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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Long lag time in big Word doc

    I'm working on a large (250pg, 1.4MB) file with notes for a chapter of my dissertation. I have tons of hyperlinks in the text, almost all of which are links to bookmarks or headings within the document. Lately the program has slowed down considerably when I'm typing notes -- it can't keep up, it's constantly pausing for long saves, etc. Could the hyperlinks be causing the slowdown? (I don't have any linked tables or images or anything like that; only links to text.)

    I've tried working in "normal" view (though I much prefer Page Layout view) in order to stop background pagination (which I did by unchecking the box in Tools>Options>General>background pagination). This doesn't seem to help. I would try to speed things up by breaking the document into pieces, but I don't want to redo all those hyperlinks to point to an external file.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions? I saw an earlier thread about Master Documents, but that seems like a recipe for disaster...

    Thanks for any help,
    Erik <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

    PS. I've got a 933MHz system with 512MB RAM, which seems just fine for playing videos, editing photos, etc. Could Word be more demanding than Photoshop?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    You don't mention which version of Word you use. According to <!profile=StuartR>StuartR<!/profile>, master documents can be used (with care) in Word 2002 and higher - see <post#=444527>post 444527</post#>.

  3. #3
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    Sorry, I thought I had put my version in the subject. I'm using Word 2003 SP1.

    I did see that thread about using master docs for collaboration, and it might be terrific if I were starting with a new document. Wouldn't it be hard to get all the hyperlinks reset?

    Thanks for your help!
    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    Erik

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    Perhaps Stuart can comment on that. I haven't dared to use master documents myself yet <img src=/S/blackteeth.gif border=0 alt=blackteeth width=20 height=20>

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    Cross references in a master document have never been a problem for me (except for the specific issue noted below). What other Hyperlinks do you have that need to be "reset"?

    When you initially create the subdocuments it creates a separate file for each level 1 heading. If those sections already contain cross references to other sections then when you edit one of these files you get an Error! Reference source not found for each cross reference that has a target in a different sub document. When you finish editing all the separate documents you open the Master document and when you update fields all those errors get fixed up. The only quirk I have seen in this area is that Word bolds the text when it puts in the "Error!..." and if you have the * Mergeformat switch in the field then that bold gets preserved when the references become valid again.

    StuartR

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    I have a large document, large by my standards - 2MB and 340 pages of legal-size paper, no page breaks, no section breaks, no images. Just raw text, formatted.

    I do not notice any appreciable delay when I'm adding text at the head, middle or tail of the document.

    I'm on a 700MHz with 320MB Ram and an 80G drive.

    Saving the file takes 5 seconds maximum, opening it three seconds.

    I'd like to ask if you are sure that your document has not suffered corruption, and I would suggest a simple test:

    1) Exit Word and reboot the computer.
    2) Load Word with a new document.
    3) Insert the long data file into the new document (from the menu Insert, File, then browse)
    4) Save this new file with a new name.
    5) is processing any faster?

  7. #7
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    Thanks for this, StuartR. I don't have many hyperlinks that lead outside the document. I guess you're saying that they would stay linked even if I converted this into a master document. My document has 84 discrete sections, each of which has 3 to 10 "Outline Level 1" styles; essentially this is a huge interconnected outline. Does that mean that if I were to break this into subdocuments, Word would make 84, or even 10x84 separate subdocs?

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

  8. #8
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    You would get one sub document for each level 1 heading.

    I think I may have made the mistake earlier of answering the question that was asked, rather than thinking. I would not personally use a master document just to break something up into manageable chunks. Just do this manually and then stitch them together again manually later.

    StuartR

  9. #9
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    For some reason I hadn't thought of this, and I appreciate the suggestion. My doc sounds a bit shorter than yours but it has tons of section and page breaks. It's a set of notes for about 100 books, each of which has its own outline tree. This probably leads to some of the processor demand, if Word is constantly renumbering the outlines, too. (I often have to do a manual "restart outline numbering" to reset top-level numbering that gets messed up.)

    Anyway, I tried inserting my file into a new blank file per your instructions. I haven't spent that much time working in the doc yet, but while I can seen some improvement, there is still a substantial lag time in the document. This may be enough of a solution for me, since I'm concerned about wasting the time it would take to break this into subdocs. But perhaps there is some other trick that would help Word deal with all the outline numbering and section breaks. Hmm.

    Thanks very much for your help on this.

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

  10. #10
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    Re: Long lag time in big Word doc

    Yeah, that makes sense -- to do most of the typing in separate docs then transer to the master. Certainly will speed up the system.

    Thanks,
    Erik

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