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Microsoft Word 2003 continually shuts down

This is a discussion on Microsoft Word 2003 continually shuts down within the Microsoft Office support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I'm Sheryl: I have Microsoft Word 2003 with Windows XP Home, SP 3. Word, for some crazy reason, is


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Old 02-12-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
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EEK!

Hi, I'm Sheryl:
I have Microsoft Word 2003 with Windows XP Home, SP 3. Word, for some crazy reason, is shutting down several times a day. I am a transcriptionist and use it every single day.

When it shuts down, it resets my toolbars and everything. I get a message saying Word has encountered an error and needs to shut down, and then a message saying that the Word recovery system is saving my work. Word then reopens, bringing up the document that just shut down, but it's not saved as the name I had it under (comes up as ABC Company) and has to be renamed.

I first noticed this was happening two weeks ago, when the program wasn't capitalizing the first letter of every sentence, as I had selected in AutoCorrect. When I would choose that option, Word would shut down in just a few minutes. It didn't seem to shut down unless I chose that option. The only problem with this is that I'm a transcriptionist, and you can imagine having to go through and manually capitalize the first letter of every sentence in a 30 page document!!

I contacted Microsoft Support, who gave me several instructions:

1. He said my Normal.dot might be corrupted, so I renamed my old one and then created a new one. The issue still exists.

2. I then tried opening Word with winword\a in the Start:Run menu. The program still eventually shut down.

3. He had me edit my registry (HKEY local machine and HKEY Current User) and rename the addin folders. Local machine had an add-in folder, but Current User did not. Changing what I could, I still have the issue.

4. He had me empty the Office and Word startup folders. They were both already empty when I checked them.

5. I did have macros (all my own) employed with the Normal.dot, and I also had a template I was using for my transcription. However, since the problem started, I've replaced both documents.

a. I deleted my old transcription template and based my new one upon the NEW Normal.dot
b. I deleted all my macros
c. I created new macros but this time applied them only to the transcription template only and none to the Normal Template. I still have the problem.

I did just recently install SP3, but this problem was occuring before I did. I installed it hoping that SP3 might correct the problem. Help!

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Old 03-20-2008, 04:27 AM   #2
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I'd be inclined to re-install - I wouldn't even bother with an attempted repair.
Uninstall first, then re-install MS Office, then make sure you do a full update of all the fixes and all the patches available

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Old 03-20-2008, 11:44 PM   #3
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I uninstalled and reinstalled Word already yesterday. I still have the issue.

Now let me ask you this -- do you know anything about perhaps AutoCorrect being the culprit? The reason I ask: being a transcriptionist, I have placed TONS and TONS of AutoCorrect entries in its database. Now, I assumed when I started putting entries into it, that it was unlimited. After doing some research, however, I found that it actually DOES have a limit at 7,000 entries. I have no idea how many I have in there! But from what I read, Microsoft doesn't typically tell people that AC is limited, since the average person has nowhere near that number of entries in it. Well, I'm not the average person, so . . .

When I very initially started having this problem, it first began manifesting itself in the AutoCorrect. There were options I had checked (for example, to capitalize the first letter of every sentence) that would clear itself for no reason, and then the program would start shutting down the minute I would choose that option. And then when it closed down and I reopened Word, my menu and toolbar settings were reset.

Now that I use a different user on my computer (for the time being), it no longer changes my autocorrect options, but I really wonder if the problem then shifted to shutting down Word because of the size of the AutoCorrect file. I really wonder if that's where the problem is originating from.

When I created a new user on my computer, I had to transfer over the AutoCorrect entries. My computer froze up SIGIFICANTLY every time I tried to open the AutoCorrect entries page, and I had to restart several times. The document is just a Word document with words in a table. I added memory to my computer and can now open it with a slight slowing of resources, but now I see that that document was actually over 600 pages long!!!

I am now working to decrease the AutoCorrect entries file by deleting some entries, but at now over 460 pages, it's going to take a while. When I'm done, I plan to replace the current AutoCorrect "database" with that one and see what happens. I did happen upon a program called Shorthand 10, which I hope will operate like AutoCorrect. It seems to be more for typists like me, but it's not free -- $29.95 a year, which I guess still isn't bad for the convenience of replacing typos as you type.

Please share your thoughts on this issue.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:02 AM   #4
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When you did the re-install, before re-instating your normal.dot and *.acl files, did you try the new "virgin" installation to see if that crashed as well.

Note when transferring back/copying old/existing/saved files (like normal.dot and *.acl files) rename the old ones (like normal.dot.old) instead of deleting them or replacing them with the copied files. That way, you can revert to the working version if the old saved files start (re)causing problems.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:48 PM   #5
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I think I've found the answer. The answer was simple, and yet it wasn't, because there's very little information about this issue.

The issue had nothing to do with Normal.dot. I had already replaced it, and even did an Open/Repair on it. The whole issue was the AutoCorrect. After extensive research, I found that AutoCorrect really only has a capacity of 7000 entries. I had over 21,000, which, when after opening the AC entries in Word using Support.Doc, I discovered was 500 pages!

The limits of AC isn't a well-known subject, and therefore, I was just happily adding everything I could for months to help me keep my transcripts correct as I type. From what I now understand, AC uses quite a bit of memory (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/109296), so if I had three times the limit, then no wonder Word was shutting down! Never let anyone tell you that what you don't know won't hurt you.

After opening the AC entries in Word, I deleted enough rows in the table to be under the 7000 limit (went from 500 to 139 pages, then multiplied the number of entries on each page x the number of pages to know how many entries I had), and then restored/replaced the AutoCorrect entries using these directions -- http://support.microsoft.com/kb/826147. Now that I've done that, the transcript I'm typing right now hasn't shut down ONCE. I may even be able to put my macros back in (cautiously!). And this after weeks and weeks of this issue with no end in sight.

AND, I didn't really necessarily lose AC, because I found a simple program online that, for $30 a year (or $100 for a permanent license), acts as AutoCorrect. It's called Shorthand 10, and it's here -- http://www.pcshorthand.com/sh10dnload.html. It works the same way, but doesn't shut down Word, because it's a separate program. It runs in the background while I type, and I can add keyboard shortcuts to it, just like I can with AC! It's not free, but at least I have the capability I did before! That's worth a million bucks.

No one -- not even Microsoft -- seemed to have any idea what the problem was. Put this one away in your vault -- you may have to revisit it again the next time someone like me stumps you!

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