MS word document so big, it won't open

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I recently was working on a large MS word doc. I closed it, rebooted the computer and now it won't open. It says that the file is over 32 MEG and it won't open. I have MS Word for Mac 2011, version 14.4.6. Any ideas on how I can tweak the dials on Word so that it will open?
 

chscag

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You didn't provide us with any specs regarding your Mac or which version of OS X you're running, so my answer is very general. It sounds like you do not have enough system memory to open the document or maybe enough hard drive space so that OS X can create virtual memory (a swap file). MS Office uses lots of memory and the larger a document is, more memory will be consumed. Make sure you close all other programs and start up applications, reboot, and try again. If that doesn't work, start in safe mode and see if you can open the document that way.
 
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I have an old iMac. It is operating OS X, version 10.9.5. I have upgraded the RAM to 2 gig. Should be more than enough. The MS Word is Word for Mac 2011 and I'm up to date on all updates. It is version 14.4.6.

I have never tried to open this computer in safe mode. I thought that this was only available on a PC? The document is very large I will admit, as I was scanning pages of other stuff into it over days. I think that the file got corrupted. I have other documents that are nearly 200 megs and it opens them now no problem. This very big doc is giving me a ridiculous error message, saying that since its over 32 megs it can't open. That's why I figure that the file got corrupted. Doesn't Microsoft have a document recovery program? I have seen it turn on several times lately (I should have not ignored that). Thanks for guidance.
 
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sorry to say the file is now trash there is no document recovery and you can't be on 10.9 with only 2 gig's of ram the o.s requires 2 gig's of ram just to run
 

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@word_matters:

Document recovery in Word 2011 is broken. And that's not from me, that's from the MS MVP folks who maintain the Mac Office forums. It is possible that the 32 MB file is corrupt, but the error message you received is an indicator that you ran out of memory. You're running Mavericks which will get along on 2 GB of system memory. The Apple minimum memory requirements are just that - enough to run the OS and a few other things. Mac Office uses a lot of memory. I have 16 GB in my late model iMac and I do a lot of large documents with Word and Powerpoint 2011 and I can watch the memory getting sucked up.

Anyway, back to your file... if you were scanning information into the file it is possible that corruption occurred. If you have no backup of the file, it may be lost. Here's a hint: Open Word preferences, go to Save, and select "Always make a backup". That way you will always have a backup copy of your original Word file before editing and after each separate edit.

And yes, Mac can enter safe mode. Restart your iMac and hold down the shift key until you see the Apple or spinning circle. That will load OS X in safe mode.
 

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If it is corrupt, you might be able to retain some of the data. DOCX files are little more than glorified archives so you can change the extension from "docx" to "zip" and decompress it as you would any other archive. So, if you're file is indeed corrupt, I'd rename it as a zip, decompress it and salvage what you can from the archive.
 

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Thanks for that Bryan. I learned something new. :D
 
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Seriously, so did I. Who woulda thought MS would do that?
 
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Thanks all. What I did manage to do is to crack the big file open by opening it with "Text Edit". This is a very stripped down program and I was able to see all the text. However, this program does not show any of the jpg's that I had loaded into the document. So, I copied one half of the document into a new word file and this left me with the other half which I can then work with again in a new file. I have all the scanned jpg's already in the computer and an older version of the document which I can use either as a guide (to remind me of exactly what I had inserted earlier) or as a source to once again rebuild the jpg's. I'm writing a book and was not counting on MS Word being such a disappointment. Mind you, Word these days has become overly complicated and I'd have to take an online course on You Tube just to upgrade my skill sets, if I really wanted to be a Word whiz. All in all, I think that the file is corrupt, I will attempt my first log into safe mode and see what happens. If this fails I can still rebuild the document from the jpg's in my computer. It is just about a weeks worth of scanning into my HP machine and carefully inserting. Going forward I will not allow any documents to go over 200 meg's, as this seems to be a danger zone. MS might disagree with me, but I have little respect for their software. Give me pre-Windows 95 any time. Thanks again.
 
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Wow vansmith.

I am that moved by this info have even left positive feedback. It is a gem! What other little secrets you got packed away man?
 
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Well, just a minute here. I think that I pulled a rabbit out of a magic hat and I didn't even know I owned one. I had this darned corrupted Word doc and I couldn't get it opened, right? Then I managed to crack it open using Edit but none of the JPG's or PDF's that had been attached showed. So, today I had a look into the software that was sitting in this computer and I noticed something called iWorks 08. I had never opened it before to look. There was a program and I opened it and then once it registered and said hello to MS I then held my breath and tried to open the corrupted file. IT WORKED. The program is called "Pages" and though a dinosaur compared to Word, it somehow was not bothered by the corrupted file. It must have taken over 3 minutes to open the document but once opened, I very, very carefully started to "cut" pages out and put it into a new Word document. Once each of those new docs got fairly big, I topped it off, saved and then opened a new Word doc to continue. This proceeded well until I got to the part of my original that was just big JPG's. Then from that point on I cut and paste one JPG at a time. It took me hours but I have managed to save every bit of writing and all the attachments from the original corrupted file. It is now split into Five MS Word documents. I have of course backed it up on my flash drive. A small miracle if you ask me. Live and learn.......
 

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Nice work there. I didn't even think of suggesting Pages.
 

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Thanks for that Bryan. I learned something new. :D

Seriously, so did I. Who woulda thought MS would do that?

Yeah, I learned this the hard way after one of my documents got corrupted and I was told to remove some parts of the docx archive.

Wow vansmith.

I am that moved by this info have even left positive feedback. It is a gem! What other little secrets you got packed away man?
I've got many more. I don't want to divulge all the secret tips at once though. ;)
 

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Nicely done Van. I'll have to remember that one. I wonder if it works as an unofficial way to convert the file to an older word format. I have an XP box with ! think Word 2003 on it. Sometimes when working on something at home I forget and save the document in DOCX format. This might be faster than searching for a computer with a newer version of Word on it.
 

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It might be but the folder that results from the decompression is fairly complex and involves a lot of non-content related files (config files, etc.). Anything's possible I suppose.
 

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