PowerPoint 2008: Attaches ‘Save’ dialog sheet to wrong window

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
February 11th, 2008 • 3:07 pm

It keeps getting better and better.

As regular Spell Catcher X users know, PowerPoint is one of the few Mac OS X applications that has always been completely incompatible with this excellent writing tool.

PowerPoint 2008 goes one step further by actually crashing whenever you type something that triggers one of Spell Catcher’s automatic features, such an automatic shorthand expansion.

After such a crash happens, the next time you launch PowerPoint 2008, if you’re lucky, you might get a “Recovered File” that opens automatically and gives you the last preserved state of an unsaved presentation that you might have had opened in your PowerPoint environment at the time of the crash.

But then some very interesting things can happen. Here’s what happened to me today. I apparently wasn’t patient enough to wait for PowerPoint to open its recovered file, so I actually had already opened another file manually before PowerPoint got a chance to open its recovered file.

So PowerPoint opened its recovered file in the background behind the document window for my manually opened presentation.

Since I was not particularly interested in this recovered file (thanks to Microsoft’s long history of unreliability, I am a compulsive command-S user and I usually don’t need to depend on this “feature”), I decided to click on its close button without bringing the window to the foreground first.

A properly behaved Mac OS X application closes the background window without bringing it to the foreground if it is not in an unsaved state. If it is in an unsaved state, a properly behaved Mac OS X application brings the background window to the foreground and displays the appropriate alert message.

Microsoft’s Mac OS X applications are never properly behaved, so typically they bring the background window to the foreground as soon as you click on the close button, regardless of whether the document is in an unsaved state or not. But today PowerPoint 2008 managed to reach new heights for me. Here’s what happened when I clicked on the close button of the background “Recovered File” window:

Save sheet attached to wrong window

That’s a good one, isn’t it? Only Microsoft is able to write software so buggy that it can actually attach a dialog sheet to the wrong document window!

Unbelievable. (I tried to reproduce this with regular document windows, but wasn’t able to, so presumably it’s something that only happens with recovered files. I don’t really want to cause another crash just to verify this.)

(By the way, I was actually able to determine that these crashes occur if Spell Catcher uses the “Make replacements directly” option for automatic features. If this option is off, then automatic features appear to be working to a certain extent in PowerPoint 2008. That would be a first. I still have to confirm this.)

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