Blog: Word 2007

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’ve been running the Office 2010 beta for a while, although I’ve seen this problem occur on Office 2007 as well. Periodically, I’ll lose my ability to select text with the mouse inside Outlook. It just simply won’t work. Closing and restarting Outlook always fixes the problem, but it’s an annoying problem to have to deal with. After some searching on the internet, a solution from Microsoft popped up. From [more]

Problem Description:

You install an automatic update for Microsoft Office Word 2007 on a Windows Vista-based computer and then restart the computer. If Word 2007 was running when the computer was restarted, you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • The mouse does not work when you use Word.
  • You cannot open a Word document from the Search window in Windows Vista.
  • You cannot open a Word document from Windows Desktop Search.
  • Word crashes when you try to start or exit Word.
  • Word crashes when you open the Open dialog box.
  • Word crashes when you save a document.
  • Word crashes when you close a document.

The fix is simply to open the registry, browse to and delete the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Data

Then close and restart your Word applications (Word, Outlook, etc.). So far, this seems to have fixed my problem, although I’m going to give it another week or two before I call it comfirmed.


We frequently use comments in Word documents as part of our information security audit process and I finally looked for a keyboard shortcut to insert a comment.  The shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+M.  However, the most useful thing I found when looking for this was a comprehensive Word 2007 keyboard shortcut list at has keyboard shortcuts for all types of Microsoft, Adobe, Google, and other applications.  It's definitely worth adding a bookmark for if you're a fan of using shortcuts.


I have had problems with Word crashing when I try to open a document, particularly when online and opening a Word document on the file server.  I can usually get it to work if I open Word first and then open a document but even that doesn't work at times.

I finally found a post online mentioning problems with add-ins.  I looked at the add-ins and my Adobe Acrobat installation had installed a PDF add-in, my scanning application had installed 2 PDF add-ins and I had the add-in from Microsoft to create PDF files.  I disabled the PDF add-ins and have not had the problem since. [more]

Also, under Vista,  in order to remove most of the add-ins, I had to have administrative access by running Word as administrator.  There isn't a "Run as administrator" option when I right-click on the short-cut.  I had to find the actual WINWORD executable and right-click on it to run as administrator.


Microsoft Office uses various types of password protection.  In general, passwords used to limit modification of documents are reasonably weak and can be cracked easily (and immediately) with tools such as Office Key (from  Passwords required before a file can be opened usually require brute force type cracks but until I did some research, I still didn't know how strong the encryption was for these types of protection. [more]

There is also an online service ( that offers document recovery for about $29/document in many cases.  The service will show you part of the decrypted document before you have to pay for the whole document decryption process.  If they can't decrypt it, you don't pay.  However, it seems to work pretty well.  I tested it with a simple Office 2003 document that required a password to open.  Within about 30 seconds, they showed me the first two lines of the document's contents (which, in this case was the whole document).

Note - this does not work with 2007 XML formats - only with previous versions of Office documents.  That is consistent with Microsoft's warning that encryption with older versions of office is not as strong as it is with native mode 2007 documents.

The online document recovery process does not determine what the password is.  It just involves removing the password requirement altogether.

Of course, you would want to be very careful with confidential documents…

This came up in a recent audit where the bank was using password protected Word and Excel files for security measures.  We determined this isn't a suitable method for securing documents they send via e-mail.


Access keys provide a way to quickly use a command by pressing a few keys, no matter where you are in the program. Every command in Office Word 2007 can be accessed by using an access key. You can get to most commands by using two to five keystrokes. To discover and use an access key: [more]

  1. Press ALT while in MS Word 2007 and the KeyTips will be displayed over each feature that is available in the current view.

    The above image was excerpted from Training on Microsoft Office Online.
  2. Press the letter shown in the KeyTip over the feature that you want to use.
  3. Depending on which letter you press, you may be shown additional KeyTips. For example, if the tab is active and you press I, the tab is displayed, along with the KeyTips for the groups on that tab.
  4. Continue pressing letters until you press the letter of the command or control that you want to use. In some cases, you must first press the letter of the group that contains the command.
  5. To cancel the action that you are taking and hide the KeyTips, press ALT.



During an information security audit I was working with a file from a regulating entity containing audit procedures.  The file had several  tables with form fields and was protected.

The "form fill" restriction was too limiting as I worked to record audit information in the document.  The longer I worked the more frustrated I became.  It would have been much more useful if I could “unprotect” the file.  I had heard others talking about scripts that could be used to discover the password, but I didn’t have access to any password discovery applications. [more] 

I did remember that Word 2007 was using xml as the source code to format it’s documents.  It made me wonder if there would be anything in the xml code that could be used to unprotect the file.  I made a copy of the file, saved it as xml, and then opened it with WordPad to view the xml code.  I searched until I found something about document protection.  Here is what I found within the documentProtection command.
<w:documentProtection w:edit="forms" w:enforcement="1" w:cryptProviderType="rsaFull" w:cryptAlgorithmClass="hash" w:cryptAlgorithmType="typeAny" w:cryptAlgorithmSid="4" w:cryptSpinCount="50000" w:hash="D+Y7lSKVquz/6NisDVadZtFS31g=" w:salt="J6dnbwcKHV7Gn4bMQjXoUA=="/>
In the w:enforcement field I changed the "1" to "0".  I saved the document.  Then I opened my altered copy in Word and the document was intact, with proper formatting, but now it was unlocked.


Not everyone agrees that there should be two spaces between sentences.  That being the case, not everyone puts two spaces between the sentences, making it a very time consuming task for those of us prefer two spaces.  In Word 2007, there is an option to have this marked as a grammatical error; therefore, making it very easy to identify and fix in documents.  This feature is located in Word Options, which is found when you click on the Microsoft icon.  Then select proofing.  About 2/3 the way down the page is a drop down box for Writing Style.  If you select “Grammar & Style”, and then click on Settings, you’ll have an option to select how many spaces are required between sentences.  Any more or any less will show as a grammatical error.