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The well known problems with MS Word
Thread poster: Michael Deliso

Michael Deliso  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Italian to English
+ ...
Nov 13, 2007

I have a question about MS Word and don’t know if this subject has been dealt with before on the forums.
My question is: I, like many other translators I suppose, have at one time or another had the problem of working of MS Word on a translation and just about at any point of the file the Programme crashes and blocks thus you have to go through the steps of recovery etc. etc. and many times after opening the recovered file it has lost some paragraphs or sentences already translated. And may be it crashes again and have to be forced to work on Word Pad and losing may highlights and or special annotations made on the file. Painful event!! Is there a program/feature or other types of steps to take or implement in order to scan a document in Word before opening or somewhere along the translation and can tell if the file is corrupt?
I’d really appreciate any help and/ or suggestions because in my last 4 jobs on Word, two of them had corrupt sectors and gave me lots or problems and time loss and even had to reinstall the same Word program


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Baruch Avidar  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 22:15
English to Hebrew
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To minimize damage... Nov 13, 2007

...save your file every 10 minutes (click CRL+s)
The most you will loose are 10 minutes of work, in most cases less than that.
Good luck!


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Michael Deliso  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
The well known problems with MS Word Nov 13, 2007

Hi Baruch, thanks for your reply, but as it is I have Word set to save the file every "1" minute, but nevertheless my last two crashes lost a paragragh, which I had already translated and after revovery it had lost it and made me angry becasue I had taken a bit of time to decide on the translation of the topic and had to try and remember the words/terms I used. Very frustrating exercise.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:15
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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It depends on your configuration Nov 13, 2007

On my last desktop machine under Win2000 and WordXP I had such crashes regularly. At some stage I learned to avoid them, when I noticed that Word did not react anymore. Then I switched to another program, back to Word, saved the file and continued to work.
But under XP on my laptop those crashes are rare, most other programs crash more often than Word. And I restart only once a week or so.
But I have never lost any text, because under Word I use exclusively Wordfast, and Wf saves the most recent translated segment in the TM. So even if Word crashes (it recovers automatically) I only have to reorganise the TM and continue.
Cheers
Heinrich


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:15
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
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Using TM as backup Nov 13, 2007

I agree with Heinrich Pesch -- one of the rarely mentioned and very useful advantages of Translation Memory is that it effectively backs up your work sentence by sentence. If Word crashes (and that happens to me occasionally) it is a fairly easy process to reload Word and your most recent backup, and then restore everything up to the last but one sentence you completed. You are still likely to lose the last sentence you were working on, but at least that is better than losing a whole paragraph

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Michael Deliso  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Italian to English
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"The well known problems with MS Word" Nov 13, 2007

Hi Peter and Heinrich,
while I am very gratefull for your advices and help, I forgot to mention a very important point...that is I do not use CAT tools and thus no TM.
But while I believe I am not the only one, there certainly must be a way to detect corrupt sectors in a Word file before opening, working for a good portion and then falling victim of corrupt sectors.
It just dawned on me to ask about this becasue I have had this week alone not one but two Word files with corrupt sectors in them and both caused me frustrating moments.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
English to Polish
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2 aspects Nov 13, 2007

1. MS Word from XP onward (2003, 2007) have very good crash recovery - they salvage documents pretty much up to the moment of the crash. This is one of the greatest improvements in Word.
You don't say which version of MS Word you use.

2. A Word document does not necesarily have to be corrupt. It is enough if it is a mess in terms of formatting and styles. I have been working on such documents recently and they have been crashing. There is not much to be done about this short of reproducing the format from scratch in a new document (bad idea, time-consuming) or cleaning up the format of the original document (worse idea, even more time-consuming).

Not much help, I'm afraid.
In my experience, Word crashes only if it is forced to perform long or "bulky" operations, such as spell checking. If I know I am going to perform such an operation, I always save the document beforehand "manually" - ctrl + s or click the save icon.
Setting the autosave at 1 minute only slows down your machine.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski


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Michael Deliso  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
"The well known problems with MS Word Nov 13, 2007

Hi Paul, although some of the things you say are pretty much my situation. I use Office 2003 on XP. I have most of the times (on file send to me already formatted) copied the text on new Word page and started from there. I guess reading your text I feel that my problem may just be too much original formatting and inability of the sytem to maintain check-spelling while working. Because on the two occasions this week the files were heavily formatted. I notice that at a certain point the check-spelling window appears telling me that there are too many errors and the check-spell cuts-off. It may be the signal that it is about to crash. I just wonder why MS has not come up with some type of chekcs to make on files before starting to work on them exactly for these reasons???

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Corinne Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:15
German to English
Turn off auto-spell check / smaller file size Nov 13, 2007

You may want to turn off the automatic spell-checker (I think this can be found in tools - preferences). It sounds like you're using a version of word that doesn't automatically detect languages. It can be a real stress for the program to go through every single foreign word and highlight it.

Along these lines, you may want to think about saving to multiple documents, or in parts. Some of the older Word versions are more stressed out by larger documents. If you "Save As" vs. "Save" a few times, you can also avoid losing large portions of work. If I'm working on a really huge document (100 pgs+), I also copy and paste my work of the day in an email to myself directly just in case.

Good luck! There's nothing worse than losing work...


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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:15
Member (2005)
English to Czech
word versions Nov 13, 2007

actually, the most stable version of word is 95. you can work with multi-chapter books with hundreds of pages, pictures, formatting, cross-references, index entries, etc.

all word versions from 97 up crash sooner or later. I can't even open some documents with version 2003 because it crashes before loading them. I got no information on version 2007 but I'm afraid the situation has not improved much.


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Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:15
Member (2005)
English to Polish
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Try OpenOffice.org Writer Nov 13, 2007

It will allow you to save in DOC format, and will preserve most, if not all, MS Word formatting.

The address to go to is http://openoffice.org

The program is free to download and use.

Not sure why your MS Word crashes but for example Word 97 will simply not work on Windows XP, even in compatibility mode.

HTH

Piotr


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
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Sorry but you are ill-informed Nov 14, 2007

Piotr Bienkowski wrote:

Not sure why your MS Word crashes but for example Word 97 will simply not work on Windows XP, even in compatibility mode.

HTH

Piotr


I have used myself Office 97 with XP since several years on two machines without any compatibilty problems with the OS.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
English to Polish
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Discussion Nov 14, 2007

This is where everyone's experience starts to differ.

Word 95 was just a refurbished version of Word 6 to accommodate the various new aspects of the Windows 95 OS. Primitive.

"All versions from 97 up crash sooner or later..."

That's a truism.
But only XP and later versions recover everything up to the moment of the crash. This is really an enormous improvement WRT earlier versions.

If Word crashes before it opens the file, perhaps there is something wrong with the installation.

For me, as of today, Word 2003 is the greatest achievement of the guys in Redmond.
Word 2007 retains the features, but the new-fangled layout, well, leaves much to be desired.

P.A.S.


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Michael Deliso  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
The well known problems with MS Word Nov 14, 2007

Personally I have (not in use in anymore) Word 95, but I do prefer Word 2003, which has been running good and has many good features. My contention is that if a Word file (in this case for translators) arrives and it contains bad sectors, corrupt segments and the likes, Word should be able to detect them just about the time of opening those files and not midway the processing of that file. In my case I worked on two projects (60 pages each) and extremely complicated, and just about 40% done, I get the first crash. Up an away with the recovery and crashed again (5 times) and the frustration is that in translating paragraphs/sentences one has to think and decide which terms/style to use for that specific paragraph or sentence and if the program crashes and loses those translation it is extremely irritating having to remember the exact style and terms utilized. (don’t give the CAT tools idea). I have no qualms with MS Word 2003, I like it and it does a lot, but I feel that MS should have a feature whereby Word can detect those bad or corrupt segments at the onset and not further in the file. In reference to Piotr about Openoffice, well I did try it once couple of years ago. It is good and compatible, but it is also extremely heavy

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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Member (2006)
English to Russian
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Try again! Nov 14, 2007

I did try it once couple of years ago. It is good and compatible, but it is also extremely heavy


OpenOffice.org, unlike Microsoft Office, is developing fast. It's 2.3 version (the newest one) has much better compatibility with MSO. And as for stability, OOo is superior.

As for ‘extremely heavy’, OOo runs on, say, Celeron 1.2 / 256 Mb (a modest platform for today, isn't it?) both under Windows and Linux without any significant lack of performance compared to MSO 2003.


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