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  1. #1
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    Docs Won't Open (Word XP)

    OK, this one has me stumped (and it's not like the one from yesterday where I apparently can't proof my own code!)

    I was sent a handful of sample documents that were once in Panagon and are less than three years old. They are small sections of a submission to the FDA (so I can't attach copies of them for you all to rail against.) The user cannot open any of these files, and neither can I.

    Now, this bogus, home grown document management system from whence these files came has been known (actually designed, if you can believe it!) to stash code modules within documents <img src=/S/brickwall.gif border=0 alt=brickwall width=25 height=15>, but whether that's the case here, I can't tell.

    What I HAVE been able to do is documented as follows: I tried to open them from within Word while holding down the shift key (to disable macros, no?), but Word would hang, nonetheless. The template to which these files refer is not available, so it's not running code from that. BUT, I can open the files in Wordpad, save them as RTF, and THEN open them in Word. After doing that, I notice that each file got smaller (32k down to 26k, 67k down to 49k, 43k down to33k, and 745k down to 595k), which is a reduction in size of anywhere from 20 to 25 percent.

    Since it's not the same size-reduction for each file (at least not in terms of bytes), should I rule out that WordPad-to-RTF stripped the same code modules from each file? Also, is there any other trick that I might try when opening the files to prevent whatever might be happening at File Open from happening? (BTW, I tried setting macro security to high and told Word not to trust any unsigned macros, but it had no effect; Word still hung.)

    I'm at wit's end! There are several hundred of these legacy files, and I'm sure I'll soon be asked to write some one-off applet to open each file in WordPad and save it as RTF! (I don't know if this would even be possible, but I know I'd be asked just the same!)
    <font face="Comic Sans MS">That's what you do in a herd; you look out for each other!</font face=comic> - Mike

  2. #2
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    Re: Docs Won't Open (Word XP)

    WordPad has no object model that is exposed to VBA, so you cannot program it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Docs Won't Open (Word XP)

    Edited by Author
    Hi Mike
    Just a thought; have you tried opening a new document, adding several empty paragraphs, placing the cursor one or two paragraphs ahead of document end, then importing (Insert > File) the document into that location?
    Regards
    Don

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    Re: Docs Won't Open (Word XP)

    There is a new plot twist: I found that using "Insert File" did work... after a couple of minutes.

    I selected the command, saw Word spinning it's wheels, figured it was hung, and then had to answer the phone. During the call, the document eventually appeared. So emboldened, I then figured I ought to open the file directly and just wait for at least 5 minutes. Sure enough, after 3 or 4 minutes, the document finally opens.

    It has to be a template thing. I noticed that the template to which it's attached doesn't actually exist in the "Shared Templates" folder on our file-share. (Different fileshare? Deleted template? Who knows...) What I DID try before (but which didn't improve the situation) was to create an empty template of the same name as the document template, and stored it in my User Templates path on my hard-drive; I figured Word would use it as a fallback. But it still took bloody forever to open. But once opened, I deleted the reference to the other template and saved and closed the file. Lo and behold, it now opens fine. Also, though I mentioned changes in filesize earlier (after saving as RTF and re-saving as Word), this approach did not reduce the file size. In fact, it's a couple kilobytes larger, but it now opens very fast.

    Any ideas? Insight? I'm stumped. (I picked the wrong day to quit smoking!)
    <font face="Comic Sans MS">That's what you do in a herd; you look out for each other!</font face=comic> - Mike

  5. #5
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    Re: Docs Won't Open (Word XP)

    We had a similar experience a couple of years back, and never could figure out what the exact cause was (though the suspect was a mapped folder that somehow became unrecognized). To resolve the problem we hired a student to open each Word file - which took about 3 minutes - and then re-save it. It probably wasn't much fun, but it would've been easy money for 3 days of monotony!

  6. #6
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    Re: Docs Won't Open (Word XP)

    This is an old problem and is caused by Word needing the attached template to be downloaded from the remote location before opening the file. If your bandwidth to the remote template is poor then you will be waiting for a long time for the doc to open. You should be able to find mentions of this problem in this forum.

    A quick fix when you get a file with this problem - but discover it only after you have started opening the file - is to pull the network cable out and then put it back in. Once the network connection to the remote template is lost the file opens quickly. As you have already discovered, removing the attached template will then solve the problem for next time.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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