Excel 2004: Crashes all the time when opening a file

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 8th, 2004 • 4:38 am

I don’t know if it is something particular to my situation, but Excel 2004 is the one Office 2004 application that crashes all the time on my machine. I am not a heavy Excel user. (I don’t do anything overly complex with it.) But I frequently open spreadsheet files to update them (work logs, expense logs, etc.).

All the crashes that I get in Excel are similar. The application has been open for a while, with a couple of Excel document windows open. Then I go to the Dock and select an alias pointing to another Excel file to open in one of my folders on the right-hand side of the Dock.

Excel comes to the foreground and opens the file on top of the existing windows, and then immediately crashes. Office launches that “Crash Reporter” type of application that comes up whenever an Office 2004 application crashes, and I use it to send a crash report to Microsoft, even though, unlike Apple’s own crash reporting feature in Panther, there is no place where you can explain the circumstances that triggered the crash.

By now, Microsoft must have received at least 20 of these reports from me. I won’t be surprised if it takes another 60 or so before they finally release a bug fix! When it comes to Microsoft and bug fixes, patience is more than a virtue. It’s an essential survival skill.

For good measure, Excel also tends to attempt to recover my work when I launch it immediately after a crash, even if I specifically instruct it not to do so. (There is a check box in the crash reporter window for that purpose, and I never check it.) So effectively Excel appears to completely ignore the user’s wishes when it comes to file recovery. I guess making a piece of software that does not recover the user’s work when the user does not check the option that says “Recover my work” would be a tad too complicated for Microsoft.

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