MS Word hanging on paste (need answer kinda fast)

I’m in the process of combining several old documents into one larger document with an updated format. Everything went fine for the first couple of documents, but now I’m working with another one, and it’s started to hang terribly when I try to paste information over from a table. Just pasting text in is taking a while, but it’s specifically the table that’s causing the application to go completely non-responsive. From what I recall of having a similar problem before, it will eventually paste over if I let it go long enough (think minutes, not seconds, and a lot of them), but this document is so large with so many tables that I can’t really afford to take that time.

The new document is currently 28 pages long and 330 KB. The old document that I’m having the problems with is 43 pages long and 529 KB. (I tried closing the new doc and pasting into a completely fresh one, but that was also hanging in the same way, so the problem seems to be with the old doc and not with the new one.)

Machine: Dell Latitude D620, Intel Core 2 1.66GHz, ~2 GB RAM
OS: Windows XP Professional
App: Microsoft Word 2002 (10.6856.6845) SP3

How desperate are you that the tables are pasted as tables?

I’d try a few things:

  1. See how it looks when you paste it into a .txt document and then into the .doc document.
  2. Give Google Docs a shot and see if it responds any faster, and then convert into a .doc.

Try opening the old document and doing a “save as” into RTF. This forces Word to rescan and reprocess the whole file. You’ll lose table formatting, so I’d convert the tables to tabs, save as RTF, close & reopen Word, open the RTF file, convert the tabs back to tables, and then do the cut & paste.

This has worked for me several times over the years.

Good luck!

Does Microsoft Word have a merge function that allows you to merge two documents automatically, without using cut-and-paste? If so, try that; you can always trim the result if necessary.

You might also want to try using a different word processor to see if it can do the job without locking up. There are Free word processors out there, such as Writer, which can read most Microsoft Word files.

Good news so far: I tried just copying the whole table into a fresh document, and that worked (versus copying the contents of the cells over), and I was then able to copy from that document into my new one. Eesh. Next step is going to be to see if I can copy the table straight from one doc to another. (In other docs, that screwed the formatting, but for some reason it’s working on this one, so, whatever.)

100%. They **must **be tables.

Dunno if it does, but the formatting is completely different. We switched our standards about two years ago, so I’m having to update everything as I go.

Not an option. I don’t have admin access to this computer. (Hell, the IS people don’t even have admin access anymore.)

I think Google Docs can be run entirely from within a web browser. You might want to try that, as someone else suggested.

I’ll be trying that if it starts misbehaving again; for now, I’m just gonna grab my nasty hackjob workaround and run with it.

Some other things to try: turn on paragraph markers (it’s the little paragraph marker icon in the toolbar), then copy everything but the last paragraph marker into a new, clean document. It’s weird, but Word saves a lot of information about previous changes and stuff in that last paragraph marker, and copying everything but into a new document can sometimes get rid of carry-over corruption and stuff.

You can also paste the text into a Notepad document (to remove all formatting like **Gary **said), then copy from the Notepad document and paste it back into a new, clean Word document. Yes, you’ll lose the tables. But you can recreate them using the “Convert Text to Tables” command. (Search for it in the help; I’m using 2007 and can’t remember where it is in 2003.) You’ll have to reformat everything, so use this last option as kind of a last resort.

If you save as RTF instead of pasting into Notepad, it will preserve most of your formatting (including fonts, paragraph spacing, and so on), while only screwing up the most advanced formatting options. Granted, I haven’t had to resort to this in a while, but I think what I lost last time I did the Word->RTF conversion was table formatting, page background images, and table-of-contents/index tags.