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  1. #1

    skykingturbo's Avatar
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    Mar 05, 2008
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    Question Memory Issue with MS Word for Mac 2011 on iMac
    I was "volunteered" for a position as newsletter editor for a non-profit charitable group, and I am nearly finished with my first edition. I'm using MS Word for Mac 2011, which seems capable; however, the file has many graphics and is becoming unwieldy in Word. In fact, on a couple occasions, Word has crashed following a message that it is out of memory. I frequently "save" the file after significant changes, but even that process takes what seems to be an inordinate amount of time.

    Having gotten the memory message, I replaced the original 2Gb sticks with 4 x 4Gb sticks, bringing total memory to 16Gb. The system appears to recognize the total memory per the "About This Mac", but I still have the same problem.

    My iMac is a 6-month old 3.1 Ghz i5.
    The Word file is weighing in at 34Mb, with a bit more to go.

    I'm wondering if there is somewhere in the system that I need to adjust who memory is allocated. Seems odd that 16Gb can't handle this file.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    It does seem strange that 16 GB of system memory is not enough for a Word file that is 34 MB regardless of the amount of graphics. Have you opened your Activity Monitor application when Word is open to see what else might be using memory?

    There may be something else using that memory when you're in Word. I can't imagine that Word is using all your memory so that you're running out. Office 2011 is not a memory hog, at least it's not on my system and I run with 8 GB of memory. I don't normally edit as large a file as you do but I do have lots of graphics in most of my documents and I rarely if ever use more than 1 or 2 GB of system memory.

    I also do a lot of editing on large Powerpoint files and have not seen any unusual usage of memory.

  3. #3

    skykingturbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    It does seem strange that 16 GB of system memory is not enough for a Word file that is 34 MB regardless of the amount of graphics. Have you opened your Activity Monitor application when Word is open to see what else might be using memory?

    There may be something else using that memory when you're in Word. I can't imagine that Word is using all your memory so that you're running out. Office 2011 is not a memory hog, at least it's not on my system and I run with 8 GB of memory. I don't normally edit as large a file as you do but I do have lots of graphics in most of my documents and I rarely if ever use more than 1 or 2 GB of system memory.

    I also do a lot of editing on large Powerpoint files and have not seen any unusual usage of memory.
    Thanks for your response, but the problem, I've determined, is with Word for Mac.

    I have spoken with technical support people at Microsoft, and concluded that despite their advertising to the contrary (see below text taken from current MS website ad), Word for Mac 2011 should be called Mini-Word. They tell me the Mac version of Word has a file size limit of 32Mb...which does not exist on the Windows version. Lacking any MacOS software options for this sort of project, it looks like I'll be using my new 16Gb to support a Windows partition that can operate Windows Word or Publisher. Maybe that's their intent in the first place. Very disappointing!

    Text from the MS website ad for MS Office:
    Be on the same page with Office for Mac and Office for Windows, including new features in Office 2010. Whether you’re looking to share files or work together online, now you can do it with complete confidence, knowing that Office for Mac is most compatible with Office for Windows. With Office being used on more than 1 billion Macs and PCs worldwide, you can work with practically anyone you want, how you want, wherever you want—with no worries.
    Link: Office for Mac : Simplify Your Work | Office For Mac

    By the way, my work-around to salvage my efforts was to break down the document into two parts, print them to pdf, then join the two pdf documents in a pdf editor. This required re-creating linked text boxes in the second-half document and reformatting page footers, but it worked. Neither are chores I would expect with this caliber of hardware and software.
    .

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    48,514
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    You're saying that the support folks at Microsoft Mac Office have stated that Mac Word has a file limit of 32 MB? Just out of curiosity, do they say it's documented anywhere? I can't seem to find anything that states file limits.

  5. #5

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 24, 2011
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    Maryland
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    March 2011 15" MBP 2.3GHz i7 Quad Core 8GB Ram | Mid 2011 27" iMac 3.4 GHz i7 16 GB RAM 2 TB HDD
    Interesting that there's a size limit. Just out of curiosity - there's no way for you to make the file size a little more manageable? I'd expect a 32MB document to be pretty unwieldy on either system. What's driving the file size - images? Just seems big to me - but then - I'm not in the publishing business.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Feb 18, 2012
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    3
    Memory Issue
    My 4G iMac is 6 months old. I use Word 2011 and until this week it has worked fine. I do a lot of word docs with graphic files. My current doc is 100 pages file size 64MB Everything was going great until I noticed a lot of weird characters in my text boxes and my text boxes were all out of place. I tried to use command-z thinking I had accidentally hit a button, but nothing changed. I know have this doc that freezes upon opening with all of my text boxes changed to words, characters and percent signs. Any ideas. I can open it for a few seconds and copy a few pages before freezing. I'm then pasting them into a new file.
    However I keep getting insufficient memory errors. I am new to the mac world- switching back to mac after 20 years of a pc.

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