Microsoft Office

MS Word freeze-ups

  • Due to unavailable network printer: If a network printer is configured as a default printer and the computer is connected to the internet but the printer is not available (for example, if the computer is off-campus), Word may hang when you open the Print dialog box. (Acc. some reports, may even cause Word 2003 to freeze on launching.) Solution: change default printer. PDFCreator [1]?
  • Due to unavailable mapped network drive: In MS Word, when you go to Save As..., Word tries to scan all mapped drives listed in the pulldown menu to determine whether they are available. If a mapped drive can't be reached, Word will keep trying to ping it until it finally times out and gives up - but it doesn't learn from this giving up for next time. Solution: Go to My Computer and unmap any unavailable drives - but make sure the user has a way of getting back to them again. (Shortcut on desktop?)


Application compatibility

MS Office versions don't always line up perfectly. Even if it says "MS Office Pro 2003", doesn't mean that your MS Office Pro 2003 disk will work. In many of these cases, the only fix is just to remove Office and reinstall it from scratch, making any needed modifications.

File formats

MS Office 2007 uses the .docx file format by default. People should avoid saving in this format for compatibility reasons. If user needs to open a .docx file, MS Office 2007 Compatibility Pack [2] can be installed (requires MS Office to be installed). Alternatively, OpenOffice.org [3] version 3 can also view and edit .docx files, although it cannot yet save to this format.

Macros and viruses

Word documents can contain macros which are small scripts that automatically perform complex or repetitive actions in MS Word. Unfortunately macros can also have extensive control over your computer, so they can be used to write viruses. Any system that can run macros in a MS Word document, is also vulnerable to macro-based viruses. Use and run macros with care.

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