Recovering crashed Word documents?

Subject: Recovering crashed Word documents?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 12:46:11 -0500

Grace Fielder reports <<I was working on a 70ish page Word document when it
crashed... now I can't open the document without it crashing...does anyone
know how I can rescue my document?>>

A few thoughts. First, check all the temporary files that Word creates while
you're working in it (in Word98, they're usually in the same directory as
the file you're working on). Double-clicking on one of them (start with the
one with the most recent creation date/time) should open an older version of
the file and recover most of the lost data. Second, try creating a new
document and importing the damaged Word file (open the Insert menu and
select File... I think that's the correct combo, but Word98 is at home; the
keystrokes are F10 to open the menu, then I, then L). Then save the file
immediately. Last but not least, you could try the MacLink translators
package (if you've got an up-to-date copy) to see whether that will let you
convert the file into (say) Word 6 format and then reopen it in your current
version of Word. Once you've got the file open, you might want to try saving
it immediately as RTF (rich text format), since this may fix the original
problem; it may not, and it will cost you some of your formatting, but that
might be worth doing for the sake of peace of mind.

Recovering the file is only step 1 in your process; now you've got to figure
out what caused the crash so you can avoid it in future. First and foremost,
open the Preferences dialog box and make sure that you've got "Fast save"
disabled. Next, consider selecting the setting "always make backup copy" (so
if Word crashes, the last version before you opened the file will still be
usable). If you're using Master Documents, stop right now; since they don't
work under Windows, where Microsoft devotes most of its development efforts,
they're likely to be even less reliable on the Mac. Also check your memory
partition size (select the Word executable file and do Command-I to "get
information"); give Word at least twice the amount of memory Microsoft
claims is necessary and you'll be much happier. Last but not least, pay
attention the next time you save a Word document and you'll see a small icon
of a floppy disk appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen (you
may also see one of those "progress bars" that gradually fills in as the
save operation gradually finishes): ***never*** start playing with Word
while the icon or the progress bar is present, since this is a recipe for
occasional disasters. Trust me on this one; I've had it happen to me often
enough to know better.

Good luck, and let us know what worked for you.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY. or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by SOLUTIONS, Conferences and Seminars for Communicators
Publications Management Clinic, TECH*COMM 2001 Conference, and more or 800-448-4230

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Making newsletters: PageMaker vs. MS Publisher?
Next by Author: Word Problem, take II
Previous by Thread: RE: RoboHelp Advice Etc
Next by Thread: RE: Recovering crashed Word documents?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads