through the diagnostics on the MVPs site and the MS Support site, but the problem remains. For now, I'm just making copies of the original template and modifying as needed.

    cheers

    Alan

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Hi Alan:
    I'm a little confused as to what you're doing. When you talk about a merge document, are you referring to the main document, the resultant merged document, or the data source? Also, when you're creating a new template, do you have the old one open or are you creating it from File/New...?

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Sorry, it does make for a confused read! What I'm trying out (and this may not be such a great idea anyway) is to try to generate a parent/child tree structure or heirarchy of templates. One of the branches looks like this:

    base generic template ->
    mail merge template with empty main document ->
    mail merge template with particular framework in document

    The locked file was actually the mail merge source and it became locked when Word caused the IPF, trying to generate a template based on another template. Whenever I try to do this now (locked file issue having been resolved) I use File->New... in a freshly opened Word instance, with no other docs or templates open, and I always get the IPF and a Word crash. I can't find the cause of this.

    But the reason that the whole wisdom of trying to build a tree structure of templates is questionable, is that it's just as easy to modify a *copy* of a template than to base a "child" on a "parent". There seems to be no savings in terms of file size if the latter method is used. But if you have any ideas on this issue generally, I'm all ears (eyes actually) :-)

    Alan

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Hi Alan:
    I'm not saying it's wrong or even a bad idea. I just don't know exactly what you're trying to accomplish. You can generate identical main documents that use different data sources (assuming that the field names in the data sources are identical). Or you can use the same data source with different main documents. Each main document (which many would call a template in the generic sense), kept separately, is useful for generating a particular type of merged document.

    If that's what you want to do, you can make copies of your main document, once the first one is created, & then link each one to it's appropriate data source. However, I haven't tried your idea of making a "template". I'm not sure what the purpose of making and linking a normal template to a data source would be. i.e. what advantage would there be in doing that? (This is a question, not a criticism. I always look for different ways to do things, too.) <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    I can understand your confusion here Phil! I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that I'm making a dog's breakfast out of this. To qualify what I'm trying to achieve (using an actual client-type to illustrate), consider this business setup:

    A property manager deals with several apartment blocks and factory estates. There are therefore several different mailmerge lists. There are also several types of document to be mailed, some specific to the particular managed facility, some generic to the property manager. Some documents will be relevant to the mailing list of the client and some will not be, even though they relate to a specific client. All documents will be somehow connected to the property management company. So there are quite a number of possible combinations.

    What I was trying to do was to set up an "inheritance tree" of templates , so that one inherits from those above it. The mistake in my thinking was that when this "inheritance" occurs, the new template is in fact a "composition" of the template on which the new one is based, plus the extra stuff added to it. In other words, File->New (template) will include , rather than reference , the parent template. There is therefore no advantage (in my case) to creating a new template like this, compared with simply adding features to a copy of the parent, to make it more specific. It's possible to use the "tree" structure either way, but it can't afford the reduced file (template) sizes I was hoping for, since basing template2 on template1 will mean that 1 is included in 2, rather than 2 simply references 1.

    Hope that explains things a little better. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Alan

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Hi, Alan? By "references," do you mean referencing automation, or "cross-referencing" of some sort? If the former, then you can refer to existing templates in the VBE by using Tools / References / Browse and change the Files of type dropdown to Word Documents (.doc, .dot). If the latter, you could use hyperlinks, I think... but that's beyond my experience.
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    Karen

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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Thanks Karen. It may be the "referencing automation" that I am/was searching for. I haven't heard of it before and don't know what it actually does. But I presume from the VBA help file, that it may emulate the kind of referencing afforded by a heirarchical class structure in programming languages (which is really what I was trying to do in the first place). I'll do some research on this and see if it might do what I was after.

    cheers

    Alan

  10. #10
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    Re: Problem with locked document (2000)

    Hi Alan:
    OK. I think I understand. You can use File/New to create a copy of a template. However, you templates don't have a hierarchy the way style do. With styles, you can create a Style1, base a Style2 on it with some additional attributes, & base a Style3 on Style2 with more additional attributes. Changing Style1 will cause changes to ripple through Style2 & 3. Templates don't work like that. Copying a template copies the boilerplate text (& mailmerge fields), macros, toolbars, styles, keyboard assignments, & autotext. But the copied template is completely detached & independent from it's parent template.

    Having said that, when you're creating different main documents ("main templates"), it would certainly be easier to create a basic template & then create copies (File/New) to add or change additional elements. It's just that you will end up needing as many templates as you have different types of documents. The question would be whether you wanted to organize them by type of merged document or by estate.

    Cheers,

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