Friday, August 12, 2005

Word for Mac saves what Word for Windows can't

This is a completely true story that happened to me yesterday. One of my co-workers is writing a spec for the project I am running. She of course is using MS Word for Windows. We have been working on this document for close to a month and she was putting the final formatting touches on the document, adding polish. And then suddenly Word 2003 for Windows crashes on her. She hadn't saved in 75 minutes. Word tries to open its AutoRecover version of the document and nicely locks up instantly. She calls me over to asses the situation. She's already hit all the usual troubleshooting steps, so we copy the AutoRecovered document to a USB keychain planning on trying to open it on my laptop. 10 thought ballon spasms latter XP shows me what's on the USB keychain, and I try to open the document in Word. Same thing, it's completely hosed. So I bring out my personal PowerBook and plug in the USB keychain. Ah, the USB drive just appears on my Desktop, no seizure for this OS trying to figure out what this simple device is I just plugged in. I then attempt to open the corrupt to WinWord document in Word 2004 for Mac. It opens! It's obvious something is wrong with the formatting in the doc, since nearly all table headers have a numbered outline style applied to them. But Word for Mac doesn't barf. No no no, I save the document back to the USB keychain drive as a new file. I bring the USB keychain back over to WinWord, and now it can open the document because MacWord has created a document it can use! This version of the document is now the version of record and what will get delivered to the development team. Mac saved my business lost content and time!