RSS Feed Print
Microsoft Word
Linnea Ren
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 1:20 PM
Last night, after the terror that was the Superbowl (I live in downtown Denver right now and the entire city was upset. It was interesting), I decided to finish the chapter I was working on in one of the novels I'm working on. I got really far. Almost done. Ready to move on to the next book, as I'm working on four at once right now, when all of a sudden my entire document turned into asterisks. I tried to undo, but it merely acted like I'd typed the asterisks and deleted a small chunk of them. So I freaked, saved as and reopened the original document. Most of it was there, but everything I'd written that day was gone. Over 3,500 words just gone. 


I decided to search on google to see what was going on, and found it's a bug in Microsoft Word 11, particularly on Macs, which is what I use. After sobbing my eyes out, trying to fix it, and finally getting some sleep (as it was one in the morning), I came to terms with the fact that I have to rewrite the entire chapter from scratch, and decided to warn the users on here.


If you use Microsoft Word 11, be forewarned. Save often. Every few paragraphs would be best. If you're like me and leave your computer on standby most of the time, stop. Turn it off every night because that's one of the reasons it happens. Backup your work often. I try once a week to back up my work, but I haven't in almost a month. Big mistake. And if you don't want to deal with the hassle? Open Office is a free word processing software created by Linux engineers. Before I had to get Word for work, I used Open Office for four years with no problems, and I've moved back to it today. 


So watch out. The new version of Word doesn't have this bug, but for all who have 11, and don't have the money to update it, be warned, and don't let your story get turned into asterisks. Tt's a headache and a half, and if you're like me, crying for an hour and a half at one in the morning on the phone with your dad hoping he can fix it is not unrealistic. 

I wish you all luck and I hope none of you have to go through this.


Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:59 AM
Joined: 10/15/2013
Posts: 78

Sorry to hear this story Linnea.


Another inexpensive alternative you and other Mac users may consider is Microsoft's OneDrive.  visit and sign up for an account at www.onedrive.com.  It gives you 7Gb of storage for free and lets you edit documents in a web browser using Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), full versions - no need to pay.  You also can download the app for your Mac for easy transfer of files to and from your finder.  Added bonus is if your computer bites the dust none of your files are lost


Hope that helps!

Linnea Ren
Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:22 PM
I've never heard of onedrive, though I've had many people suggest a version of a cloud to me. My only problem with that is I get inspiration to write... all the time. Everywhere. Always. But I don't always have access to the internet, so I'm left without my story to look at :/ For now I'm going to stick with Open Office, but maybe one day when I get a smart phone or something I'll work on getting on the cloud.

Thank you for your advice! I'll be sure to steer people in this direction since few are as picky as I am about where I keep my files.

Jay Greenstein
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:41 AM
The solution is simple. Pick up a cheap USB drive. For under $100 you can get a terrabyte drive. Then turn on Time Machine. It makes a backup every hour, so that's the most you can lose. It even backs up your mail if you use the Mac mail program. Simple, fast, and reliable.
Linnea Ren
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:50 AM
I've tried using Time Machine. I've never gotten it to work. I have a back up flash drive, tera-bite external hard drive, and a back up CD. I still lost 3,000 words. Plus, an hour is too long for me. I can write 4,000 words in an hour if I really get into it. That's a lot to lose.
Posted: Saturday, March 1, 2014 3:21 PM
Joined: 10/15/2013
Posts: 78

It looks like the issue here was a Word Processor malfunction not so much backup.  This is were the suggestion for OneDrive (free Word 2013) came from.  It sounds like she's got good backups (time machine most likely wouldn't be of much help in this situation).

John Speikers
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 10:39 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 20

Yes.  I've had similar problems with Microsoft Office 2010.  Several times WORD hung-up when I tried to save a file.  The auto-save feature doesn't always work, so I had to load my last backup file.  Another time, my keyboard went from QUERTY to lord knows what.  Every key I pressed was pot's luck.  Letters became $%^&,:@(+, etc.

*  I believe the problem comes with constant interaction with Windows One-Drive.  If there's any corruption with Microsoft's Server, it will cause untold problems with people working on their own devices.  This is the trade-off to our so-called instant connectedness. Myself I'd like to go back to the days when desktops were solitary universes unless one used the dial-up modem.  Firewalls aren't much use when software venders can slip right through without a peep.  Not to mention government snoops.
*  So far, I've had better luck with a current version of Office.  But I'm still connected and at the mercy of Microsoft's Cloud.  It's great when it's sunny, but run for cover when it hails.

--edited by John Speikers on 11/25/2015, 10:43 AM--


Jump to different Forum...