When quitting Microsoft Word 2008 after having it running for some time, the application may crash and provide an error message similar to following:

Microsoft Error Reporting log version: 2.0
Error Signature:
Application Name: Microsoft Word
Application Bundle ID: com.microsoft.Word
Application Signature: MSWD

This problem is due to the fact that Microsoft Word relies heavily on available system resources, especially with older versions of the software. To ensure that your open documents are saved prior to possible crashing, it is vital to save and save often. Using the keyboard shortcut Command + S is highly recommended as it is easy to remember and can be done quickly.

Here are a few troubleshooting steps that may reduce the frequency of this issue:

  • Try and keep other running applications to a minimum. If working simultaneously in Word and any other resource-intensive programs, it is recommended to quit all other unnecessary applications (such as Outlook, Entourage, Photoshop or web browsers like Safari or Firefox).
  • When away for extended periods, such as during breaks or at the end of the day, save any open documents and close Word so it does not consume system resources while idle and releases any occupied memory until the next use.
    • It is also a good idea to log out of the computer when not needed, or to restart the computer before the beginning of the work day.
  • If Word is crashing when closing/saving a specific document and the application restarts, do not accept the recovered document and open the last version saved instead, as the recovered version may carry the problem that caused a crash initially.
    • If the specific document file is suspected to be crashing the application (this can be verified by working successfully with a different document file), try converting the content of the document to Plain Text format and bring it back into Word. You can do this using TextEdit on your Mac, by copying and pasting the content of your document into a new TextEdit document and then choose Format > Make Plain Text (or press Command-Shift-T).
  • Lastly, it is a good idea to Verify and Repair Disk Permissions by going to Disk Utility in your Applications/Utilities folder.