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  1. #16

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    I guess I am major paranoid when it comes to large documents, but when I have and am investing large amounts of time and energy (as in writing a book) I make multiple orphaned electronic copies along the way just in case something catastrophic happens, and I used to print a daily hard copy (sometimes more often) of the changes; now I print to PDF so again I have something to work with.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  2. #17

    chscag's Avatar
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    You know, I almost hate to say this because I've been an Office user for years on end. But if I were writing a book or in the business of writing articles for a living, I would not use Office Word. There are other professional writing tools that are much superior to Word and at around the same cost.

    Scrivener for the Mac is one that is worth looking into. It will save to the *.doc or *.docx format.

    The "asterisk bug" is just totally unacceptable. No one should have to go through the gyrations of saving files multiple times in order to protect the document.

    Anyway, just my opinion. I hope MS gets on this and fixes it ASAP.

  3. #18

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    +1 on Scrivener
    I still need to update to the new version . . . been procrastinating.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  4. #19

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    The "asterisk bug" is just totally unacceptable. No one should have to go through the gyrations of saving files multiple times in order to protect the document.
    Couldn't agree more. For some (including myself), Word is too important for something like this to exist as an unfixed bug. Regardless of how rare it may be, it shouldn't exist in the first place.

    I'll have to take a gander at Scrivener. I see it recommended every so often and it always seems to get fairly positive reviews.
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  5. #20

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    Couldn't agree more. For some (including myself), Word is too important for something like this to exist as an unfixed bug. Regardless of how rare it may be, it shouldn't exist in the first place.

    I'll have to take a gander at Scrivener. I see it recommended every so often and it always seems to get fairly positive reviews.
    I like it because it fits my writing style, which is to start from several different points and gradually converge into a (hopefully) cohesive whole.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  6. #21

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
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    Scrivener as a package looks really nice. If most of my writing didn't include a fair amount of Math - I'd almost certainly use it - but I'm pretty much stuck with Word. Fortunately I haven't seen this bug yet - and my SOP should be sufficient to limit any damage should it occur.

  7. #22


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    Just happened to me, too. I found that I could get some work back by going into my last Time Machine Backup and then using the pathway
    Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 AutoRecovery and finding the autosave doc there. But WTF?

    Also - AutoRecover in Word does not work until you set the file location in Word Preferences - File Locations. I forgot to reset it when I installed this latest version of Word. Dang it.

  8. #23

    chscag's Avatar
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    Good for you having a Time Machine backup! One hint about setting the location of the auto recovery and backup: I set them to my documents folder. That way I can glance through that folder every once in awhile and delete the old backups or auto recovery files.

    Word 2008 and 2011 will also sometimes dump the auto recovery folder into the Trash upon a reboot. So be sure to look there also.

  9. #24


    Member Since
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    OH yeah - a "critical" software update became available on 14/6/11 and the MS consultant recommended on the Office for Mac forum that everyone install it forthwith. Doesn't say that it will solve the asterisk problem, but the main points from all his advice are:

    Save every time you pause to think.
    Shut Word down at least once a day.
    Log out on your machine every night to allow OSX to do its housekeeping.
    Reboot your machine at least once a week.
    Have automatic back-up checked.
    Don't use Track Changes.
    Uncheck "keep track of formatting."

  10. #25

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie62 View Post
    OH yeah - a "critical" software update became available on 14/6/11 and the MS consultant recommended on the Office for Mac forum that everyone install it forthwith. Doesn't say that it will solve the asterisk problem, but the main points from all his advice are:

    Save every time you pause to think.
    Shut Word down at least once a day.
    Log out on your machine every night to allow OSX to do its housekeeping.
    Reboot your machine at least once a week.
    Have automatic back-up checked.
    Don't use Track Changes.
    Uncheck "keep track of formatting."
    Not using Track Changes would be a deal breaker.

  11. #26


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    I think those last two are really his way of dealing with the likelihood of your document failing. In his words, those two features turn your docs into "code salad." Me, I'm installing Pages now and will be using it from now on to finish my book.

  12. #27

    chscag's Avatar
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    You're certainly not the only one who is disappointed in the response from MS. I wish I could switch over to Pages as you did but I have a very old copy of iWork (08) and my Word documents and templates do not transpose correctly. Perhaps when iWork 11 is released I'll try again.

    In the meantime, I'm going to download the Scrivener trial version and see how well my docs and templates transpose. Thanks for posting back.

  13. #28


    Member Since
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    Think I need a new job, gardening rather than academia. Pages doesn't interface with Zotero, and I'd rather eat glass than go back to Endnote. Zotero does interface with NeoOffice, but they promise on the front page of their website that their software WILL crash and have bugs. So, stuck with Word '11. Will do all the fixes, follow all the advice and see how I go.

  14. #29

    hw96Lgb's Avatar
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    Have you guys with asterisks tried opening the document with other applications (TextEdit, Openoffice...) Do you still have asterisks?

    For long writing projects, just use scrivener.

  15. #30

    chscag's Avatar
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    @Virgeist:

    Once the document turns to asterisks, it's toast. Gone forever.

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