Office 2008 crashes and fixes; Spaces incompatibility

Three crash causes and associated fixes.

Normal template, fonts causing Word crashes Word is crashing repeatedly for a number of Office 2008 upgraders, and there appear to be three causes:

Corrupt normal template The normal template file -- located at ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/Normal.dotm appears to be corrupt in many cases of crashing. The fix for the problem is as follows: create a new user account as described in this tutorial, launch Word 2008 under the new account (it should launch properly if this is the cause), then copy the aforementioned file from the clean (working) account to the same location in the old (crashing) account, replacing the corrupt file.

MacFixIt reader Philip A. De Simone writes: "It is clear that what is corrupted and thus causing the crashes is the Normal template file. I have installed on two computers successfully after initial Word crashes using the method."

Corrupt Microsoft .plist, etc. files Go to ~/Library/Preferences and delete everything that starts with com.microsoft.... Re-attempt application launch and usage.

Corrupt fonts Remove any recently added fonts temporarily, or use a tool like Font Doctor to search for corrupt fonts.

Joe Scozzaro writes:

"I had the same problem (Word, Excel & Powerpoint crashing on startup) with an Office 2004 clean install. I tried a few re-installs and nothing solved the problem. Knowing Microsoft and it's previous issues with fonts, I ran Font Doctor and it found and moved 3 suspect/damaged fonts from my System to a 'Moved Fonts"'folder. I rebooted and everything has worked fine since, well... other than the very occasional greying out and inaccessibility of menu items in the middle of a Word session, requiring a hard quit. Not surprisingly, the 3 'damaged' fonts moved by Font Doctor were installed as part of the Office 2004 installation."

Leopard Spaces incompatibility Office 2008 is incompatible with Spaces in Leopard. Files formatted with .docx (the new standard format for Word documents) cannot be dragged into new spaces, instead snapping back to the original space.

MacFixIt reader Jordan notes some other spaces issues:

"I have been running Word 08 for 2 days now and have determined that it simply will not work with Spaces enabled. If you swap spaces often the document will reappear in the wrong space or worse, not appear at all (this happens most frequently in notebook view). To make matters worse in notebook view occasionally the tabs from another open notebook will simply appear overlaid on top of the front most document which is at worst distracting and certainly annoying. Finally if you try and use expose to hunt down the open windows it does not seem to work either (with spaces enabled). All of this behavior thankfully does go away with spaces disabled, but that certainly should not be a permanent fix."

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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