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What is slowing down Word?
Thread poster: Signe Golly

Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:50
Danish to English
+ ...
Feb 23, 2011

I first noticed this problem when I was trying to insert some photos in a word document this weekend to print and send to a relative: Word is FREAKING out!
I'm now trying to start the tedious task of cleaning up a 40-page Word document of a tax form that was OCR'ed from pdf. Every time I do ANYTHING, the whole thing freezes, the little "loading" icon appears instead of the mouse pointer and I have to wait for it to finish what it's doing. I can literally type ONE word and then I have to wait for it to catch up!
I have Vista and Office 2007. I can't think of any recent changes to programs, etc. that may have brought this on.
I've checked to see what programs are running in the background and there doesn't seem to be anything really unreasonable going on. Obviously, I'll never finish at this rate so if anybody has any ideas as to what the problem is, I would much appreciate it.
Thanks,
Signe


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:50
Member
French to English
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Often happens Feb 23, 2011

I find this a lot with documents, especially ones with lots of formatting (as often happens following OCR!) and/or images.

First of all, check that 'track changes' has not been used in the past; if there are tracked changes hanging around, these can make your document 200% its normal size. If in doubt, turn on 'track changes', 'accept all modfications', then turn it off again; it's then worth saving your document, quitting out of Word, and reopening from scratch.

Also make sure you haven't got a lot of stuff (text or image) on the clipboard.

Sometimes Word seems to leave .tmp files around, it's often worth cleaning these out manually; again, you'll need to quit and re-open Windows.

If in doubt, and especially with OCR files, I use 'remove all formatting' from the 'styles' box; it's often quicker to reformat than it is to try and work around what the OCR has done!

Sometimes saving out to RTF and then reopening and re-saving as .doc seems to clean things out quite well too.


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Sam21
Qatar
Local time: 13:50
Arabic to English
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Word is a word-processing program Feb 23, 2011

not an image-editing one. It's not your own problem, it's everyone's whenever you insert a lot of images or when the file is fully loaded with graphics, tables, etc.

It's not only the file size that grows bigger, it's also system resources that are extensively used by Word to carry out different tasks, and the memory usage for accessing the .tmp file and other issues (I don't know if Word 2007 still creates another backup image for later usages in the background or not).

Another issue is possibly caused by one of the slowest, most infamous OS Microsoft has ever made (the one you are using), combined with other programs working in the background (anti-virus, firewall, etc.).

First, you may try to close your anti-virus program (if you are working offline or feel like everything will be ok while editing) as well as other programs that are running in the background with no real use (IMs, Firewall (if you are offline), etc.) This would save you some memory and system resources for word processing.

Click Start > Control Panel > System And Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Services, then click Continue. Right-click any service that you don't want for the time being, then click Stop. Check here for a good list of Vista services:
http://www.speedyvista.com/services.php

Another option is to try the Compress option (Picture Tools > Format) for one image, if this works fine with you, then carry on for the rest of images in your file.

You may also try to switch to the Draft View (instead of Print Layout).

Hope this helps.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:50
Member (2008)
French to English
Images - .doc files Feb 23, 2011

A lot of images in the document can slow things down dramatically. Sometimes images can be unnecessariy huge. Since Word makes a temporary background copy of the document while you are working on it, saving this can freeze it for a while.

Sometimes I find I have to remove images and store them somewhere else while I am working, replacing them later at clean up stage.

Also, if you have automatic background saves turned on this can freeze the computer while it does these saves - turn it off in this case.

Another thing is that .docx files seem to be much less susceptible to this than .doc, for some reason. Sometimes when provided with a large and complex .doc file I will save it as a .docx and work on that, only reverting to .doc when I am ready to return it to the client.


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Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:50
Danish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks guys Feb 23, 2011

I think I've kind of got it figured out. Tony's suggestions seemed to do the trick. Now the "only" problem left is cleaning up the file!!

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:50
Member
French to English
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.docx Feb 23, 2011

John Fossey wrote:

Another thing is that .docx files seem to be much less susceptible to this than .doc, for some reason. Sometimes when provided with a large and complex .doc file I will save it as a .docx and work on that, only reverting to .doc when I am ready to return it to the client.


I still work with XP and Word 2003, and so I have the opposite problem: every time I save a .docx file, it has to be converted, which takes a lot of time; so I just start by converting once to .doc, and then only convert back to .docx right at the end.

John also pointed out the 'background saves' issue, which I'd forgotten to mention.

I believe there is a piece of software that takes out images and then sticks them back in again at the end, but I can't remember what it's called

BTW, I don't know if you were aware, but RTF files can sometimes be ever so much larger than their .doc originals: just yesterday, I had a 500k .doc that turned into a 4.3M .rtf!!

So with clients who give me .rtf files, I first save them in .doc format for working on, then again convert back to .doc at the very end.

[Edited at 2011-02-23 20:50 GMT]


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:50
English to French
+ ...
huge rtf files Feb 23, 2011

Tony M wrote:

...BTW, I don't know if you were aware, but RTF files can sometimes be ever so much larger than their .doc originals: just yesterday, I had a 500k .doc that turned into a 4.3M .rtf!!

So with clients who give me .rtf files, I first save them in .doc format for working on, then again convert back to (.rtf) at the very end.


That's exactly what I was going to suggest to Sgolly, since most OCR'd files are exported to RTF files. A RTF file I was working on a few days ago (1,2MB) turned out to be a 60k document under .docx.

This may be a bit OT (if so I am sorry) but would anyone know why RTF files are so heavy compared to the same file in the .doc/.docx format?

[Edited at 2011-02-23 21:06 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:50
Member
French to English
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I've read about this somewhere in a forum Feb 23, 2011

Aude Sylvain wrote:
...would anyone know why RTF files are so heavy compared to the same file in the .doc/.docx format?


I did read about this once, someone kindly explained it in another forum; I think it's partly to do with the fact that things like font information are stored in full in the RTF; but there are other factors too.


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Walter Moura  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:50
Member
English to Portuguese
Disabling Photos and drawings Feb 23, 2011

Tony M. wrote:

"I believe there is a piece of software that takes out images and then sticks them back in again at the end, but I can't remember what it's called"

Tony, in Word 2003, go to Tools, Options, Exhibit/Show tab (Not sure how this is called in in English) and deselect the Option "Drawings". This will hide the photos and pictures in the file, making it lighter. If you want to see them again, just do the opposite.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:50
Member (2008)
French to English
Still in the file? Feb 23, 2011

Walter Moura wrote:

Tony, in Word 2003, go to Tools, Options, Exhibit/Show tab (Not sure how this is called in in English) and deselect the Option "Drawings". This will hide the photos and pictures in the file, making it lighter. If you want to see them again, just do the opposite.


If you do this, are the images not still in the file, just not displayed?


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:50
English to French
+ ...
rtf files Feb 23, 2011

Tony M wrote:

Aude Sylvain wrote:
...would anyone know why RTF files are so heavy compared to the same file in the .doc/.docx format?


I did read about this once, someone kindly explained it in another forum; I think it's partly to do with the fact that things like font information are stored in full in the RTF; but there are other factors too.


Thanks Tony - I also found a (small) explanation on MS's KB, but this only addresses the case where there is a picture in the source text:
This functionality is by design in Microsoft Word. If an EMF, a PNG, a GIF, or a JPEG graphic is inserted into a Word document, when the document is saved, two copies of the graphic are saved in the document. Graphics are saved in the applicable EMF, PNG, GIF, or JPEG format and are also converted to WMF (Windows Metafile) format.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/224663


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Jorge Payan  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 05:50
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
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Name of the piece of software that takes out images Feb 23, 2011

The "program" (actually a Word template) Tony refers to maybe Codezapper. I use it at least once per day, as I have to prepare PDFs to be used with DéjaVu.

CodeZapper moves the images out the Word file and put them back once the translation is done; removes "smart tags", rogue codes, etc

It is practically free; a small EUR 20 donation is asked for continuing development. It worths the money, believe me!

For getting it, Yo can go to http://asap-traduction.com/CodeZapper

Saludos


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:50
Chinese to English
+ ...
RTF vs DOCX Feb 24, 2011

Aude Sylvain wrote:

This may be a bit OT (if so I am sorry) but would anyone know why RTF files are so heavy compared to the same file in the .doc/.docx format?


The fundamental difference is that RTF files are essentially just text files with a lot of markup; the tags take up lots of space so the files are always large. DOCX files, on the other hand, are really ZIP files with a standardized structure. (They are actual ZIP files that can be opened by unzip programs.) Their text component is still a text file with markup (XML markup instead of RTF markup), but unless there’s a lot of binary data (e.g., images), text compresses well so DOCX files will be smaller.

(Even when there’s a lot of binary data, binary data in DOCX files are really represented in binary form so they will still take up less space than their counterpart in RTF files.)

DOC files are binary files and by the virtue of their simply being binary they are smaller than RTF which is a non-binary format.

[Edited at 2011-02-24 03:27 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Absolutely! Feb 24, 2011

Tony M wrote:
If in doubt, and especially with OCR files, I use 'remove all formatting' from the 'styles' box; it's often quicker to reformat than it is to try and work around what the OCR has done!

This is very sensible advice and it matches my experience.

If you use ABBYY FineReader, for instance, it is always worth to try the different possible saving formats offered by the application and see which one works best for you.

Just a quick note: If the PDF file you OCRed was object-based, i.e. you can select text from it using Adobe Reader, you are far better off with an adequate PDF editor, like for instance Iceni InFix.


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Phong Le  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 17:50
Vietnamese
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I use office 2007 on Win Xp Pro Feb 24, 2011

My IT guy can't fix the same issue and he removed my account and reinstall my account and get rid of it.

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