Microsoft patches latest Word

The software giant is advising people who use Word 2003 to download a fix for a flaw that causes the recently released word processing application to crash in certain circumstances.

David Becker
David Becker Staff Writer, CNET News.com
David Becker
covers games and gadgets.
Microsoft released a patch on Tuesday for flaws that can cause the latest version of its widely used Word software to crash in certain circumstances.

The update, available for download now, primarily corrects a flaw that can cause Word 2003 to freeze or crash when trying to print or save a document that includes an object based on Object Linking and Embedding. OLE is Microsoft technology for creating complex documents that contain a combination of text, sound, video and other elements. The documentation on the flaw includes a temporary workaround for the problem.

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The article accompanying the update also lists a number of other smaller issues addressed by the patch, including conditions that can cause text to disappear or Word 2003 to inappropriately launch a file conversion tool. The report goes on to list more than 400 "error signatures" addressed by the fix.

Installation of the patch is recommended for all users of Word 2003.

The word processing application is part of Office 2003, one of Microsoft's most significant software updates in the past several years. The company added XML-related capabilities and digital rights management functions to the software, in hopes of transforming Office into a broad tool for consuming and manipulating corporate data.

Microsoft announced last week that it expects to have Service Pack 1, the first major collection of updates and bug fixes for Office 2003, ready by late June.