Word 2004: Erroneous alerts when opening existing files

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 3rd, 2004 • 12:32 am

Here we go again… A new version of Word, and a new round of problems with existing files that are supposed to be in the same format and to be 100% compatible.

I’ve been working on a translation for a couple of weeks. In other words, the file is a Word document that was created two weeks. It was created based on one of my existing Word templates, but still… It’s a new file, and it contains plain text with very little style formatting.

Today I went to open it in Word 2004 and resume work on it. And what do I get? This stupid alert warning me that the document “contains macros or customizations” and asking me if I want to disable the macros, enable the macros or not open the file.

As an aside, if you click on the “Do not open” button, Word still opens the document! So much for clearly labelled buttons.

The core issue, however, is that the document doesn’t contain any macros or customizations! It was created two weeks ago based on a template that itself contains no macros. The template contains customizations, of course (i.e. user-defined styles, some keyboard shortcuts, etc.), but absolutely no other customizations added to the file itself after it was created based on the template.

In other words, it doesn’t contain any macros or customizations. This is clearly a bug in Word — and it’s not a new one, because I have experienced the problem on occasion before, with Word X when opening some of my own existing files or files sent from other people.

If you open the document with the “macros disabled” and then do a “Save As” command using the same file name in the same location, thereby replacing the older document with a new version, it doesn’t fix the problem. In other words, whatever causes Word to erroneously claim that your document contains customizations or macros is still there even if you save the document as a new document.

The only work-around that I have found is to select the entire contents of the document, create a new blank document, paste the contents, and save that new document. Then after that if you open that new document you no longer get the erroneous alert.

But really. This pisses me off. Period. And if it’s happening with such a recent file, it’s probably going to happen with all kinds of other existing files on my hard drive. Great!


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