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Microsoft fixes Word 2003 glitches

Microsoft has released an update for Word 2003 to fix several glitches in the word processing application which was introduced last October as part of Microsoft's Office System launch.

The most serious glitch which has been fixed, caused Word to freeze or crash when auto saving, saving, printing or even closing a document that included an Object Linking and Embedding object, such as an image or multimedia elements.

The update also fixed an issue that occurs when a Word document created on a Windows machine is sent to an Apple Macintosh user for revision using a feature to track changes. When the annotated document came back to the Windows users, the comments by the Mac user are incorrect and deletions may reappear.

Other faults corrected included the unnecessary launch of a file conversion dialogue box when opening a text file, not displaying image thumbnails in the reading layout view, text jumping from page to page or disappearing completely when switching views or scrolling.

In November, Microsoft issued its first critical update for Office 2003 to fix a problem which occured when a user opened or saved a PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003 or Excel 2003 file which contained an "OfficeArt" element which was modified and saved in an earlier version of Office.

Office 2003 went through its largest beta test so far, including an unprecedented "refresh" of the second beta to squash more bugs, said Microsoft. The refresh pushed back the Office 2003 release, but Microsoft said it would add to the product's stability, making the first release comparable to a product with the first service pack installed.

The first service pack for Office 2003 is due in late June.

Microsoft recommends the use of the Office Update service to download and install the Word 2003 update. Office Update is at office.microsoft.com/officeupdate.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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