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  1. #1
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    Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Hi all,

    I am currently involved with a roll out of Office XP. As such I have to write a little application that will scan through word documents and identify problems both pre and post rollout. Adding to the complexity the server drive mappings will change twice during the rollout.

    My questions are as follows.

    1. Is there anything special in Word 97 documents that will create problems when converting to XP that can be corrected pre conversion? eg removing references etc.
    2. Is there anything in particular that could break when converting to XP that I could identify programmatically after the conversion?
    3. Apart from linked documents and the source data containers for merge documents is there anything else that could be broken by changing drive mappings? I don't mean template locations or with the word application but document specific.

    I have not done a lot of programming in word and as such I'm very worried about missing items and issues that would be obvious to a more experienced user of word.

    Thanks

    Stewart

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Hi Steward,

    You can find quite a lot of stuff on migrating from Word97 to XP on the microsoft site:
    Version Comparison: What's New for You
    Microsoft Office XP Migration Blueprint
    How to convert macros from Microsoft Word 97 to Microsoft Word 2002

    I can't think of any issues regarding your first two questions. Changed teplate folder paths on a network can be a major PITA, because Word tends to search for the missing templates for minutes. Linked pictures, Includetext fields, hyperlinks, master documents might break especially since Word tends to use absolute rather than relative paths.

    The main problems in an update are usually how to keep all the customizations, and problems with documents going back and forth between different versions (down being the problem more often than up, because of features missing in the older version).

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Theoretically, it should be pretty clean to convert.
    The biggest problems I've had in the past is that Word '97 had enough bugs to feed the world's anteaters indefinitely, and subtle corruption could get introduced in long, oft-edited documents. Word 2000 and XP are better at detecting these problems, which means that they may decide that portions of some documents are unreadable.

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Hi Klaus,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    The issues of "Linked pictures, Includetext fields, hyperlinks" were exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. I had not even considered those.

    Looks like I'm off to the Word object model again, to see if they are members of collections so I can check the count of these items and record a problem with that document.

    I'm not particularily worried about backward compatibility at this point but I'm sure it will become an issue later.

    Thanks Again

    Stewart

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Joel,

    Document corruption in large often edited documents could be a problem here.

    When a doc is corrupt will word not open it or do you just get garbage in the document body?

    Is there any way I can detect this sort of problem at document open considering I'll just be loading a list of all docs in a location then opening them and looking for known problems?

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Stewart

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Recovering damaged documents is one area where Word has significantly improved since Word 97. MSKB 290932 details the methods that Word 2002 can use to recover documents. That article answers most of your questions about damaged documents.

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Thank you Tony.

    It did answer my questions about corrupt documents and I found the link to the command switches interesting.

    Now in VBA if I set word as an object and then open a document
    eg
    Set mobjWord = CreateObject("word.application")
    mobjWord.Documents.Open strUNCDocument

    can I get the same effect of using the "/a" command line switch to prevent word hanging if templates are missing from the network?

    Stewart

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    I think you have crossed wires here - what is it you want to do again?

    /a stops all macros from running. It can be mimicked by running an old wordbasic command although that will happen after Word has already opened. Perhaps using a shell command to open word with the /a switch is required.

    Word will not crash because of missing templates but under (usually) rare circumstances can take a long time to open if a template is located remotely on a slow WAN.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Andrew,

    My interpretation of the /a switch was that it would prevent loading of standard word templates, thus speeding up the opening of documents.

    I assumed that then the document that I open will still load its references to specific templates and will still load its VBA modules allowing me to examine the properties and collections that I am interested in?

    Effectively I am looking to load a list of docs on a hard drive, programmatically open each one, look for links, merge data source, and VBA references. Basically anything that may be adversely affected by drive remapping. I also would prefer not to have a delay at the loading of each document as processing time is potentially an issue.

    Is the potential long delay only at Word Application open or does is it then reoccur each time you open another document?

    If I have to use shell I will and then just manipulate that open version of word.

    Stewart

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Stewart
    If you start word with a /a then the standard environment macros will be disabled so I guess there will be a small time saving in opening other files - especially if your Normal.dot or Addins slow down file opens because of automacros. I think the time savings when opening Word will be a one off and so not huge but if you have AutoOpen or AutoNew macros in your addins or Normal then you will realise time savings if those are not running on every file.

    I have never tried to pre-check all old files when moving up a version or drive remapping and would think that it is an exercise with a very large scope which will return little in the way of saved time. Why don't you just load one machine with the new software and drive mappings and do some testing of sample files. I would be surprised if major problems are encountered but I would expect some macros to perhaps fall over but this can only be discovered this way anyway. If you do encounter a major problem, then you have a much more confined issue to resolve.

    If the exercise is being performed to fix links in advance of drive re-mapping then it should be relatively easy to assign absolute URLs rather than drive-specific file paths.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    Andrew,

    Thank you for the feedback.

    To an extent I agree that we will not save time and will have to fix each document that "breaks". The advantage to us is that we can get a user to scan their PC and give us a list of 5 documents that we probably need to assist them with rather than working through the 50 documents that they have on their hard drive.

    It's a mechanism to try and streamline support efforts at roll out.

    I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise and I think I now understand what information I will be able to retrieve and what the limitations are.

    Thanks

    Stewart

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    Re: Migrating Word from 97 to XP (97 and XP)

    We are also in the process of upgrading from Office 97 to XP. The biggest problem that we have found concerns inserted photos (jpg files). Documents created in Word 97 with inserted photos will transfer to Word 02 fine, but don't insert additional photos in Word 02 and try to go back to Word 97. The photos originally inserted in Word 97 disappear (become empty shells).

    I think the most important rule is once files move to the newer version, never return to the older version.

    We have also had some issues with the language changing to French. We haven't figured that issue out yet.

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