Cannot open Word files attached to a particular application's data  

  1. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Enterprise

    Cannot open Word files attached to a particular application's data

    The vital statistics are: Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Office 365 Apps for Enterprise.

    I edit and manage documentation for internal clients (i.e. other employees) who often submit them as entries in our engineers' issue tracking system. Typically they edit a Word document file to show changes they want and attach it to an entry representing an issue.

    For the past week I've been unable to open these attachments. When I try, I get an error box that says "Word experienced an error trying to open the file."

    Cannot open Word files attached to a particular application's data-word_experienced_an_error.png

    If I try to "Open and repair" the file, I get the same thing.

    If the client sends me the same file by email, I can open it with no trouble.

    I submitted a support request to our corporate help desk, fingering the bug tracking system as the culprit. A support associate responded that I should remove and reinstall Microsoft Office.

    I don't want to do that, for a couple of reasons. First, my Word configuration is highly customized. Some of the customizations was done through the Options > Customize Ribbon dialog, and I presumably can save it and restoreit after I reinstall; others are scattered around other parts of the interface, and would have to be recreated individually. Some of them were made on the fly or under emergency conditions, and I don't have complete notes on what I changed, much less how to duplicate the changes.

    The other reason is that the instruction to remove and reinstall Office sounds to me like the computer equivalent of "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning." The associate gave me no reason why I should expect it to solve my problem, or even why I should think it could possibly solve my problem, when I can save the same file from attachments in two applications, and I can open one but not the other.

    What do you think? Is this measure worth trying, despite the pain it will cause? Is there a way to avoid or reduce the pain? Is there a (more) reasonable alternative approach?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 14,245
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.2728

    It sounds to me as though the method of attaching files to engineers' issue tracking system entries has changed rather than Word.
    But I wouldn't entirely discount it being a Word problem.
    Could you ask a colleague to try the same thing using their Word? If they have the same problem then you could report that to your corporate help desk.

    Can you select those Word attachments in the engineers' issue tracking system and save them to disk so you can open them from there.
    I suggest this both as a workaround for you to use and also as an additional symptom you could report to your corporate help desk.

    Best of luck,
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Enterprise
    Thread Starter

    In one case I asked the submitter whether he could open the file from his attachment. He said he could, but English is not his native language, so I'm not 100% sure he understood the question.

    An additional piece of information: I've found that this problem comes and goes. Yesterday afternoon I couldn't open any of these files. Last night I could. This morning I can't again.

    I hadn't tried saving the file and then opening it separately because that's essentially what the application does. When I click Download it downloads the file, then leaves the browser's progress message open; when I click the message it opens the file. The only difference is that I click the file in the message rather than double click the file in File Explorer. Nevertheless I tried doing it through File Explorer, and it still fails.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 14,245
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.2728

    I saw in your other thread that you had done an Office repair.
    Does that help with this problem?

    The intermittent nature of the problem will make it hard to diagnose.

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Enterprise
    Thread Starter

    Try3 -- Yes, it did solve this problem -- in fact it only solved this problem. I posted that message in another thread by mistake. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    For those who haven't seen it, I'm reproducing the errant message here.

    Hmm... for unrelated reasons, I did a "quick repair" of Office through Add or Remove Programs, after which the problem does not manifest.

    Since it comes and goes, I'll have to hold my breath for a couple of days before I can be absolutely sure that this fixed it. It seems very likely to have done so, though.

    So, I need to reevaluate the help associate's advice. First, they were right that Word was fault. I can't give them too much credit, though, because it still seems to have been a fortuitous guess.

    But second, they should have recommended that I try repairing Office before reinstalling it, at least after I pointed out the problems that a reinstall could cause. Failure to do so was rank incompetence.

    But I've known for a long time that despite my employer's otherwise excellent standards, its help staff is rankly incompetent. Please excuse the venting; I've found that no matter how carefully I explain a problem they almost always misunderstand it, and I must explain how they got it wrong. And then I can't trust the advice I get. It's very frustrating.... particularly since I sometimes have problems that only they can fix.
      My Computer


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