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Top Ten Word Annoyances
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

10a. Use Microsoft Office Application Recovery to Mitigate a Crash

The Annoyance: Every now and then, Word hangs but doesn't crash. I can see my document, but I can't do anything to save my latest changes.

The Fix: Depending on the version of Word you're using, you may be able to mitigate a crash.

First, if what you can see of the document contains unsaved changes, take a picture of what's there and save it. With the focus on the Word window, press Alt+Print Screen. That copies a picture of the Word window to the Clipboard. Open Paint (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Paint) and press Ctrl+V to paste the picture. Press Ctrl+S and save the picture in a convenient folder. (If the Word window has gone white or is showing chunks of other applications, skip this step.)

Second, if you're using Word XP or Word 2003, launch Microsoft Office Application Recovery by choosing Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Office 2003 -> Microsoft Office Tools -> Microsoft Office Application Recovery (for Word 2003), or Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Office Tools -> Microsoft Office Application Recovery (for Word XP). In the Microsoft Office Application Recovery window (see Figure 1), select the entry for Word and click the Recover Application button.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Microsoft Office Application Recovery can sometimes save data even after Word has hung.

Microsoft Office Application Recovery attempts to recover the data in the open document, and then displays a dialog box offering to send an error report to Microsoft. The recovery then takes place, and Microsoft Office Application Recovery automatically restarts Word. Any recoverable documents appear in the Document Recovery pane, together with its type (Recovered or Original), details of when and how each was saved (for example, "Saved during recovery" or "Last saved by user"), and whether it has been repaired. Click a document to open it, or right-click a document and choose a command from the shortcut menu (see Figure 2).

Figure 2
Figure 2. Document recovery usually enables you to save much of the document that you were working on when Word crashed.

Choose the Show Repairs command to display the Show Repairs dialog box (see Figure 2), which lists the errors. Sort the errors by error description or by location, click the error you want to see, and click the Go To button. Check the document for damage, and then save it under another file name. If you want to restore the document to its original name, close the document in Word, open a Windows Explorer window, rename the version of the document that currently holds the name you want to use, and then rename the recovered version of the document.

Figure 3
Figure 3. The document may contain errors that Word has repaired.

If you're using Word 2000, you don't have Microsoft Office Application Recovery. Instead, right-click blank space in the taskbar or notification area, choose Task Manager from the shortcut menu, and then click the Applications tab. Click the "Microsoft Word" item, and then click the End Task button. Restart Word manually. If there's a viable AutoRecover file, Word opens it for you automatically; check it and save it under another name if it's usable. If there's no AutoRecover file or it's not usable, open the latest temporary document in the folder in which you were working, and then try to recover your document from it.

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