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Problem with "Protected view" of MS Word document templates

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Last Modified: 2014-01-18
I have a collection of MS Word templates that have "bookmarks" inserted into them. I use a VB front end to merge data from the VB form into the MS Word templates. These templates were created between 1997 and 2003. The last version used to create them was Word 2003.

I am now using Office 2010 and 2013. The problem is that if the document opens in "Protected view", the merge won't work and the app crashes. In fact, if I try to open the template in Word, it crashes (see screen shots attached).  When I create Word documents using the current installation of Word, they open in protected view, but I can then click the "Enable editing" button and make them editable. It is only the older documents that I am having trouble with.

Interestingly, some of the templates when launched will open in edit mode, and others in protected view. The ones that open as an editable document do not crash. If I can figure out how to make them all open as an editable document, then I think I have the problem solved.

So there are two parts to my question here:

1. How do I make it so the older Word templates open as an editable document so they do not crash?

2. Be able to open these documents with office automation (VB calls Word to open then opens the document) so that they open automatically as an editable document so the VB front end won't crash?

I am attaching two files below - the photo
crash-1.jpg
crash-2.jpg
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