Blog: Word

I had a word doc with about 115 pages of hyperlinks that I was trying to save as a pdf. Word kept freezing up on me and I had a coworker try with the same results.   You can remove all hyperlinks in a Word document by using: ctril+shift+F9.  Once I did this and tried to save again as a pdf it worked fine.


It is great to have an abundance of screen real estate via our wide screen monitors. But, if you have several Microsoft docs or spreadsheets open it is possible to get them confused and end up editing the wrong file.

I was wishing I could change the windows color to distinguish between open files, but came up with a good alternative (at least for Microsoft files).  It is possible to change the page color on Word or Excel files. Just go to the Page Layout ribbon and select Page Color. You will get a drop down of standard colors you can select to change the background colors of your open files. This allows you to color code any open files so it is easy to recognize different versions.

When you are finished, it is easy to go back and select No Color to return to a normal white background.


I was working in Word when it crashed and only presented me with the options to restart the program or close the program.

I closed the program and checked the document to see the last save time had been an hour or so earlier. When I opened the file, the “recovered document” options were not available and I could see the last hour’s work was not there.

I began to search for a solution which I found in “How to recover a lost Word document.”

There were several recommendations which I tried in sequence with no success. Finally I came down to the suggestion to search my entire hard drive for *.asd files. I did this and found several files, one was my a copy of my crashed document. I opened the *.asd file with word and found all my information in place with nothing lost. [more]

By the way the file was located in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word, which is the default location Word uses to store all “AutoRecover” files. And also by default on my computer, Word was set to autosave every 10 minutes and was set to keep the last autosaved version if Word is closed without saving.

Searching your entire drive for *.asd files, is a good idea if, for some reason, the default settings have been changed and as a result, you don’t know where the *.asd files might be saved.

You can double check the AutoRecover and Autosave settings in Word 2010 by going to Files>Options>Save. These features are also available in Excel and Powerpoint. The AutoRecover file locations are different for each application, but are easy to find by looking in the appropriate folders.


When I'm working on Word 2010 documents located on a file share, particularly when they are included in folders I have synched for offline use, I often receive an error message when trying to open the document.  The message tells me the document is locked for editing by 'another user' and asks if I want to:

  1. Open a read only copy
  2. Create a local copy and merge changes later
  3. Receive notification when the original copy is available

I usually select the last option and wait a minute or two and then receive a message when I can change my access from read only to read/write.  However, this is inconvenient partly because the 'another user' error dialog box almost always ends up displaying underneath the explorer window I am using to open the documents since I usually am opening several related documents at the same time.  There is no indication the dialog box is there until I try to open another Word document and receive a message I must close an open dialog box, etc.  Once I dig around and find the open dialog box, I can respond to receive notification when the original copy is available. [more]
I found numerous notes about this type of problem others are having and found one that suggested I turn off the Windows explorer Details pane to see if that helped.  In fact, it fixed my problem.

However, I kind of like the information provided in the Windows explorer Details pane.  There was also a mention about applying the following hotfix if turning off the Details pane didn't work but I wasn't too excited about a hotfix unless it was absolutely necessary and the description of the hotfix didn't seem to exactly fit my problem.  In particular, it's for non-DFS errors and these files are on a DFS share.


Initially worked with a customer to see if we could reproduce the problem in Worldox with a known "working" file.  We were able to reproduce the problem, so we started work on the user's profile.  I had the customer log off and then disabled the users roaming profile for both the NTprofile and TSprofile.  I renamed the existing user folder in Documents and Settings on Citrix2 so a new profile would get created.  After this I had the customer login to test Worldox with the "clean" profile.  Worldox worked with the clean profile, so we knew something was wrong with the user's settings. 

I looked through the registry settings and profile directory for the working and broken profiles to try to find differences.  I tried several minor file and registry changes to see if we could get Worldox to work under the original user profile.  None of the changes seemed to work.  There wasn't much related info in the registry, so I was sure the problem was file related.  It seemed especially to be something related to the document templates/addins in Word not working properly.  I tried replacing and removing the Word templates in the users Documents and Settings folder, but this didn't seem to change the behavior at all.  The templates were actually still loading, even after I removed them.  [more]

I found (in the working profile) that the addin that had the macro for inserting the DocID was named  When I would open Word in the broken profile, that particular addin was the only one of about 8 missing!  This certainly seemed to be the problem, but I couldn't figure out why that addin wasn't loading while all others were.  After some digging I noticed the addins were being loaded from the users home folder on H:\ rather than the Documents and Settings folder.  I tried to update the addins in this folder, but Word still wouldn't load the addin.  I decided to change the path to the addins back to the standard location in Documents and Settings and when I did this Word loaded the addin properly.  I then tested Worldox and it worked too.  So, it seems there is something in the addin that is keeping it from being run from a network location (can only be run locally?).


Recently, I was working on two similar issues with two different laptops. Both users reported problems with opening word documents. When I started troubleshooting the first laptop, I opened Word and then proceeded to wait for around 15-20 seconds for the application to start and another 15 seconds for a new document to be created. When I closed Word, I got a prompt telling me that there were changes to the normal.dotm template and asked if I wanted to save them. Sure, why not? Re-opened word and the problem still existed. When I received the same error message on closing Word, I decided to go check out the templates folder where normal.dotm is stored. In both the Templates folder and the STARTUP folder (for Microsoft Word), there was a template file that was stuck open with a tmp file present. I removed both tmp file instances and successfully started Word. Problem solved!

The second laptop was slightly different. Word would start immediately, but when double-clicking on a document, it would fail to load. No error message; it just wouldn’t load. Looked in the templates directory and didn’t see the same symptoms. After more troubleshooting, I began disabling add-ins for Word. Turns out, the “Send via Bluetooth” add-in was causing these problems. I disabled the add-in and all was good in the world.


I experienced some odd behavior in Word last week while working on an audit report (I was docked in my office).  Periodically, the blinking cursor in Word would disappear and my document would appear to freeze up.  Neither Word nor my laptop was not locked up because I was able to scroll in the document but when doing so, the document would turn black and my text would either disappear or become garbled, with lines appearing to repeat over and over.  This would last for 20-30 seconds or more.  I tried rebooting to no avail.
At one point, I noticed the proofing cursor was animated, as it does when it is writing to disk. [more]

This made me think the problem might be network latency.
I mentioned my problem to another information security auditor. He suggested it might be related to offline files.  I thought I had reversed the “Always available offline” option for this folder.  However, upon further investigation I found out that I had not.  Once I did so, the problem did not recur.


If you’d like to delete a “block” of text such as spacing at the beginning of several rows of text, use the Ctrl+Shift+F8 key combination.

Place your cursor at the beginning of the first line, press Ctrl+Shift+F8 [more]

Use the right arrow key to highlight the area you wish to delete on the first row, then the down arrow to highlight the same area on the additional lines.

Presto, change-o…the unwanted text (or spaces) are gone!

Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4
Line 5

This is admittedly not as cool, but I accomplish the same thing in Notepad (assuming the block of “text” I want to delete on each line is identical) by using Ctrl+H (Replace), entering the “text” (or spaces) I wish to delete, leaving the “Replace with” field blank and clicking Replace All.


While working at a customer site a couple of users reported Word 2007 has no page number gallery when you go Insert -> Page Numbers. After investigating I found that just deleting the Building Blocks.dotx file in their profile fixed the problem.

Windows XP Location:
c:\Documents and Settings\{your username}\Application Data\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033\Building Blocks.dotx

Windows Vista & 7 Location:
c:\Users\{your username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033\Building Blocks.dotx


Back several months ago I tried to update my laptop to Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6).  Most things worked great, but at the end of the week when I started doing some of my reports, I noticed lots of file system problems.  The Word documents I was editing would become read-only after I saved them once.  New documents I created would be read-only.  As I got to digging, I found that any files I created on the file server were being created with empty permissions (as viewed from my laptop), and read-only permissions (via the checkbox) as viewed from the Windows side.  I found lots of people having the same problem with no real workaround.  I noticed the permissions would fix when I viewed them from the Finder, or when I did an ‘ls –l’ from the command line.  I restored my system back to Leopard from my backup (which was nice to have available) and waited for a fix.  Well, the fix came in the recent release of Snow Leopard 10.6.3.  I’ve updated again and everything works great.