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  1. #1
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    Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    We have a strange problem when opening a Word attachment in Outlook Express. An error message pops up saying "C: ... "document_name".doc is being used by "username" (as set up in Word). Do you want to make a copy." The option buttons provided are OK and Cancel. Clicking Cancel then clears the error message and shows the document fine, but we would love to get rid of the error message.

    I have searched the Microsoft KnowledgeBase and found nothing, so I would be grateful for someone's assistance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    Does the message stop popping up if Word is already running?

    Do you get the same message if you save the attachment to the desktop (right-click, Save As...) and double-click that saved file?

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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    Thank you for the prompt response!

    The error message is NOT displayed if Word is already running (it still comes up if I double-click on the saved file). What do you think is going on and how do I fix it?

  4. #4
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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    Try the following:

    Quit Word.
    Select Start | Run...
    Type winword /r and press Enter.

    Try to open a document by double clicking then. If it hasn't helped, see <A target="_blank" HREF="http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/AppErrors/DocInUse.htm">Cannot open or delete a document (claims to be

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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    Hi Hans

    Thanks for your imput.

    I may not have been very clear in my last posting. There is NO error if Word is already running when I open the Word attachment in Outlook Express. That must be the key, as when it's not already running, opening the Word attachment first has to run Word, then open the Word file.

    It is this process that causes the error in my opinion. What do you think?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    This sort of this can happen when a global template or add-in expects certain conditions to be present when Word starts, and those conditions are not met when Word is launched by double-clicking a document. Phil's post leads you through a process of testing whereby you can identify what is causing this. However, it also may be useful to check your File Types string for DOC files.

    Windows Explorer, Tools>Folder Options..., File Types tab, DOC, Advanced (for Windows XP, it seems to vary depending on the version), select Open and click Edit...

    Does it look roughly like this:

    <UL>Application used to perform action:
    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice10WINWORD.EXE" /n /dde

    {checked} Use DDE

    DDE Message:
    [REM _DDE_Direct][FileOpen("%1")]

    Application:
    WinWord

    DDE Application not Running:
    {blank}

    Topic:
    System[/list]If so, definitely one would suspect the global templates and add-ins.

  7. #7
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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    Have you actually tried the winword /r or Phil's post? The first will restore the settings Jefferson describes in his reply.

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    Re: Document is being used by 'username' (Word 97)

    Thank you for not giving up on me Hans!

    I didn't originally understand how running winword /r and double-clicking on a saved document on the desktop was connected to the problem of not being able to open a Word attachment in an email without error. I now understand its purpose and the problem is fixed!

    I am grateful to both of you for your help.

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