Why should two people out of fifty be unable to open my Word .doc newsletter?

Billy Ross February 16, 2011
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I produce and send out fifty copies of a newsletter every month – 4 pages – as an attachment. It is sent as a Word .doc compatibility mode. I use Windows XP and have Microsoft Word 2007/ Office Professional.

They have all received this perfectly well for the past year, but two recipients now say that part of the header info is missing and one that a small box graphic is also enlarged when printed out. Don’t think there’s anything I can do, but that the fault must be with their printer set-up. They don’t know how to solve this, and I have sent this also in other .doc formats. Any advice please?

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  1. Billyross
    February 17, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Thank you all for your answers, appreciate you taking time to do this.
    Yes, I actually agree wholeheartedly with using the PDF method. So why am I not using it you may well ask.

    The newsletter is a simple black & white four page document, being sent to retirees, members of an international organisation known as The U3A (University of the Third Age), but only to our local group in NZ. Although we have over one hundred members, about half 'use' their own computers.
    When I started doing this about two years ago I did use PDF, but some complained they didn't know what to do with it. Even after explaining clearly, as you have done, how they can easily use this, some complained that they still "couldn't get it to work".

    Hence the reason for resorting to .doc format which has worked very well for everyone for the past two years, even for the two recipients who now have a problem with it.
    It is also the format that my local printshop is happy to use, for the hard copies I also require. I can easily convert to PDF with my MS Word programme, but don't want to create 'difficulties' for our other members.
    As a 69 year old I think I'm 'reasonably' well informed where PC usage/internet etc are concerned, and love working with these. Our group runs many different courses but has been unable, as yet, to find someone who is proficient enough to run one on PC usage, but don't please point a finger at me! Thanks again for the advice.

    • Aibek
      February 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

      Hey Billy,

      You may also consider sending the PDF file together with the link to its online version (on site like Scribd.com). This way people who aren't able to open it locally would be able to view it online.

      3 Websites To Publish & Share Your PDFs Online
      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/websites-to-publish-share-your-pdfs-online/

      Aibek

  2. Anonymous
    February 16, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    if they have Problems opening Word 2007/2010 'docx' format documents in Word 2002/3. The document retains a reference to the template upon which it was based and it is this reference that causes the problems.
    Follow this guide
    http://www.gmayor.com/Problems_opening_2007_docs.htm

  3. Mark O'Neill
    February 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I second CutePDF. I have been using it for years and it works like a dream. It attaches itself to your printer setup so you just do CTRL + P on your keyboard to open up Windows' print setup then drop down the list to choose CutePDF. Then instead of printing, it generates a PDF file. Sweet!

  4. Tina
    February 16, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Billy Ross,

    is it necessary to send the file out as Word document? Do you want recipients to be able to edit the document?

    I don't know why two people suddenly have issues with the document. But to avoid this in the future, I would recommend to send your newsletter as PDF document, rather than Word document. You can easily convert your Word document to a PDF. The advantage is that it will always look the same, no matter on what operating system it is viewed or on what printer it is printed.

    There are free PDF converters out there. You simply open your Word document and print it, but instead of printing it using your printer, you choose the PDF converter tool from your list of printers.

    I use FreePDF (formerly FreePDFXP). Before installing the tool, you need to install Ghostscript. However, it's all German.

    An alternative would be PDF995 (article) or FoxTab PDF Converter.

    • James Bruce
      February 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      lol, beat you to it!

  5. James Bruce
    February 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    The fault could be with many things along the line - I have seen cases of attachments being messed up slightly because they were sent out from China, and the great firewall /filter messes with them. To be honest, .doc is not really a suitable format to send a newletter. You would be able to achieve much more reliable results if you printed the document on your computer to a virtual PDF printer, and then send that file instead. I suspect all of your readers have some kind of PDF reading ability.

    On OsX, there is an option to do this straight from the print dialog, "save as PDF", but on Windows you will need to install a PDF creation app of some sort, such as this:

    http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp

    The setup is a little more complicated (you also need the free GS utility described on that page), but when finished you will have a virtual printer which makes a nice PDF for you to send.

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