How to report bug in word to Microsoft?

Hi all,

The bug:
Starting from word 2007, word 2010 and word 2013 contain a known critical (resulting in crash and lose of documents) bug.
When saving docx document, one may run into "A File Error has Occurred" error, or crash.
The bug itself is described&discussed (for example) here : 1,2. Here's a screenvideo
.
The most acceptable workaround (using ".rtf" instead of ".docx") still have many side effects.

I've got an ".rtf" file, which demonstrates the bug. Word crash is 100% reproducible, using this file. I wish to brought attention of microsoft's developers to this file, since, I hope, they are interested in fixing word's crashes.

Submit bug options I know:
  1. I’ve tried to ask about how to submit a bug report through online technical support chat.
    They’ve just pointed me to https://connect.microsoft.com/office , saying that this is the way bug reports should be sent (although it's impossible to submit Office-related bug report there).
  2. My company's IT department told me I should try " https://support.microsoft.com/contactus/emailcontact.aspx?scid=sw%3ben%3b1513&ws=MoreInfo&wa=wsignin1.0%2cwsignin1.0 ".
    (Still no answer).
  3. Evidently, ask someone on a community site (i.e. here) to submit a bug report.

 

So,

  • If someone is able to submit a bug report on this, won't you please confirm this bug and submit it?
  • Are there any other options to submit a bug report?

Thank you!


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Clicking Review | Accept All Changes in Document and then resaving in Word (*.docx) format seems to fix the problem (tested in Word 2013).

Stefan Blom
Word MVP
Volunteer Moderator
~~~~
Note that MVPs do not work for Microsoft
MVP program info: https://mvp.microsoft.com/
MS Community FAQ: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/page/faq
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Thanks for your answer, Stefan.
Yep, this is a known workaround, however, it is not acceptable, if you NEED tracked changes.
(Imagine you're a 3rd reviewer, and you need to pass file to 4th reviewer and then he would pass this document to original author.)

Saving document to ".rtf" is the simplest workaround I've found for myself. However, word has a bit limited functionality in this mode. So, some features would be lost after conversion.

If you don't want to loose them, the only chance is a copy-paste trick. Note, that in this case, you need to find exact source of the bug. Usually, you need to implement "Bisection method" to do it. Note, that word might crash after every attempt to save your file, and autorecovery is not 100% reliable.

So, only real 99% working workaround, that won't result in lose of anything in document is a combination of these methods:
  • Copy-paste the whole document to second word window, and save it as rtf, just to create some sort of backup:
    1. Create a new document based on the same template as the one which won’t save
    2. Turn off track changes on both the new and corrupt documents
    3. Copy and paste the entire contents of the corrupt document into the new one
    4. Turn track changes back on in new document
    5. Save the new document as rtf.
    6. Close second document
  • Find the exact cause of bug:
    1. Create a new document based on the same template as the one which won’t save
    2. Copy and paste first half of corrupt document into the new one
      • (Assuming “track changes” is already off in both documents)
    3. If saving second document failed, half it’s contents.
    4. If saving second document succeeded, try another half
    5. Repeat described substeps till you find the cause of the bug.
      • Note, that, theoretically, there might be multiple causes.
      • Note, that word might accidentally crash after each save, and “autorecovered” version might not help.(that’s why we’ve created a backup)
      • To minimize chance of crash, never use a single filename twice, always add suffix, like “mydoc_trytosave16.docx”
  • One cause is found, fix it: accept changes, remove comment, just rewrite it completely. Usually, it’s a tiny single thing, so it would be rather easy to do so.

That doesn't look like fast&easy, does it?

I had to follow this procedure at least 3 times last month (for files with ~30 pages) - that's why I want to brought Microsoft's attention to my file, demonstrating this bug.

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Cheers
Paul Edstein
(Fmr MS MVP - Word)

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Excellent problem description. This is something that can be acted on.

Reporting the problem here is one way of submitting a bug report.  There are "real" MS staff lurking on the forum. One of them could forward it to the right people. Also, some of the more senior MVP's have developed contacts with the various development teams, and they pass on this type of report. 

If you are in a large company with a site/volume license someone in your technical support group has a way of submitting a limited number of such problems directly to MS.

As well here are some other ways you can submit bug reports

(in Theory) Your satisfaction Matters! Let us know your thoughts about your Microsoft experience.

https://secure.opinionlab.com/ccc01/o.asp?id=yDnqREvN

MS has a very large audience, so if you want your suggestion to be acted upon you need many people to make the same suggestion. So ask your friends, fiends <grin>, enemies, relatives, co-workers, strangers on the street to also submit your suggestion to all of the following locations.

Here is proof  that once in a blue moon MS does actually listen to user input about some of its “stupid” design decisions: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/09/visual_studio_11_grey_no_more/

So “.. yes Virginia …”, it is worth complaining about the stupid ribbon, or other pet peeve, they sometimes pay attention.

But then again, when I looked at the “before” and “after” I don’t see much improvement!  I’m afraid this is a fore-runner for a “metrified” Office 15.  Well, we’ll see.

Another example of MS sometimes listening is found in Outlook. In 2010 MS removed the “Unread” messages view from Outlook.  In 2013 the “Unread” view is returned.

There are examples of how well the “listen”, like the 2013 Preview White color scheme. The “fix” is 14 new application bar designs, but only 2 new shades of grey color schemes (no blue or black like previously) …

<snip Comment from a “Softie” in the Answers Forum>

Hi, I’m an engineer on the Word product team. Thanks for your feedback. JairOV is correct: unfortunately, we cannot comment on unannounced product updates and decisions. However, we take customer feedback seriously when designing future versions of our product, and frequently monitor these forums for feedback and suggestions.

</snip>


 

Microsoft: Tell us what you think - Feedback

http://mymfe.microsoft.com/support.microsoft.com/feedback.aspx?formid=24

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/suggestions.aspx Feedback

NOTE: when you post comments / suggestions it is best to limit each submission to one issue. That way replies can be specific to that error. And it makes it easier for MS to assign a submission to a specific development group or person.

 

MS Office 365

http://mymfe.microsoft.com/Microsoft%20%20Online%20%20Services/Feedback.aspx?formID=210

 

Office 2010

http://mymfe.microsoft.com/Office/feedback.aspx?formID=375

 

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/suggestions.aspx Feedback

 


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Reporting the problem here is one way of submitting a bug report.  There are "real" MS staff lurking on the forum. One of them could forward it to the right people. Also, some of the more senior MVP's have developed contacts with the various development teams, and they pass on this type of report. 

Nonsense. Microsoft does not monitor these threads for bugs and you cannot submit a bug report here. Sure, if an MS employee happens to read this thread and if they consider it important enough, they might pass it on, but overall that's a big if. Neither are there 'senior' MVPs who necessarily 'pass on this type of report'.
Cheers
Paul Edstein
(Fmr MS MVP - Word)

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Well, that's not entirely true. Many of the Word MVPs who post here do report bugs to the Word team through the Word distribution list. I know of half a dozen bugs that are currently under investigation because we reported them. In fact, that may be the most efficient way to get the word to the team because MVPs who report bugs usually test and reproduce them before reporting and can provide the kind of information the Word team needs. I know of at least one bug (failure to honor tabs to the right of a paragraph indent inside the margin in Word 2013) that has been patched as a result of reports (and strenuous lobbying) by MVPs.

 

It is true that members of the Word team do not actively monitor these forums. I can count on the fingers of both hands (if not a single one) the number of times I've seen a post from a member of the product group here. But occasionally they do take notice.

Microsoft MVP (Word) since 1999
Fairhope, Alabama USA
http://ssbarnhill.com
http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com
Screen shots captured with TechSmith's Snagit

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Thanks macropod!

Nice links!
I've sent my report both ways you've suggested.
Though, it looks like they are a bit outdated, Word 2010 is newest option in both cases. So, I'm afraid microsoft is just ignoring them, mostly. Just like they are, most probably, ignoring results of "Office insiders survey" posted here (sign in here, if you're just seeing blank page).

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Cool, another couple of "feedback" links.  Thank you, Rohn007.

Hm, why Microsoft created a set of independent&hard to find "feedback" forms? How many of them are out there, hidden somewhere, only devs know where?

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If you are in a large company with a site/volume license someone in your technical support group has a way of submitting a limited number of such problems directly to MS. 
I work in a company with  more than 120 000 employees. As far as I know, our IT Department sometimes work in a close cooperation with Microsoft, creating some weired critical security hotfixes.
Though, it looks like they are not interested in "regular" bugs, they claim that it's not their work.... It looks like they are not very enthusiastic about reporting bugs through them, saying it would be "as ineffective, as a regular home-user's report"....

I'm curious if Microsoft got at least internal bug tracker... Maybe they really just don't have any systematic bug processing workflow? If so, that explains a lot.

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Believe me, they have very sophisticated methods of tracking bugs. Much of the effort goes into bugs identified before an application releases, during betas and other previews, but bugs are still tracked as long as the application is in support.
Microsoft MVP (Word) since 1999
Fairhope, Alabama USA
http://ssbarnhill.com
http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com
Screen shots captured with TechSmith's Snagit

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Last updated October 15, 2020 Views 9,241 Applies to: