IT Services Alerts - MS Word 2011 for Mac - Known Issue

Updated: Wednesday, 3rd August 2011

Further investigation suggests that applying an update from Microsoft, to version 14.1.2, will improve stability in Word 2011.  Click the link below to obtain the update file.  As there is no explicit reference in the release notes to the issue outlined in the original post below, it is possible the issue could still occur for users of Word 2011 on Mac.  With that in mind we still advise following the measures outlined further down on this page to help avoid data loss arising from any potential issue.

Click here to obtain the version 14.1.2 update for Office 2011 for Mac.

IS Services Helpdesk

First Posted: Monday, 9th May 2011, 12.30pm

Microsoft are aware of an issue which has affected a small number of users of Word 2011 for Mac.  The issue is that upon opening a Word document it can become corrupted and all text in that document becomes replaced with asterixes.  Based on the advice from Microsoft IS Services recommend that users of Word 2011 on Mac carry out the steps below to reduce the chances of this issue arising, and to be able to restore data should this problem occur.

IS Services Helpdesk

Advice for users of Word 2011 on Mac

1. Turn on Time Machine and set it to run frequently.  For example, if you set Time Machine to back up every hour, you can never lose more than an hour's worth of work.

2. Launch Word 2011. On the main menu choose Word – Preferences - Save and turn on Always create backup.  In conjunction with this remember to save new files before you start typing so that the automatic backup setting knows what file to backup.  If you start working on a new document without saving it then it cannot be backed up in this manner.

3. Log out at the end of your work each day.  This clears out the memory and the temporary files in the system.  Several users have reported that the corruption issue has not struck since they began logging out at the end of the day.  Laptop users should note that closing the lid is not the same as actually logging out of the system.

4. Shut down the computer at the end of the week.  Similar to the above, this will help to clean up the memory and temporary files in the system.  Applications will run faster and crash less often.