What should I do now, folks?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Abstract, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Okay, is there a way that you can make a program not crash for absolutely no reason?

    I'm writing my thesis, or at least I "WAS" writing my thesis, when MS Word crashes. Usually, Excel is the one that crashes, not Word, so I was pretty bothered by it.

    Anyway, I have a 22 page thesis (single spaced) that I was working on, and now I can't open the file. When I open it in Word, the paper shows up and Word crashes immediately. If I go into the FINDER and double-click on the file from there, I get the same open-and-crash issue.

    If I open another Word file, everything is fine. Its just this one document. What am I supposed to do? Did I reach the upper limit of what MS Word can handle? Is it the file itself that's corrupt?? I'm hoping it isn't the file, since I've done lots of work on it over the past 3 days. :(

    I don't have OpenOffice (for Mac) because I don't know much about X11. What options do I have other than working on the file on one of the school's PCs instead?
  2. aplasticspork macrumors regular

    May 27, 2004
    Seattle Wa.
    that sucks a lot, i've had larger documents than 22 pages so unfortunately the file is probably corrupt. but i would get a second opinion. openoffice doesnt really require much knowledge of X11, i tried it,and at the time had no idea what X11 was ;) so you could give that a try. i would also try opening it in text edit. you'll probably lose all of the formatting if you do, but you'll still have the 22 pages back. if neither of those work then you can ask someone else, or lose your mind for about a week while secretly rewriting everything. im sure your teacher will understand :cool:
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    You can try to open it with TextEdit or AppleWorks, if you have it.

    I would imagine, since the other documents can be opened, that the document is corrupt and cannot be retrieved but maybe Word for Windows would be okay enough with it to copy and paste and put it into another document without formatting.
  4. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    There is no way that document is too long, as I have had documents much longer than that. Try w/ text edit, as others have said. I believe that my brother had this problem before on his iBook, and he emailed the document to his office manager and she opened with a windows version like nothing was wrong at all. When she emailed it back, after saving under a different name, he was able to work with it no problem once again. This could have sheer dumb luck, or this might fix your problem. You should give it a try if you are able.
  5. cahillj macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2002
    Carlisle, MA
    What size is the file?
    If it's "big" then your words are probably still there, you just need to get them out. If it's small then you might have lost it.
    Before you try opening with any other program make sure you make a copy and work on that. I'm not familiar with Mac file inspection tools but if you can get it across to a PC there are programs that can open and read all the contents of your file into a non-format text file.
    good luck
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    It could be a font problem too......corrupted fonts or a font conflict.....you might try reinstalling the fonts you're using in the document
  7. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    This is a good time to get on my high horse/soap box and preach the virtues of backing up important documents, as well as never working on the original document (always work on a copy).

    And what do your crashlogs say about the matter?
  8. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I would highly recommend making a "do not touch" copy of your Thesis right away... it may be corrupted but trying random things on it to make it work can make it worse. It may be nice to have an old copy to go back to even if it is corrupted.

    Other than that... dunno what to tell you. You might save it to CD/disk/somewhere and attempt to open it in Windows with Word or Wordpad...
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Your issue is almost certainly a document corruption one (though it would be nice, if unlikely, that it's a font issue as mentioned earlier). Word is, sadly, prone to this sort of thing, and I've seen it frequently--in some cases it crashes outright, in others only when you try to edit a certain chunk of the text.

    If you ever do manage to get Word to open it, IMMEDIATELY use the "save as" function to save a copy--that usually re-forms whatever is in the guts of the document and cleans out the weirdness that was causing the crash.

    If there isn't too much fancy formatting going on, the earlier suggestions to try Appleworks or TextEdit, both of which can theoretically handle simple Word documents, are good. If that fails or your document is too fancy and you'll loose too much, another thing to try is other versions of Word (both Mac and PC--find friends or a school computer lab). Some are more forgiving of corrupt documents than others, so you might have better luck (I've seen corrupt Windows Word documents that would only open on a Mac version of Word).

    Again, if you DO manage to get it open in any verison of Word, do a "save as", and hopefully that new copy will be "clean".
  10. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    There is a program called icWord which opens up Word documents independently of Microsoft Word itself. It was created for people that just need to view Word documents but don't want to purchase the program, but you might be able to use it to open the document and print it so you at least have a copy if you have to type it all in again.
    I don't know if this will work, but it's worth a shot! You can download it from www.panergy-software.com
    It costs $20, but they have a free demo version.
  11. realityisterror macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2003
    Snellville, GA
    i'll take a stab into the air...
    check ~/Documents/Microsoft UserData/ for anything along the lines on AutoSave... i'm pretty sure such a thing exists seeing as it saved my bum once.. (alright... it was only one page... :rolleyes: )
    worth a shot i guess...

    the best of luck,
  12. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Thanks guys. I figured that it was a corrupt file. The tip in the above quite is actually what I ended up doing. :) I didn't know the file existed until recently, but I was so desperate, I tried opening up anything that sounded right.

    And yes, I'll definitely make back-ups from now on. I had it backed up on my iPod, but it was missing 3 days of work on it, and I don't backup files onto my iPod every day or anything.

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