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 ?
- 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?)
Install and configuration
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.
Case: when you try to start Word, you get an error msg: "Word has failed to start in safe mode. Do you want to try to repair your installation?"
Reason for this is unknown. Solution is simply to click through the messages to repair / "clean" your MS Office installation; in at least some cases, you do not even need the Office install CD to do so.
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  can be installed (requires MS Office to be installed). Alternatively, OpenOffice.org  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.
Formatting a list of ID numbers
When you enter in a number like 00324328 into Excel, Excel usually deletes the leading zeros because they're "not important". Sometimes those zeros are important - for example, on a list of Midd student/staff ID numbers. You can set Excel to include those leading zeros in specific cells with the following steps.
- Click and drag to select the area of cells that you want to show leading zeros.
- Right-click in the selected area and choose Format Cells.
- Under the Number tab, choose the Category Custom. (In this area, you specify the way you want Excel to show cells. By choosing "Custom", you are saying that you want to manually specify the format to be used.)
- In the Type: field, erase the default value "General" and enter in 00000000 (eight zeros). (This tells Excel that every number value in these cells should display with at least eight digits, leading zeros by default.)
- Click OK and verify that the fields formatted show any entered number shows leading zeros up to eight digits.