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Cannot use Microsoft Word to edit messages in Outlook 2003

I have a client that when he replies to an email that is in HTML format it sits for a while with an hour glass and then it says that it cannot edit it because the version of Word does not match the version of Outlook.  If I go into the Outlooks Options/Mail Format and check the box that says use Word to edit messages and go back and try to edit, it hangs again and reports the same thing and removes the check mark I had set.  I have patched the office 2003 with service pack 3 and also applied the compatibility patch and I still have the problem.  Any help would be appreciated,  Thank you.
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captjcret
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captjcret
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1 Solution
 
peakpeakCommented:
Do not use Word as the email editor in OL 2003. OL's own editor is muck better suited for editing emails, also HTML such. When you step up to OL 2007 a special version of Word is always used and it does a good job too. Not in 2003 though.
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Maniac_47Commented:
Can you please run a repair on office?  You'll just need the disk, all programs to be closed, and to go into control panel -> Add/Remove progs -> and click on office and choose to "change" it, and run the repair operation.

I understand the need for word within outlook, the formatting it does is important at times.  When did this start happening?  Is this a new install of office on a newer machine, or has this been running fine and all of a sudden just stopped working?  Also, I see in your title you say Outlook 2003, but is it 2007?  this kind of issue is mostly seen with that version of outlook

If the repair doesn't work, have you tried uninstalling office, rebooting, and reinstalling?  I know it can be a PITA, but sometimes something just isn't right and needs to be restored to a fresh install.  Please also check this solution:

http://www.techbug.com/en/?p=46
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captjcretAuthor Commented:
This is Outlook 2003.  I have run the repair program and that did nothing. This is a fresh install on a failed hard drive.  He did not have the problem before,  I can uninstall office and reinstall.  Will that really reset office to factory defaults completely?
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peakpeakCommented:
"repair" NEVER works .... forget it. Did you read my solution cap?
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captjcretAuthor Commented:
He wants to use word as the editor.  By upgrading to 2007 will that fix the problem?
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Maniac_47Commented:
If repair doesn't work (which sometimes it will, please don't get personally offended that I follow procedure), please see if an uninstall, reboot, and reinstall helps.  with Office 07, this issue normally comes up in regards to Business Contact Manager, so with 2003 it sounds like something just isn't communicating properly.  

You could also try renaming the "normal.dot" file which is located in the Templates folder of the hidden "Application Data" directory to something like "normal.bak" and see if its an issue with a template (as there are always goofy issues happening with that).

If nothing at all works (the re-install listed above), you could download a trial of office 2007 from Microsoft to see if that fixes the issue before buying, to save money if it doesn't work.  Please let me know if any of this works or is good advice, I'm just trying to help as best I can and I don't feel that flaming someone's suggestions is useful or helpful in any way.
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Maniac_47Commented:
EDIT:  

If you do go the 2007 route, please ensure all office items are uninstalled from the machine before proceeding, to ensure the issue isn't just carried over to the new version.  A fresh install is always best in the troubleshooting process.
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peakpeakCommented:
OL 2007 will make the problem go away, yes. Otherwise let him try OL 2003 built-in editor. It's pretty good and have all you need to create an email message.
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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterCommented:
Or search for ALL all instances of normal.dot in Word and delete or rename them.
Also - deleting the Word data key could also help fix this problem.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822005/en-us

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captjcretAuthor Commented:
I will try all of these solutions this week.  I will not see the customer until later this week.
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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterCommented:
Ok - good luck and please post back.
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captjcretAuthor Commented:
That was a simple fix.  Thanks
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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterCommented:
That's terrific!  So glad it worked.  Thank you.

Joanne Orzech
MS Word MVP
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