General troubleshooting for MacWord v.X

These are general guidelines and apply to MacWord v.X. Many of the suggestions apply to other versions as well. Here are a few suggestions specific to Word 2004.

These suggestions should be followed in coordination with the guidelines on Troubleshooting Office v.X.

Update Office

The first order of business when troubleshooting MacWord should be to make sure you've updated Office fully. You can find updates at Mactopia Downloads. See my page on Office v.X versions for more information.

Check your Normal template

A large number of things that can become corrupted live in your Normal template, and that file seems particularly prone to corruption overall. Try:

  1. Quit Word
  2. Navigate to your Normal template (for v.X, it's probably in the .:Applications:Microsoft Office X:Templates folder, for Word2004 it's in the top level of the ~:Documents:Microsoft User Data folder)
  3. Rename the Normal template, say, to OldNormal
  4. Restart Word - a fresh Normal is created.

If the problem is cured, you can then either trash OldNormal, or, if you have macros, styles, autotext, etc. that you want to save, use the Organizer to transfer the goodies to the new Normal, then trash OldNormal. If the problem persists, quit Word again, trash the new Normal, and rename OldNormal to Normal.

Check for Global Templates

Global Templates, or Add-ins, are fancy names for templates stored in your Word Startup folder (by default Applications:Microsoft Office N:Office:Startup:Word). These templates are silently loaded by Word and can provide any number of nifty features - macros, styles, toolbars, autotext, etc. However, if you're not aware that they're there (i.e., if you've forgotten - nothing is stored in that folder by default - or if you've inadvertently put a template in there), they may cause confusion. You also need to check any alternate startup folder that you've designated using Preferences/File Locations. If you find templates in the startup folder, move them to a new location and restart Word to see if a global template was the problem.

Check your settings

The Word Settings (10) file is another treasure trove of potential corruption. To test it:

  1. Quit all Office apps.
  2. Navigate to ~:Library:Preferences:Microsoft, where "~" is your home directory
  3. Rename or delete these files: Word Settings (10), Microsoft Office Settings (10), and Microsoft Component Preferences.
  4. Restart Word - it will recreate these files from scratch

If the problems is fixed, trash the renamed files (you may have to reset some of your Preferences).

If the problem persists, trash the renamed files and restore the orignal file names (if you kept them)

Other suggestions

See Troubleshooting Office v.X for more suggestions.

Check out MacTopia's support page.

Valid XHTML 1.1Valid CSSMade on a Macintosh

Quick Links

Updated? Check Mactopia Downloads for the latest updates.

Figure out which v.X update you have.

Other troubleshooting help: Word MVP's FAQ Site.

Troubleshooting Office v.X

Troubleshooting Excel v.X