Very Large Documents

Version: 2008
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
Processor: Intel

I'm working on my thesis and above 100,000 words - strange things start happening - I can't get a word total at the bottom of the page for a start!  Footnotes disappear - I know they're still there but I can't see them.   I've tried breaking it down into multiple documents but that's clunky as I'm constantly cross referencing and really only want to have one bibliography/works referenced.  The work itself maxes out at 150,000 words - 1500 footnotes and about 1000 references for works consulted.  Any advice on how to handle all this - what view to use - switch something off (or on?). Can't believe I'm the first to have these questions. <br>
Thanks in advance.  S.
0
Speedwell
5/13/2010 12:24:22 PM
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Well, I can't believe that 100,000 or 150,000 words is a problem that 
would cause these problems.  I personally would not work with a file 
this big simply as I could not tolerate teh long times to save and load. 
Also, if by chance a version of the file gets corrupted (it happens) 
then I'd want the loss to be in smaller chunks.

That being said:

:  you are using some sort of version management, e.g. Time Machine. The 
last thing you want is to lose the whole document because you only have 
the most recent version.

: your work will go faster if you break the document up, say into 
chapters.  You aren't doing this because of the erroneous assumption 
about cross referencing and bbliography.  I can't find where in Help 
this is covered (Word 2007 Help is anything but!), but Google searching 
on "word mac master documents" gives some links.

: something is causing the problems you see are you sure you have the 
latest version of Word? I see you are many versions out of date for Mac 
OS X. Will these problems be fixed by having current versions?  I don't 
know; but I think using current versions of these things is always the best.

--rms

www.rmschneider.com




On 13/05/10 13:24, Speedwell@officeformac.com wrote:
> Version: 2008 Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Processor: Intel
> I'm working on my thesis and above 100,000 words - strange things start
> happening - I can't get a word total at the bottom of the page for a
> start! Footnotes disappear - I know they're still there but I can't see
> them. I've tried breaking it down into multiple documents but that's
> clunky as I'm constantly cross referencing and really only want to have
> one bibliography/works referenced. The work itself maxes out at 150,000
> words - 1500 footnotes and about 1000 references for works consulted.
> Any advice on how to handle all this - what view to use - switch
> something off (or on?). Can't believe I'm the first to have these
> questions.
> Thanks in advance. S.
0
Rob
5/13/2010 5:53:29 PM
You aren't even near the point where the number of words should make a
difference in performance... When you get to around 3.5M words you may start
to notice a difference :-) It's the *complexity* of the document that taxes
the resources of the computer (i.e., RAM, video & processor power). And
you're not the first to have looked at a number of attractive houses &
decided to build one yourself, even though your primary disciplines may well
be something other than construction work :-)

Are you - or have you been - tracking changes in the document? That is one
of the major contributors - some will say don't use it at all. Footnotes,
endnotes, cross-references & citations add significantly to the complexity
of a document. Other factors revolving around how the document has been
constructed further complicate its structure. Unless we know those things
it's hard to say what remedies will improve the situation. One thing is
certain, though - make sure you have at least one current backup copy stored
in a safe location. It sounds like it could be heading for serious case of
file corruption if it hasn't already occurred.

Some suggestions for a document of this nature;

1- Design a template on which to base the document rather than starting with
a new blank document generated from the Normal template. For a document of
this length you really don't need to "break it down" but if you do choose to
do so, base each 'chapter' on the same template so each will have the same
Styles, page setup, etc.

2- Keep direct formatting to an absolute minimum. Use Styles for all
formatting, especially anything that involves numbering of any kind.

3- Avoid using manual page breaks, nested tables, floating graphics, etc., &
where objects must be used resist the temptation to indulge in the
convenience of 'drag & drop' - especially if Track Changes is active.

4- Do not work continuously with Track Changes active. Use it only while
actually editing, not while rearranging or manipulating objects. At the end
of an editing session turn it off & Accept/Reject the changes made. If need
be, use Save As first to create a new document to continue working in &
archive the copy containing the unresolved changes.

5- Learn to work in Normal (now called Draft) & Outline Views. Use the
Navigation Pane, Go To, Browse By, etc. to navigate rather than continuously
scrolling. Those other methods are much more expeditious & efficient. When
scrolling, every 'page' has to be reprocessed as you go. It's entirely
possible that you might try to scroll faster than the Mac can keep up,
believe it or not.

Unfortunately, most of this is a matter of planning & design that has to
take place before the first word is typed... Selecting materials, laying the
foundation, constructing the framing, roughing in the plumbing & electrical
before doing the walls, etc. However, if you can provide a more
comprehensive description of what you've already built & how you have gone
about it there are a number of veterans here who may be able to help
stabilize it.

Regards |:>)
Bob Jones 
[MVP] Office:Mac



On 5/13/10 8:24 AM, in article 59bb86a6.-1@webcrossing.JaKIaxP2ac0,
"Speedwell@officeformac.com" <Speedwell@officeformac.com> wrote:

> Version: 2008 Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Processor: Intel I'm
> working on my thesis and above 100,000 words - strange things start happening
> - I can't get a word total at the bottom of the page for a start!  Footnotes
> disappear - I know they're still there but I can't see them.   I've tried
> breaking it down into multiple documents but that's clunky as I'm constantly
> cross referencing and really only want to have one bibliography/works
> referenced.  The work itself maxes out at 150,000 words - 1500 footnotes and
> about 1000 references for works consulted.  Any advice on how to handle all
> this - what view to use - switch something off (or on?). Can't believe I'm the
> first to have these questions.
> Thanks in advance.  S.

0
CyberTaz
5/13/2010 11:38:21 PM
Reply:

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