fawny.org: Word 98 Bugs: New bugs

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New Word 98 for Macintosh Bugs

Updated 1999.03.28

  • From Kris Brown (using three PowerMacs: a G3/233 with 32 MB RAM and OS 8.1; a 7200/200 with 32 MB RAM and OS 8; a 7600/132 with 32 MB RAM and OS 7.6.1):

    Hmmm, how hard is it to simply tell Microsoft of a problem they have with their software? I don't think I should have to pay them for something they've done wrong.

    If you create a new file in Word 98 with pages set up for A4, and you Save As Word for Mac 5.1, it changes the page size to Letter (Small). Rather annoying, as I have approximately 30 professors and Ph.D. students who have high-end Macs on their desktop using Office 98 and laptops for home use and field work which use Word 5.1 for its size and stability. So obviously they are always taking home documents to use. Yes, if you install the Office 98 converter on the laptops they can use the Office 98 format and everything is OK, but most of them have years' worth of documents, running into thousands of documents that are in Word 5.1 format, that they would like to open and print on their desktop machines. They have to remember every time to change the page size and then save as Office 98 format.

    Microsoft needs to fix this. I would appreciate some info on how I would go about getting Microsoft to recognize this problem.

  • From Connor W. Anderson (using a PowerMac G3/266 with 32 MB RAM under OS 8.1):

    After spending the better part of a day and a half playing around with this problem and looking all over the net and Usenet to try and find other examples of it, I'll lay it on you to see if you have (a) encountered it before or (b) know of a solution/workaround. I'm stumped.

    Word takes about 30 seconds to boot to the new-document window. Almost a minute elapses before any mouse clicks anywhere on the screen are recorded. After this, for another minute or so there are significant pauses where things lock up. There is quite a bit of disk activity during this. Reminds me a lot of the first release of Word 6.0.

    Here is what we have tried. Various combinations of:

    • Clean (new) install of OS 8.1
    • Clean install of MS Office 98
    • Added G3 Ethernet patch 2.0.4 (we are on a huge LAN)
    • Virtual Memory On (then off)
    • Cache set to default (1024) then higher (2048) then lower (512)

    in addition to rebuild the desktop, zapping PRAM, inter alia. Nothing helps. I have other machines in this very office that are, for all practical purposes, identical and have never encountered any such problem. Similar lags happen to varying degrees in Excel and PowerPoint, but it's most pronounced in Word, somewhat bothersome in Excel, and almost nonexistent in PowerPoint.

  • From Alexandre Boutorine (using a PowerMac G3/233 with 32 MB RAM under French OS 8.5.1):

    Thank you for your Internet bug page, it's very useful. Some time ago I communicated to Microsoft Corp. a new bug that I found in my Office 98 French version for Macintosh. I do not know if this bug is already known. It is specific to the Macintosh version in French. I did not observe this bug on the PC French version of Office 98.

    Description of the bug:

    1. Type any letter
    2. Type space
    3. Type three periods
    4. Type space
    5. Type any letter
    6. Type a period
    7. Hit Return key

    Result: Application is blocked and does not respond any more to mouse clicks and keyboard hits despite the fact that the cursor moves with the mouse as usual and the computer is not completely "frozen."

  • From Jan Morren (using a PowerBook G3/300 with 192 MB RAM under OS 8.1):

    When it's installed on our machines, Word 98 will crash when trying to hit the menu. Icons can be clicked, you can work with it, but when you try to hit the menu, freeze. Force-quitting is the only solution. The PBs are running Mac OS 8.1, the apps of Office get an additional amount of RAM (about 20 MB for each). PowerPoint and Excel are running very well.

    Yesterday, I reformatted my hard disc, reinstalled Mac OS 8.1, and reinstalled Office, and everything works fine, for now. No other applications were open at the time we ran out of Word. We are working in a network, but [activity was not busy].

    I hate this package so much that I want to disable it on all my Macintosh computers (about 25; I'm a system administrator here) and start using AppleWorks 5. We've had nothing but troubles with this piece of .... from Microsoft.

  • From Karl Fisch (using a PowerMac G3/266 with 64 MB RAM under OS 8.5):

    I'm not sure if this is a Word bug, an OS 8.5 bug, or some other combination, but here goes.

    My school is running Word 98 on new 266 MHz desktop G3s, 64 MB of RAM, and OS 8.5 (as well as on older systems, but I think the problem is coming from the new systems). We've run the update on Word 98 for 8.5 and the program seems to function fine most of the time.

    Except we're having lots of difficulties with Word not opening files saved to floppy disks. These are files students have created on these machines, saved to their floppies, and then later tried to open. Word says it can't open the files. We've tried lots of things-- opening at the exact same machine, opening at an 8.1 machine running Word 98 without the 8.5 update, opening using translators, copying the file to the hard drive and then opening, rebuilding the desktops on both the hard drive and the floppy, running Disk First Aid on the hard drive-- but we still don't get the file. Occasionally we'll get some text from the file, but it's often older versions of the file. (Note: This is not every file saved to a floppy, just some of them; many open just fine.)

    This is happening with both Mac- and PC-formatted disks. On the Mac disks I have run Norton Utilities and it often finds problems with the disk (including bad blocks) and says it fixes them, but I still can't open the files. While I know floppies are unreliable, we've been doing fairly well until getting this new lab. The increase in the number of problems is too much to just be a run of bad floppies-- these floppies had been working fine all semester. This makes me think it is some combination of Word 98 and 8.5, but I'm not sure.

    Today I was able to recover some text from a file that was saved to a PC-formatted floppy, and it included these error messages:

    • Unknown error
    • Memory arena invalid
    • Insufficient memory
    • Tried to operate on invalid block
    • Heap was never initialized
    • Less memory reserved than requested
    • Insufficient memory to create heap

    On this as well as several other PC-formatted disks, when you look at a listing of the files at the desktop level, things keep shifting around-- it looks as though it's trying to display some files, then they disappear, then it tries to display them again. This I've only noticed on the PC-formatted disks we've had problems with.

  • From Roberto Abati (using a PowerMac G3/233 with 64 MB RAM under International English OS 8.5):

    I have two big problems with Word 98 International English with my Mac: I have installed ATM 4.02. I have Word 98 International English with the new patch for 8.5 from MS with 12 MB memory (into Info Box).

    I have two problems:

    1. Sometimes, it seems to me that when I use some Visual Basic (MS Office original) macro, Word closes and I get the message "System Error Code 2."
    2. I have received, via E-mail, a Word document from a PC Word format 6.0/95 in Outline view and when I try to copy part of the document to another, the system freezes. I have converted into Word 97 format (from a PC) and I had the same problem. I didn't have a problem working with a converted .TXT File.

  • From Roger Warburton (using a PowerMac G3/233 with 96 MB RAM under OS 8.0):

    I thought that creating a document with numbered sections would be a good idea in Word 98. Wrong! Using numbered headings is very difficult, as has been commented on in this page before. Here is another report (although I'm not completely sure it isn't me). Create a master document. Insert a subdocument. When the headings were in the master document, it makes the subdocuments harder to use. If you put headings in the subdocument, it is very easy to get the styles out of sync-- a real pain. When you open a subdocument you get a different set of styles.

    Here's the problem: Edit the style: Format Style, Select Heading 1, Modify, Format Numbering, Outline Numbered Tab (phew!). Select the left-justified style. Now try the heading level 2. The setting does not stick. Also, no matter what you change, level 2 is always indented. I could not get the heading to left-justify. Worse, even though the style for the text was Normal, it was indented. By the time I had four-level numbering, the text was clinging to the right-hand side of the page.

  • From Chip Dunbar (using a PowerMac G33/233 with 96 MB RAM under OS 8.5):

    I've bought Office 98 and an Epson 800 printer. When I print any document from Word 98 using Times or Helvetica it prints with double spacing. The doc looks fine on-screen (single-spaced) and prints fine if I select another font (like Palatino). I have the latest version of the Epson driver (from a year ago!). Times and Helvetica seem to print fine from SimpleText. This seems like a Microsoft problem/bug (suprise!). Has anyone else experienced this? Are there any fixes for Word 98? (I tried looking on the MS Web site. Yuk! They force you to submit personal info, just to browse their support stuff.)

  • From Elliot Wilen (using a SuperMac S900/200 with 104 MB RAM under OS 8.1):

    I just installed Office 98 on this computer, and I haven't applied either the Word security patch or the System 8.5 patch.

    I have recently been using a package called VPSMac 2.11 to type in Vietnamese on my Mac. With VPSMac 2.11, some vowels with diacritical marks are typed by using a control-key combination. For example, to type ê, you type Control-e. The same applies for ô and â. This works perfectly in TeachText and KeyCaps. However, in Word 98, it appears that the Control key is reserved for use in shortcut-key combinations, the same way that the command key is used. When I type Control-a in Word, nothing happens.

    Needless to say this is a source of inconvenience. I'm about to try to find a workaround using macros and/or AutoText, but I might end up having to type documents in TeachText, import them into Word for final formatting, and use KeyCaps for those occasions when I need to make edits.

    While exploring this problem and trying to come up with a way to use AutoText or a macro for a workaround, I realized that the VPS keyboard driver also produces the characters ô and â (in the VPS font) using Option-s and Option-p, respectively, while ê can be typed with Option-e. While this isn't as consistent as using the Control key, it works.

    Still, the fact remains that Microsoft seems to have overridden a standard function in the MacOS, so that something which works in other programs doesn't work in Word.

    COMMENT from Joe Clark: Well, aeiuo with circumflexen can be typed on any U.S. English keyboard with Option-i, then the vowel. Shouldn't we be worrying about entering Vietnamese characters with multiple diacritics, none of which are resident in ISO-Latin-1 character sets?

  • From Lowell Satler (using a PowerMac G3/333 with 128 MB RAM under OS 8.5):

    I have noticed this problem recently... when I save a Word document for the first time, there is inevitably a long pause (about 10 seconds) for the document to be saved. One has the impression that the computer is temporarily freezing. Subsequent saves are normal with the same document. When I ran a Conflict Catcher 8.03 test, I found that the problem occurs with all of the Open Transport files. When these are disabled, Word functions perfectly fine, but then I do not have access to the Internet.

  • From S.M. Nadeem N. Faruque (using a PowerMac G3/300 with 120 MB RAM under OS 8.5 and a Performa 5320 with 64 MB RAM under OS 8.1):

    Having seen your extensive list of Word 8 bugs yet finding no solutions/mentions of the ones I suffer from, I thought I'd mention them.


    1. Dictionary: Word will switch between U.S. English and British English spelling without apparent rhyme or reason (noticed on the G3 and not the Performa).

      COMMENT from Richard Platt:

      I reported this to Microsoft and was told that if you open a file created under an earlier version of Word, the spelling dictionary is automatically set to U.S. English regardless of what you've chosen in Preferences. I wrote a macro to fix this problem:

      Sub UKEnglishProofing()
      ' UKEnglishProofing Macro
          ActiveDocument.AttachedTemplate.LanguageID = wdEnglishUK
          Selection.LanguageID = wdEnglishUK
      End Sub
    2. Printing to Epson Stylus 850: Though the Epson Stylus 850 will happily print to about 2 mm from the edges of the page, Word complains bitterly about printing with normal margins onto A4 paper.
    3. Document Map:
      1. In a thesis document which uses styles extensively (created originally in Word 6), several random paragraphs constantly appear in the Document Map as if they were headings. These paragraphs still appear to have their Normal style and re-selecting it appears not to help.
      2. The document window split bar diappears when Document Map is active (not a bug so much as an undocumented-- and initially frustrating-- feature).
    4. Paragraph styles in the above document behave very strangely (this may have been noted before); the trouble is that they are difficult to explain, but include a change in one paragraph's style sometimes altering that of the following paragraph.
    5. In a paragraph with a hanging indent, pressing Tab sometimes puts a tab at the start of the paragraph and not the current position, though pasting a tab mark causes no problem.
    6. Copying PICT pictures (with JPEG compression) out of a document only works for about the first 360 KB of the picture, the rest being plain white.

  • From Rod Rysen (using a Performa 6200CD with 48 MB RAM under OS 7.5.5):

    Even though I have the Equation Editor installed, the publishing company I write for requires that I use EQ fields for radicals, fractions, etc. The problem I have encountered is that Word 98 adds extra white space at the end of the field, thus throwing out any alignment of text or equations that I have created. For example, the field {EQ \r(3,x)} creates the radical the cube root of x. Unfortunately, the next time the file is loaded, the field appears as {EQ \r(3,x) }, with additional spaces artificially entered between the closing parenthesis and brace.

    I am not certain if this is a bug or if there is some way I have yet to discover that will limit this spacing problem.

  • From Bob Workman (using a Quadra 950 with Apple PowerPC 601 Upgrade Card with 64 MB RAM under OS 8.0):

    If I open, edit and save Word 98-generated HTML files a random number of times, sometimes when I re-open the HTML files, large portions of the files will have mysteriously vanished... deleted without warning during the prior save.

    It's as if Word 98's HTML engine craps out, occasionally, as it tries to re-parse and re-save a Word 98 HTML file that I've edited, even if it's only to make a few simple word changes.

    Solution: After saving Word 98 files as HTML files, I never try to re-open and edit the HTML file. Instead, I do all editing in the "parent" Word 98 file, then re-generate the HTML file. I consider Word 98 conversion to HTML a one-way process, like sending a file to my printer. I never think of Word 98 as an HTML-editing program, just a handy HTML-conversion utility. If I need to edit an HTML file, I use a bona fide HTML-editing program like Symantec Visual Page 1.1, which never loses file content, and is a far better alternative to attempting to use Word 98 as an HTML-Editing program.

    P.S. I discovered this bug when working on a large print-and-Web documentation project with a large group of engineers all of whom were using Word 97 for Windows. They didn't complain of any problems in editing/re-editing their own HTML files in Word 97 on their Windows PCs. However, I experienced the problem when I tried re-editing their Word 97-generated HTML files. I first thought it might have something to do with a conflict between Word 97/Windows and Word 98/Mac, but the problem also occurred when I created Word 98/Mac docs from scratch and saved them as HTML.

  • From Joseph Ortenzi (using a PowerMac G3 with 96 MB RAM under OS 8.1):

    I am using Office 98 on a Mac G3 Powerbook Mark 1 (in the 3400 case) and am having some problems I hope can be solved by consulting your experts/contributors. I am having basically three problems but the most recent is rather new, is not on your lists, and is incredibly disturbing.

    1. Word crashes when I try to copy or paste anything. Norton CrashGuard reports, "Unmapped Memory Exception," if that is any help. This did not used to happen!
    2. Word freezes so often I am unsure why people thought it was so good in the first place! Some days never, other days, far too often. It usually happens when I try to acess the main menu or the Font menu. When it freezes it takes my contextual menus from the Apple menu with it. As I keep aliases of all my volumes there for ease of use, I have to restart to make good use of the software.
    3. The Mac Classic-shaped assistant was a real buddy at first but has recently been causing crashes, I suspect, as the moment he wants to say something there does occur occasionally a freeze.

  • From Ken E. Chen (using a PowerMac G3/233 with 32 MB RAM under Latin American Spanish OS 8.5):

    Using Office 98 Spanish Version, after saving your document once or two times, it begins to say that there's no space left on disk to save the file and keeps asking you for another volume to save it. You then can turn fast save on and off till Word let you save your work. The update didn't solve this problem. This Word problem is present in all my 19 licences[...] and our Microsoft local dealer gave us the same information I could find by myself on the net.

  • From Turk (using a PowerMac 7500 upgraded with a Newer Tech G3 300/150/512K card with 96 MB RAM under OS 8.5.1):

    I've been searching all over the usual sites for info on this particular problem I'm having with Word 98. If I launch the program and a blank document comes up, and say I want to print an envelope, well, I go and do that and of course the blank default document now has some type of invisible data on it, so when you go to close it, Word prompts you to save changes.

    The dialogue box that comes up has no buttons in it, just the caution sign. Clicking anywhere does nothing. The only way to get out of the dialogue is to hit Command-period. The only way to quit Word is to save the blank document, close it, and then quit the program. I can't figure this out and can't find any patch either, or any mention of anyone else having this problem, which leads me to believe that it's just my machine. However, I'm not running anything that is all that exotic on this machine. After typing that last paragraph the only thing I can think of that might be causing this is maybe Action Files, but then again, that wouldn't come into play for displaying the save warning dialogue, would it? Could this be an 8.5.1 Appearance extension problem?

    As it turns out if you hit Command-N when this blank caution dialog pops up it will be the equivalent of hitting No [or Command-D for Don't Save, or Escape].

    Phew, but I'd still like to not have this happen. After reading your page it doesn't look like that will happen any time soon. Man, are there a lot of problems with this application, as you mention all the time it amazes me too that this thing was so lauded in Macworld. Sounds like someone over there either thought they were doing their part to rally the Mac/Microsoft relationship, or someone was trying to brownnose Bill Gates!

  • From Mark J. Lyons (using a PowerMac 6100/60 with 40 MB RAM under OS 7.6.1):

    Here's one that's got me stumped and a little crazy. I made the mistake of trying to update Office 98 by downloading the patch to remedy the "extra data" glitch. Afterwards, Word itself would open, and I could open files by double-clicking or using the Apple menu, but any method of opening files within the application itself (keyboard, icon, pull-down) caused a Type 1 error which crashed both Word and the system.

    On the MacFixIt page, similar problems were attributed to a conflict with 10-100 Ethernet drivers, so perhaps that is the problem, since it disappeared with extensions disabled... which leads to the question: How do I find updated drivers? I guess it's time to pop open the machine (it's a work machine) and find out who made it.

    Thanks for any input, and thanks for posting your page. It was the link to MacFixIt that's (hopefully) got me on the road to recovery.

  • From K.F. Hennessy (using a PowerMac 7300/180 with 96 MB RAM under OS 8.1, a PowerMac 8600/250 with 96 MB RAM under OS 8.1, and a PowerBook G3 with 64MB under OS 8.5):

    The Metafile Filter used to convert Windows Metafile graphics to (PICT?) images on the Mac version of Office 98/Word 98 hangs the OS. The problem first showed up on PowerPoint, but the same filter is used for Word and I have since gotten Wintel-based memos with the same problem in Word.

    It seems that a certain version of the Lucent logo .WMF image works fine in the Win 3.1/95/97 world, but when transferring those documents over to the Mac Office 98 world, the same documents will hang the Metafile graphics filter when opening the Word (or PowerPoint) documents. This in turn locks up the Mac, forcing a reboot, thus making these valid Wintel document unusable in the Mac environment.

    By repeatedly trimming and retrying the document in the Wintel world, I have narrowed it down to a Metafile version of an image that works fine in the Wintel world, but hangs the Metafile filter in the Mac world. I reported it to Microsoft (MS Task #34-210371), and after a hell of a lot of debug work on my part, I know I have the exact cause of the problem (and it's nothing to due with OS, extensions, memory, etc.).

    It's a flaw in the Metafile filter, which one MS tech-support guy reluctantly conceded. So MS said wait for the Office 98 8.5 fix, which had a new version of the Metafile filter in it and "maybe that would solve the problem." Well, it didn't. So now they say the only recourse I have is to paper mail a letter (and a diskette with a sample .doc/.ppt file which they may or may not look at) to the developers!

    What a great use of the Internet!

    So for now, I (and others at Lucent) reboot and use Wintel boxes to remove/replace the image when I encounter it in a document someone else sends me (or remove the filter out of the MS directory on the Mac and look at the documents without pictures-- usually all right for Word, but not for PowerPoint). No fix in sight. I going to call MS again and see if I can escalate it, since we at Lucent do have a support contract with them.

  • From Pedro Corona (using a PowerMac G3/300 with 128 MB RAM under OS 8.5.1 and a LaserWriter 8500 with 32 MB RAM):

    I've had several problems related to printing special characters (accents used in Spanish) from Word 98, namely áéíóú and ñ [and presumably ÁÉÍÓÚ and Ñ] in Helvetica, Geneva, and New York. When I check my document inPrint Preview, everything seems all right, but it doesn't happen the same when it's printed. On paper I just can see a blank space where the character is supposed to be. Maybe the problem is in the printer fonts or may be a bug of some sort, I don't know.

    To solve the problem provisionally, but not definitively, sometimes we do this:

    1. Select all the text.
    2. Change the font.
    3. Close and save the changes in the document (without closing Word).
    4. After that we open the document and print it. This works fine.
  • From Simone Borella (using a PowerBook 3400c/200 with 80 MB RAM under Italian OS 8.5.1):

    Would you like to know how Word 98 is a Mac application built from ground up? Here it is. This dialogue appears when I try to print an envelope address with LaserWriter 8.6. I think it is a problem with page orientation, because when I switch to another driver (via Chooser) and after switching back to LaserWriter 8, all is OK. But the ridiculous thing is the dialogue (Italian version) that states: "It's impossible to print due to a problem with printer settings. Try to print a page from Windows. Be sure that the printer is on," etc.

    Impossible stampare a causa di un problema con l'attuale impostazione della stampante. Provare a stampare una pagina di prova da Windows, assicurarsi che la stampante sia accesa ed in linea oppure reinstallare il driver della stampante.

    My God! This is a Mac application?

  • From Henning Reetz (using a PowerMac 7600/132 with 80 MB RAM under OS 7.5.5, a PowerMac G3/300 with 128 MB RAM under OS 8.1, and a PowerMac 7600/132 with 128 MB RAM under OS 8.1):

    Style/formatting bug in Large documents: We observed in two large 50+-page documents with several user-defined styles (based on Normal) the following problem-- at the beginning and the first few pages everything is fine. From somewhere in the document (page 14, page 52), selecting a portion of the text and changing the tabs on the ruler changes the tabs in the whole document thereafter, independent of styles. Selecting some portion of text and selecting a different style is impossible: The style simply lights up shortly in the style field and flips back to the old name. It looks as if the Normal style is on auto-update, but auto-update is not checked. Checking-quiting-restarting-unchecking doesn't help. Style definitions can be changed, but they flip back to old settings. Cutting and pasting to new documents transports the bug.

    Workaround: Go to end of the last paragraph that does not have this behavior and position cursor before the paragraph mark. Hit Return to insert new paragraph, use Del (delete forward) to remove the old paragraph mark. The previous paragraph becomes OK again. Proceed to end of document like this-- don't miss any old paragraphs. Have fun with a 265-page document.

  • From Craig A. Hunter (using a PowerBook 2400 and a PowerBook 3400/200 with 80MB RAM and "OS 8.x"):

    [Previous question: "Has anybody else experienced a menu-bar conflict with Claris Instant Organizer?"]

    From MacFixIt:

    After installing the MacPac software, Richard Bornat reports Finder crashes associated with Microsoft Word 5.1 and Microsoft Word 98 (especially when printing). He found that removing the Instant Palm Desktop extension resolved the problem. He also found a similar report involving Claris Instant Organizer (on which the Palm software is based) and MS Office, posted to a Word 98 bug-report page.

    Yes, yes, yes-- I experienced it on two different machines. In both cases, Instant Organizer was the culprit that caused crashes when accessing the menu bar in Word 98 or Excel 98. Curiously, I did not experience the problem on my desktop machine, a 9600/350 with 512 MB of RAM and OS 8.x.

    [Karsten Liere confirms the bug and diagnosis.]

  • From Jeanie Prien (using a PowerMac G3/266 with 64 MB RAM and OS 8.5):

    I am experiencing irritating problems with print-merging labels in Word 98. I am printing to an Okidata ML590 dot-matrix printer with the help of PowerPrint 4.5.1. If I merge 36 labels, it puts a blank sheet of labels between numbers 12 and 13 and and 24 and 25, etc. Same thing with name badges.

    When we made the switch from Word 5 to Office 98 in January, I was using an ImageWriter for labels. A Microsoft tech told me that ImageWriters were no longer supported in Office 98; I would need a newer printer and then my problems would be resolved. They didn't have an answer as to why the blanks also occur when printing to Apple LaserWriter.

    I have tried every configuration that I can think of. The best I can do is get it to print 11 of the 12 labels, skip one label and then again start printing on label 13. Since we do a high volume of labels and name tags in our office, this is more than a slight irritation.

  • From Anthony J. Lambert (using a Computer Warehouse clone with 128 MB RAM and OS 8.5.1):

    I've not seen this issue covered on your page. All day today I was working on a 50-page 900 K report. I had noticed Word work files proliferating, but that happens normally, so I thought nothing of it.

    Being a paranoid sort, I save manually every five or so minutes. On one occasion, after some seven hours working, I hit Command-S but was told I had too many windows open so the last command could not be completed. (I had three Word files open, only one of which was large [900 K]. The large one I had two windows open for.) I closed one of the other files and tried to save the original again. The same error message occurred and this time my file had been renamed as a Word work file. Fearing I was about to lose some work, I tried to save the file as something else, but couldn't: the same error.

    Thinking that at worst I would lose only five minutes' work (i.e., since the last save that worked), I quit Word. After an extremely long time, Word quit. Unfortunately, when I looked for my original file, it was gone. My thought is that it had been renamed by Word as a Word Work File and had been siphoned off into the trash (and deleted) with all of the other Word Work Files.

    The file is gone. Two hours using Norton Unerase succeeded only in bringing back a file of the same size but filled with gibberish. (Though not complete gibberish: the file contained a listing of Mac error messages and an inventory of the extensions on my machine). I don't know if this is a Word bug or a Finder bug. I'd be interested in knowing if anybody else has experienced this.

    UPDATE from Anthony J. Lambert: The document was lost, and Microsoft had no explanation for the way Word renamed my file. The phrase was "that just can't happen." Anyway, Microsoft had this advice for avoiding this sort of thing happening:

    1. Turn off "Allow Fast Save" in Word preferences.
    2. Turn on "Always make backup copy" in Word preferences.
    3. Remove any Microsoft preference files that end in (6), particularly Word 6 Font preferences, as these relate to previous versions of Office software and will cause conflicts.
    4. Use Microsoft Office Manager.
    5. Make sure Word has a large amount of memory allocated to it: 16 MB or even 20 MB.
    6. Set disk cache in Memory control panel to 512 K.

    Anyway, doing the last item above only serves to inhibit the performance of my Mac, including slowing to a crawl the launch of Word, so I've reverted back to default cache size. Also, my memories of Microsoft Office Manager from the past are too bitter to even contemplate using that. However, although it's very early days, there has so far been no repeat of the problem.

    Incidentally, the Microsoft Mac guy took me through a bizarre sequence to establish whether my version of Word had a bug. Open a new document (using the Normal, i.e., default, template). Type a line of text (any text). Highlight it. Copy it. Paste it five times. Highlight all lines. Copy them. Paste them. Save document on desktop as Test. Close document. Quit Word. Open document from desktop. And hey presto, if the file opens OK and everything is normal, you don't have this bug, whatever it is!

  • From Rory Cooney (using a Umax C600 with 96 MB RAM and OS 8.5.1 and a StyleWriter II):

    The pagination controls in the headers and footers work fine on the screen. When you choose "Page X of Y" as the style, the screen shows the correct numbers, even when one imports other documents into the master document. But when you print, the printed document will show every page of a document as "Page Y of Y"-- for instance the pages will be numbered "1 of 1," "2 of 2," all the way up to the final number.

    Microsoft says that it's a problem with the print driver, but this is the only program that causes this anomaly for me.

  • From Peter Davidson (using a PowerMac 7100/80 with 24 MB RAM under U.S. English OS 8.1):

    A post for your excellent Word 98 bug page.

    Late last night while finishing a report, I was staring blankly at the screen when I suddenly realized Word was merrily overwriting random chunks of my text with underline characters. Occasionally the "rewritten" pieces of text turned to the Symbol font briefly before dropping to underline characters. Nice one.

    A rummage around MS's barbaric Web site this morning (try submitting any sort of feedback/request if you're living outside the USA-- isn't our money good enough for you?) revealed that there's a bug with Symbol font, which means you can't convert anything in Symbol font to another font without the text turning to underscores due to some idiocy in Word's implementation of Unicode.

    This might help explain why the text which had spontaneously converted to symbol font then converted to underlines, but hardly explained the spontaneous conversion to symbol font in the first place.

    Once the immediate crisis of finishing the report was over (back to 5.1a), I ran Virex (with February 99 updaters) and completely reinstalled Word 98. Within half an hour it was doing the same thing again.

    In today's rummaging on the Web, the only other likely options I could find were a clash with MacComCentre or not enough memory allocated. I'll test-drive jacking up memory and un-installing MacComCentre later in the week, but I don't regard either of these (particularly the latter) as permanent solutions.

    If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know-- having your precious document start to spontaneously turn to garbage in front of your eyes is less than pleasant.

  • From Derek Ellerton (using a first-generation iMac with 32 MB RAM under OS 8.5.1):

    Office 98 had been installed on the iMac in August 1998; the OS 8.5 Office upgrade was installed as soon as it was available. On this iMac, Office 98 is the most used application, followed by browsing the web (and E-mail) via Netscape Communicator 4.5, with Virex 5.9 doing the virus protection. No new software has been installed lately.

    Last week, out of the blue, there appeared the following error message:

    The Visual Basic editor could not be loaded. There may not be enough free memory to load the libraries, or files may have been deleted or moved from the originally installed location.

    Word 98 still appears to work fine, but the error message is annoying nonetheless.

    I've tried allocating more memory to the Office products, and I also boosted Virtual memory (from 64 MB to 255 MB). Neither of these options yields a result. And to my knowledge, no files have been moved around, especially files within the System Folder (and extensions, etc.), or within the Office directory.

    I've also tried reinstalling Office 98, and then re-installing the Office 8.5 patch. Still no joy.

    Yet my Powermac 7300/250 (overclocked 604e, 64 MB RAM, OS 8.5.1) doesn't have the same problem. Word 98 runs fine currently, and produces no error messages. (I've tried to keep these machines near-identical. I still haven't found a work-around to this problem.

How to contribute

Mail submissions to joeclark@fawny.org;
make absolutely sure to mention your Macintosh system, clock speed, OS version, and RAM quantity, or else I can't post your item. I used to go chasing people down for this information, but life is too short.