MS Word making system resources going down
Thread poster: Fernando Galv�n (X)

Fernando Galv�n (X)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 28, 2002

Dear ProZians,

Could anybody give me some piece of advise about this?

Today I got a Word file to translate. It is a part of a large ongoing project, so I had already translated similar documents with identical formatting and nothing weird ever happened. But this time, after editing this file for over two hours or so, the system resources (i.e., RAM) dropped dramatically from 82% to 3%! I noticed this when Word started refusing to do some basic tasks, such as Find, and stating lack of memory. This causes the system to slow down and finally almost crash.

I then tried to translate this file on another PC and the same thing occurred. I run both a resident and online antivirus and the computer was clean. Finally, I rebooted the system, opened the most memory-demanding applications and different Word files at the same time and everything was working fine, so I assume the problem is with the Word file I was sent.

Any tips on this? Thank you in advance!


ALAIN COTE (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
Japanese to French
Maybe... Jul 28, 2002

if you save your file in a different format things will get better (rtf, doc, previous version of Word...). Or you can open it in Wordpad, save it under a new name and reopen it in Word. I have this kind of problem very often when I receive files that contain a lot of figures, tables or graphical elements.

Good luck!


English to French
+ ...
An errant macro? Jul 29, 2002

Try turning off the \"run all macros\" feature in Word. It could be that the calculations are eating up ressources over time.

This, by the way, should be standard on your computer: no macros (EVER!). If a client insists on sending a file that absolutely needs a running macro, return the job not done along with a few Webpages describing the inherent risks of macro virii.


mónica alfonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
This has sometimes happened to me. Jul 29, 2002

I do not knw why, but these files start to store TOO MANY temporary files in your system.

What I did was to close everything regularly and empty the Temp folder before going back to the translation.


mckinnc  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
French to English
+ ...
A couple of points Jul 29, 2002

A lot of problems of this type can be solved simply by renaming a file and doing a save as. It is very common with Framemaker for example. Your system may have insufficient resources. Windows, particularly 98, tends to fall over after having used it for some time, especially after having used a lot different applications (and not necessarily all at once).

It sounds like things may be grinding to a halt when you use hefty files. I would not like to have less than 256MB of memory using Windows 2000 and if I used XP I would install more. Word is a very inefficieent programme that uses a vast amount of system resources as soon as the file is large and contains a lot of graphics. I have a 2.2 GHz Pentium IV machine with 256 MB of memory but it\'s not that fast with files like that, such as some clients send me.


Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Try Free Mem Pro Jul 29, 2002

As stated above, Windows does not clean the memory every time an application is closed, so the amount of used system resources is bigger as necessary. A small programm called FreeMemPro (comming from realNetworks) makes those system resources availlable again, so it improves the performance of the system.

I´m using a Athlon XP1700+ machine with \"only\" 256 MB RAM and work with Windows 2000/Office XP, and the machine is quite fast. If it becomes slower, you can click on FreeMemPro and free up some memory manually, but if properly set (ie. define your minimal critical free memory) this programs makes ressources availlable automatically. It works good.

Here is the link:

It is not very expensive.

Regarding the Word behaviour, so IMHO it allways means the file you are working with contains a lot of crosslinks and there are some errors in teir definitions, or the customer has defined some hundreds of styles, but does not use them properly. It means, a piece of text is formatted with a style and then some formats of this piece of text were changed manually - Word does not like this too, the same as all DTP programms.

Sometimes it helps to delete not necessary styles, or copy the whole text, paste in a new document and then try again.

If nothing helps, copy and paste the text in an new document, format the whole text with standard style, delete all other styles and then work with the file (I assume you are using TRADOS, since without TRADOS such big problems occur not so often). After that you can translate the other file inside of TRADOS. It will probably not translate the whole text due to format changes, but this is faster than crashing and crashing again.



Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Paste into an empty document is often the solution Jul 29, 2002

I have lost several weeks on my present project due to Word 2000 (Windows 2000) imperfections.

I have merged somE 12 files into one for search-and-replace and consistency checking operations and the file is about 0,5 MB.

Several mysterious things happened. The file disappeared or kept on being closed by the system after intervals between 10 sec and several minutes (\"Winword.exe has generated a grave error and the program will be shut down...\"), causing a lot of frustrating retyping.

Microsoft Support in Sweden, after a lot of research, came up with a brilliant and simple solution (resembling the RESET rule of earlier computer generations):

Open the file, mark the whole text, copy it before the \"Winword.exe has...\" arrives and paste it fast into the prepared empty document with a new name and save that document faaaast!

Close Word, reopen and load the newly created document. Voilà!

MS explained that when the document loaded, it co-loaded a corrupt (which somehow had been corrupted by my document) and this corrupt caused my problems.

A new document did not have a corrupt so everthing has been fine since then, except for the normal shut-down problems, so now I am at VERSION 28!


Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Dear Mats Jul 29, 2002

take a look at your system - even if Word is closed, there is a on your system, and if you open ten files, you still have only one

This file is ALLWAYS on your system, so if it is corrupt, all new documents created on your PC will get corrupted to. So in your case not your was corrupted, but the files themself. And this is the case I meant above.

But sometimes the gets corrupted too (ie. due to a corrupted customer document containing some macros or even containing modifications to Word behaviour), so it can be necessary to regenerate the

For this purpose one should rename the into and then start Word. At this time Word creates a new, which does not contain any previos changes to your Word (ie. Word behaviour, keyboard shortcuts and autotextes). But you can import a lot of this features using the menu Format - Styles and Add ons - Organize (depending on Word version it may be called different, refer to help files). There you can open the on the right side and copy the necessary features (autotextes, macros) to the, which is opened on the left side. Thereafter Word does not crash so often.

And if Word keeps on crashing - upgrade to Word XP, this is the best Word ever, and it does not crash as often as any other Word version. And the recovery function in it is great, so if it even crashes (and even a Macintosh crashes too) you do not loose anything (if you have set the auto recovery time to 1 minute or so). Since last year (as Office XP appeared) I made the best experiences working with it - with Windows 2000 pro as operating system.




Elzbieta Wojcicka
Local time: 22:39
Dutch to Polish
+ ...
Unused styles and fonts Jul 29, 2002

As Jerzy already mentioned, sometimes the client defines a whole bunch of styles and fonts, which not always are used in the actual document. In such case you could also easily delete all those unused styles and fonts with Trados.

In Workbench go to the Options -> Translation Memory Options -> tab Tools and select the options Strip Unused Fonts and Strip Unused Styles. Then run Clean Up on your document BEFORE starting the translation. As the document was not translated yet, the only thing Trados will do during the Clean Up will be deleting all fonts and styles that were stored with the document (increasing its size) but not used.


Fernando Galv�n (X)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I found the problem Jul 29, 2002

The fact is that this file in question does not contain any graphic nor huge tables, in fact, it\'s only 117 Kb. I have checked all of your suggestions and I think the problem has definitely to do with the excessive number of styles defined. About the computer\'s memory, I have also checked it out: it doesn\'t matter whether you have 32MB or 256MB, this file with eat them out anyway!

Thanks to you all!


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MS Word making system resources going down

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