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The red cross in Word

Posted on 2002-03-29
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Last Modified: 2008-03-04
We are using Word to generate reports based on Word-templates.  In these reports, images (tiff-files) are being used.  Most of this works just fine, but sometimes, we get a red cross instead of the image.  The image is loaded, and just when it's almost completely finished, the image is replaced by a red cross.

The knowledge database from MicroSoft has already been consulted, and there were no good answers there.  There is enough memory, enough resources (we tried with just 1 page with only that image on it), the image has no apparent faults (other programs can open and display it, without reporting errors).  Operating system is NT4.0, service pack 6.  Microsoft Office 97 SR-2.  Has also been tried with Office 2000, same problem.

If the image is opened in a graphics program, and saved without modifying anything, the problem stays.  Even selecting the complete picture, copy-and-pasting it in a new file, and saving it, gives the same problem.  If however a selection is taken (all except for a narrow border), and put in a new file, and then this new file is taken as the image in Word, the problem is gone.  But since this is a manual process, while the generation of the Word-reports is something automated, this is not a good solution.  Word doesn't report that anything went wrong while pasting the picture in the document.
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Question by:RudyG
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:bruintje
ID: 6904999
Hi RudyG,

you said you're already been through this

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q162349

did you try also the option to verify a correct temp directory? has the temp directory been emptied? there could be some leftovers there

is this only happening on one machine?

:O)Bruintje
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Author Comment

by:RudyG
ID: 6905009
This happens on every machine, even with different configurations, with nothing else running, with heaps of memory and resources available, with plenty of disk space, without fast save option on in Word, etc.

Also, when creating a new, modified picture, and putting it in the same document, there is no problem.  At that moment, the same temp directory is being used.
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LVL 44

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by:bruintje
ID: 6905064
guess from this lines when you solved the problem

>>If however a selection is taken (all except for a narrow border)
>>when creating a new, modified picture, and putting it in the same document

that the problematic images are template ones? and i suspect that they are corrupt at least as far as Word is concerned, the first line hit the nail the small border is probably where the problem is

what happens when rebuilding them is that the format is probably changed a bit and then it's readable to Word

sorry i'm out of ideas and it may not be the comment you where waiting for

maybe some other expert can come up with a more satisfactory explanation

:O)Bruintje

PS what software are you using to make the pictures?, if it's scriptable you could run a one time batch through all the problematic files and scratch the border of it just an idea
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Author Comment

by:RudyG
ID: 6905083
Several thousands of files are created each day, through scanning software.  Format is Tiff group 4 facsimile compression, black&white.

Most of those images give no problems at all.  But sometimes, a problem arises.  So my estimate is that 1 out of 10.000 images may have this problem.  But there is no easy way to detect this problem.  When putting this faulty image on a Word document, and sending it to a client (everything is automated), it's the client that detects this error.  Because of the high volume of reports that are generated, it is impossible to check all images in every report.

The problem is still not solved, since we don't know how to detect these images that have the cross-problem.  When we know of such a file, the image is scanned again, and then the problem is gone.  So I'm thinking that there is something in the file, that causes Word to miscalculate, or even crashes a certain function, which makes the temporary buffer overflow, which then triggers a fail-safe mechanism that shows the red cross.

There is however no other program (not even Microsoft Photo Editor) that complains that something is bad in the image.  If I select all in Photo Editor, and do a "Paste as a new file", the problem stays.  Only selecting something smaller seems to solve it.
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by:bruintje
ID: 6905318
wew that's a real problem, when the client detects the problem, because of the magnitude of this operation.

OK, i can look for a way to detect it in Word
-but i may not  going to find it
-and what then?
-if Word is able to detect it and act on it
-how does it have to act?
-this is all automated
-so we can try to let word send an alert mail to someone
-and don't skip the process
-and go on with the next

But i can't oversee how hard that's going to be, since i don't know the implementation

If you're interested in such a solution you can mail me at

mulbum@worldonline.nl

but that's only if Word is able to detect it of course

:O)Bruintje
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Expert Comment

by:Chimnysweep
ID: 6911916
I've been doing some work with imaging in Word 2000 lately and have not run across this.  Would it be possible for you to post or email a copy of a good image and a bad image?

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ID: 6974216
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