Need Help Fast (with Word)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mason, May 21, 2004.

  1. Mason macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2003
    I am almost done with my seminar paper and have just tried to save the file (I do so every 10-15 minutes or so). The last time I tried to save it, I got an error message saying that word was unable to save the file because "too many files are open." However, this is the only word file that is open. I tried saving the filing under a different name and got the same message. I tried copying & pasting the document to another blank document and saving but I got the same message.

    I don't know what to do and I absolutely cannot afford to lose the 20+ pages. I have spent hours and hours writing this, and if I lose the material I don't know how I'd be able to finish this in time.

    If anyone knows what is going on and how to remedy it, please let me know. I really appreciate any help that anyone can provide.

  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Can you copy and paste it into another app, like note pad? At least that way you'll have a copy.

  3. Mason thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2003
    I copied and pasted it to notepad, but I lost my 70 footnotes. I tried to print the file, but now word seems to have locked up. I don't know whether to keep waiting or just force quit and hope that autorecovery pulls the file back.
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    sounds like it will require a forcequit. The autorecovery should work. Were you using only one copy of the file? What about the last save of the file?

  5. Mason thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2003
    I was only using one copy of the file.

    I know word is doing this to me on purpose - my paper is about why MS should be liable for an antitrust violation for funding sham litigation against their competitors (i.e., the SCO-Linux case).

    Anyway, I used forcequit and word appears to have recovered the entire file. Also, I saved it as another file and that worked now, too.

    Thanks for you help. I was a bit worred - normally I wouldn't be so frantic about it, but this is my law school seminar paper on which I have spent all semeter researching and the last 4 days writing.

    Thanks again.
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Ironically, I was just searching for info on this bug; it just completely obliterated a user's document in Word 98 (Mac), including the enitre saved file and any autosaves, but it's usually not that destructive.

    It is basically caused by some sketchy programming within Word interacting with the maximum open file limit for Word itself and the OS. The bug has existed in Word for the Mac in versions 6.0 through X (I think it's fixed in 2004, but maybe not), and existed for a while, though not as severely, in Word on Windows as well.

    It is caused by saving too often. Yes, it sounds weird, but every time you save in Word, it essentially opens a new document (has to do with multiple undos), and eventually there's a limit that gets hit, at which point Word just chokes. In theory the data that was in the document up till the last time you opened it should be fine (though as I said, in the particular case that happened today where I work the whole document was deleted from the hard drive--ouch), so you can just copy and paste the changed text (or all the text--bummer about the footnotes) into another document, quit (or Force Quit) Word, then put the text back in.

    Incidentally, apparently being in Page Layout mode with both headers and footers visible makes it way more likely--try editing in "Normal" mode, which apparently helps (though I hate doing that, too).

    If you're interested in an incredibly detailed developer's-eye-view of this decade-old bug, check out this blog huge entry by a guy who worked in Microsoft's Mac division:

    (By the way, if anybody has any suggestions why my user might have had her entire document deleted by this bug, or if there's some magical way to retrive it other than disk utilities, I'd appreciate any suggestion.)
  7. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    I find this issue often. I work with clients who supply me with many Word .docs for a multi page book. (even with embedded graphics.) I find that when I open all (sometimes 20-30) documents at once, and "save as" the "Buffer" memory gets full and I have to quit out of Word (sometimes forcequit) and launch again, and open the documents again. Another problem I discovered is when a customer sets "autosave" on their PC and I try to import it into Quark.....Crash :eek:

    Again reboot and open the doc and reset the saving prefs , then try again.
    Making sure your Word prefs are correct, have a lot of RAM, check "auto-save" and proceed carefully (meaning don't be surprised by problems) and persevere, you should be OK.
  8. Mason thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2003
    Thanks for the info. I guess it's sort of good that it's not just me - although I don't like the prospect of this possibly happening again.

    One more issue if anyone can help me. I'm pretty much done with my paper except that now I've discovered that some of my footnotes are out of order. I've done some re-editing and added some paragraphs in between other paragraphs. So now I have some footnotes with higher number before some footnotes with lower footnotes

    It looks like this:


    Is there any way to auto-correct this or do I have to erase them and put them in again manually?

    Thanks again.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I say just do it manually, then install OpenOffice, and work on your Word document in there. It may actually save you a lot of headache if you were to do it in another program that can work with Word .doc files well.
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    that happened to me while I was finishing a 16 page paper a couple of weeks ago. I copied the whole thing in to appleworks, quit word, and then put it back in to word. That worked. I really hate word, btw. It crashes, lags, and gives me errors far more often than any other app on my computer. :mad:
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Thanks so much for posting that problem description. This happened to me for the first time writing a final paper last week, and I almost through my PB out the window.

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