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Help needed with Word. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kake

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Help needed with Word. [Nov. 9th, 2005|12:26 pm]
Kake
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Yes, yes, I know, Word, but I have to use it for this.

This is "Microsoft Word X for Mac" running on OS X. I have Track Changes turned on, and all the Autocorrect and Autoformat options turned off. With the first document I ever edited with this, everything worked fine - it put my changes in red and when I put the mouse over them it said "Kake Pugh, (date): Inserted" or "Kake Pugh, (date): Deleted", all fabulous.

However, it's started to go wrong. Some of the corrections in this document are coming up as "Unknown, (date): Inserted" and in light blue instead. I can't figure out what's triggering it. Sometimes, something that used to be red decides to turn light blue when I finish typing something else further down.

(Edit to make the problem clearer: It seems to change its mind from moment to moment - like, I'll type something and it'll come up in red, and I'll type something a few seconds later and it'll be light blue, then the next thing I type will be red again.)

Can anyone help me figure out how to make it play nice? Pleeeease?

Update: Thanks all for the advice. A reboot seems to have fixed it - I suspect it was a disk space issue. (No, I don't understand why rebooting OS X frees up large quantities of disk space, but it does. I also do not understand why I never seem to remember the "try rebooting it" form of computer troubleshooting. Next time I have Mac troubles, could someone remind me to try it?)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: flick
2005-11-09 12:41 pm (UTC)
It sounds like it doesn't realise you're you. The different colour will be because it's using a different colour for each person who edits it, and it thinks there are two people (you and unknown).

Check the prefs - has it still got your name in, or is it blanked out?
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-09 12:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, my name is still there. It seems to change its mind from moment to moment - like, I'll type something and it'll come up in red, and I'll type something a few seconds later and it'll be light blue, then the next thing I type will be red again.
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[User Picture]From: flick
2005-11-09 12:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, ok - sorry, I misread your post. I thought you meant "It used to do this, now it does that".

Hmm. Have you told it to remove personal info fromt he file on save? That might be it.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-09 12:53 pm (UTC)
I haven't told it to, but someone else might have. How do I check? I couldn't find anything by searching the help.
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[User Picture]From: flick
2005-11-09 01:40 pm (UTC)
Hmm. If it doesn't appear in the help, it's possible that that version doesn't include it.

In the Windows version, it's in Options -> Security -> Privacy options.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-09 02:10 pm (UTC)
I don't even have an Options menu :(
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[User Picture]From: flick
2005-11-09 03:46 pm (UTC)
No: it's Word-preferences, same as all Mac programmes. I was just saying where it is in Windows to give you an idea of which screen in prefs to look at....
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-10 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you Flick! I didn't know that was the way to translate Windows menus to Mac ones.

It looks like I don't have any security or privacy!
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[User Picture]From: flick
2005-11-10 09:33 pm (UTC)
Ah, then I'm afraid I'm stumped.

Sorry!
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[User Picture]From: johnckirk
2005-11-09 12:57 pm (UTC)
I don't know much about the Mac side of things, but can you check that it still knows who you are? In the Windows version, that's under Tools | Options, then the "User Information" tab.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-09 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yup, my name is still there in the User Information.
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[User Picture]From: karen2205
2005-11-09 01:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe try checking the document properties ie. File - Properties and see who the 'owner' is?
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-09 02:07 pm (UTC)
File -> Properties -> Custom has options for adding properties like "Owner", but it doesn't have any properties set. Is that what you meant? Or is this some other Windows/Mac difference?
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-09 02:11 pm (UTC)
It looks like I need to be in America to call tech support.
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[User Picture]From: blech
2005-11-09 03:00 pm (UTC)

On Mac OS X virtual memory

Unlike Linux and most other OSes, Macs don't have a dedicated swap partition. Instead, virtual memory files (which start off at 64MB, doubling to a maximum of 512MB) are stored in /var/vm (on the boot partition).

If you don't have much hard disk free (and anything under 5GB is low, and 2GB is very hairy indeed) then a few of these will fill your disk. (I have eight at the moment, taking 2.5GB.) That's a terrible idea, because a lot of apps will happily write zero-byte preference and library files without warning you about it. It's a good way to lose you iTunes library, in particular.

To keep an eye on the amount of VM files you have, and of how often your machine swaps, you can use Activity Monitor or Matt Neuberg's Memory Stick application: http://www.tidbits.com/matt/default2.html#cocoathings
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[User Picture]From: blech
2005-11-09 03:02 pm (UTC)

Re: On Mac OS X virtual memory

Oh, didn't say, but it's implied: all those swap files are deleted at shutdown. So you regain the space they were taking up.
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[User Picture]From: peshwengi
2005-11-10 10:50 am (UTC)

Re: On Mac OS X virtual memory

Is there a nice way to get it to clear those /var/vm files without rebooting?

Nice meaning... well... any way at all.
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[User Picture]From: blech
2005-11-11 12:12 pm (UTC)

Re: On Mac OS X virtual memory

Run Memory Stick. Quit lots of applications (use Activity Monitor to find memory hogs, by sorting on "Virtual Memory"). Wait for the VM system to notice it doesn't need that much memory (the bottom section of memory stick- by default it's grey, I think- should be huge), and thus drop VM files.

I can get down from 8 to 5 doing that, if I close damn near everything. Frankly, though, you might as well reboot.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-11 11:51 am (UTC)

Re: On Mac OS X virtual memory

Thank you! That makes sense. I have installed the Memory Stick and made it be purple.
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[User Picture]From: 2shortplanks
2005-11-09 03:04 pm (UTC)
Kake. Never ever ever ever let your Mac run out of disk space. Never.

The Mac doesn't cope well with running out of disk space. It attempts to open preference files and write to them without much error checking and rather than just failing to write to them it often corrupts them. This causes all kind of breakage. Just don't let it happen.

My advice: Keep at least four or five gigs free.

Your mac is probably using up lots of hard disk space the longer you leave it on because it's not getting rid of temp files, or more likely it's leaking memory and the swap files are eating your free space.

Disk Inventory X is a good tool that can help you identify what's taking up lots of disk space (including useless log files you'll never need.) Good for finding large files and collections of small files that take up a lot of space.
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[User Picture]From: 2shortplanks
2005-11-09 03:07 pm (UTC)
I am blech!

Still, the advice about Disk Inventory X isn't bad. Nice pretty graphics too that even morons like me can understand.
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[User Picture]From: rjw1
2005-11-09 03:20 pm (UTC)
you are blech and i claim my 5 pounds!
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[User Picture]From: blech
2005-11-09 03:41 pm (UTC)

When running out of disk space...

As someone too dumb to follow my own advice, I've been running on about 3GB free and, lo and behold, I did run out of disk space a few days ago. A couple of notes:

* the OS does at least warn you these days
* try to quit a memory hog whose preferences you care little about
* then make sure (using df -h; the Finder is a bit cache-y on disk space) there's free space
* quit and restart an app to check its prefs are safe
* reboot
* seriously consider archiving some rubbish

My second external HD showed up and I did the final step, so now even with lots of swap lying around I have 9G free, but that's a lot trickier on an old 20G drive.
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[User Picture]From: peshwengi
2005-11-10 10:49 am (UTC)

Re: When running out of disk space...

I'm glad the iMac comes with a 250G drive. I think my running out of disk space is probably far enough away that I will have a new computer by then ;-)
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[User Picture]From: nou
2005-11-11 11:52 am (UTC)
But my OS X is only 10.2 and thus too old for it :(
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[User Picture]From: rjw1
2005-11-09 03:23 pm (UTC)
reboot, reboot, reinstall.

althogh how your supposed to manage that when you only have flippers i dont know :)
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