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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited Apps
So, Excel and PowerPoint v.X are crashing on me at launch. Word and Entourage aren't. This hint unfortunately didn't help the situation. So, after some searching on Google Groups, I saw a post about QuickTime extensions causing Office apps to crash, and they also mentioned the Toast VideoCD extension. I removed that one, but it didn't fix my problem.

It turns out it was the DivX 5.0.6 beta plugin that caused all the problems. Upgrade to 5.0.7 and you'll be set.
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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: dfbills on Oct 10, '03 02:31:46PM

I've found that corrupted fonts can cause a crash as well. Be on the lookout!

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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: sjmills on Oct 11, '03 01:31:04AM

Yup, me too. Micro$oft sucks at parsing fonts.

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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: Canton on Oct 24, '03 03:32:41AM

Well my word crashes often and I have 5.0.7 and no extra fonts, what can the problem be then?

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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: ottonomy on Oct 27, '03 03:43:05PM

Excel and PowerPoint were unexpectedly quitting on me immediately after the Project Gallery appeared. After reading about the corrupt font issues, and following all the recommended routines to no avail, I did some more serious searching and found my answers in some user reviews of Office v.X updaters at Users jwolf and OKF were most helpful in outlining the DIVX/QuickTime conflict with the Project Gallery and suggesting a useful workaround before the DIVX update was available.

Conflicts with the Project Gallery need not cripple Office apps entirely. Should this problem arise again, simply open an existing document with the problem app, so that Project Gallery doesn't open on launch. Then go to Preferences-General and turn off "Open Project Gallery at Startup."

Thanks OKF whoever you are!


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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: j0nathan on Dec 02, '03 07:32:38AM

I have the same problem with Word, though none of the Office Apps, though interestingly, Word opens fine when Font Book is running.

This points to it being a font problem though I've scanned my fonts with Font Doctor which shows no problems.

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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: j0nathan on Dec 02, '03 07:46:37AM

To follow up, I've now diagnosed the problem: Word objected to OS9 font Geneva being disabled by Font Book and will not start while this font is disabled and Font Book is not running. The same may be the same of other OS9 fonts disabled by Font Book.

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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: b1gjohn on Jan 30, '04 10:33:17PM

word and powerpoint were crashing for me, and it turned out to be my acrobat 5 toolbar menus - i removed them from the startup folder in the office x folder.

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Fixing Office v.X crashes, revisited
Authored by: BSD Dino on Apr 28, '06 12:40:06PM
I have been battling a situation for the past two months where all the Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) were crashing during startup. The backtraces I would get for these crashes all looked similar (see below). The office programs always died as they were being launched (or immediately afterwards) somewhere in the CoreFoundation code.

The behavior was a little strange - the Office apps would come up and appear on the screen, but as soon as I clicked on any of the menu items (ie., the File menu) they would crash immediately.

Little by little I started seeing this same sort of crash in other third-party and Apple-supplied applications as well (Media Player, QuickTime, and even iDVD) and these programs would not even come up. They would crash somewhere in the middle of being launched before they even appeared on the screen.

I followed the instructions on other threads on which involved removing and rebuilding font caches and/or un-installing and re-installing the entire office suite. These techniques did not work for the problem I was having.

The problem on my system turned out to be a corrupted .plist file.

Specifically, it was $HOME/Library/Preferences/ which had an error.

I found the problem by running the apple-supplied plutil program which checks the syntax of plist files.

I ended up writing a shell script to scan all the plist files in the system preferences and my own user preferences directories and I've included that code here in case it might be helpful to others.

If you're having odd M$ app crashing problems, I hope this fixes the problem for you. It was sure a relief to me when I got this one figured out.

On the other hand, having the problem crop up in the first place helped me discover NeoOffice which I now use all the time and very much prefer to Microsoft Office.

For what it's worth, the Genius I talked to at the Genius Bar in the Apple store near my house was not able to offer any useful advice outside of "re-install your OS" (using the Archive/install method) which seemed way too drastic of a solution for a problem like this. Apple should really provide some easy-to-use GUI for finding/fixing corrupt plist files (ala the disk permissions repair utility) so that more people don't put themselves through needless OS re-installs to fix relatively simple problems like this...

Here's the code for a plist-checking script you can run which calls plutil for you to check all the .plist files in the most common directories where .plist files live. Just cut-and-pase this code into a file and run it as a shell script.


# runs "plutil -lint" against all .plist files in each of
# the directories in DIRS_TO_CHECK.
# This script may need to be run as root to avoid
# read permission problems

DIRS_TO_CHECK="/Library/Preferences $HOME/Library/Preferences"

check_all_plist_files () {

        echo "Checking .plist files in $dir..."

        for file in *.plist 
                if [ -f "$file" ] 
                        if [ -r "$file" ]
                                plutil -lint "$file" 
                                echo "" 1>&2
                                echo "!!! $file is not readable (skipped)" 1>&2
                                echo "" 1>&2
                        if [ -d "$file" ]
                                echo "" 1>&2
                                echo "$file is a directory (skipped)" 1>&2
                                echo "" 1>&2

        echo ""

for dir in $DIRS_TO_CHECK
        cd $dir

        if [ $? -ne 0 ]
                echo "Unable to change directory to $dir (skipped)" 1>&2


and here is an example of a typical backtrace I was seeing when Excel, Word, etc... were crashing on me whenever I tried to launch them:

Error Signature:
Date/Time: 2006-04-28 14:12:29 -0500
Application Name: Microsoft Excel
Application Version:
Module Name: CoreFoundation
Module Version: unknown
Module Offset: 0x000033d8
Extra app info: Reg=English Loc=0x0409 

Thread 0 crashed:

#  1  0x9073d3d8 in _CFRelease + 0x0000005C (CoreFoundation + 0x000033d8)
#  2  0x9073d384 in _CFRelease + 0x00000008 (CoreFoundation + 0x00003384)
#  3  0x907673f8 in ___CFBinaryPlistCreateObject + 0x00000848 (CoreFoundation + 0x0002d3f8)
#  4  0x9075e780 in ___CFTryParseBinaryPlist + 0x000000B8 (CoreFoundation + 0x00024780)
#  5  0x9075e368 in __CFPropertyListCreateFromXMLData + 0x0000008C (CoreFoundation + 0x00024368)
#  6  0x90766a90 in __loadXMLDomainIfStale + 0x00000174 (CoreFoundation + 0x0002ca90)
#  7  0x907722ec in _fetchXMLValue + 0x0000003C (CoreFoundation + 0x000382ec)
#  8  0x9180c188 in __ZN15ICCFPrefWrapper17GetPrefDictionaryEv + 0x0000004C (HIServices + 0x00013188)
#  9  0x9180c11c in __ZN15ICCFPrefWrapper13ContainsPrefsEv + 0x0000000C (HIServices + 0x0001311c)
# 10  0x9180c018 in __ZN16OpaqueICInstance8LazyLoadEv + 0x0000003C (HIServices + 0x00013018)
# 11  0x9180bee4 in __ZN16OpaqueICInstance11GetPrefCoreERK9ICKeyInfolPvPlPm + 0x00000050 (HIServices + 0x00012ee4)
# 12  0x918071a4 in __ZN16OpaqueICInstance7GetPrefERK9ICKeyInfolPvPlPm + 0x000000BC (HIServices + 0x0000e1a4)
# 13  0x91807060 in _ICGetPref + 0x000000A0 (HIServices + 0x0000e060)
# 14  0x010d7310 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x000c0d80)
# 15  0x010da090 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x000c3b00)
# 16  0x010da398 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x000c3e08)
# 17  0x010da3e0 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x000c3e50)
# 18  0x010da628 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x000c4098)
# 19  0x020a9b74 in  (Microsoft Excel + 0x00098d64)
# 20  0x01040c10 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x0002a680)
# 21  0x01040b84 in  (Microsoft_Office_2001Z + 0x0002a5f4)
# 22  0x005eaad4 in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x0000eb44)
# 23  0x005ea71c in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x0000e78c)
# 24  0x005ea630 in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x0000e6a0)
# 25  0x006912a0 in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x000b5310)
# 26  0x005fc164 in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x000201d4)
# 27  0x9318dff0 in __Z23DispatchEventToHandlersP14EventTargetRecP14OpaqueEventRefP14HandlerCallRec + 0x000002B0 (HIToolbox + 0x00006ff0)
# 28  0x9318d748 in __Z30SendEventToEventTargetInternalP14OpaqueEventRefP20OpaqueEventTargetRefP14HandlerCallRec + 0x00000170 (HIToolbox + 0x00006748)
# 29  0x9318d5c4 in _SendEventToEventTargetWithOptions + 0x00000024 (HIToolbox + 0x000065c4)
# 30  0x93226ef8 in __Z16SendMenuPopulateP8MenuDataP20OpaqueEventTargetRefmd + 0x000000D0 (HIToolbox + 0x0009fef8)
# 31  0x93226bbc in __Z15SendMenuOpeningP14MenuSelectDataP8MenuDatadmP14__CFDictionaryhPh + 0x000000D8 (HIToolbox + 0x0009fbbc)
# 32  0x93226808 in __Z11DrawTheMenuP14MenuSelectDataPP9__CFArrayPh + 0x000000A0 (HIToolbox + 0x0009f808)
# 33  0x93226670 in __Z11MenuChangedP14MenuSelectData + 0x000001AC (HIToolbox + 0x0009f670)
# 34  0x932262d8 in __Z15TrackMenuCommonR14MenuSelectDataPh + 0x0000025C (HIToolbox + 0x0009f2d8)
# 35  0x932240b8 in __Z14MenuSelectCoreP8MenuData5PointdmPP13OpaqueMenuRefPt + 0x000000B8 (HIToolbox + 0x0009d0b8)
# 36  0x93223c78 in _MenuSelect + 0x00000060 (HIToolbox + 0x0009cc78)
# 37  0x00608050 in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x0002c0c0)
# 38  0x9318dff0 in __Z23DispatchEventToHandlersP14EventTargetRecP14OpaqueEventRefP14HandlerCallRec + 0x000002B0 (HIToolbox + 0x00006ff0)
# 39  0x9318d748 in __Z30SendEventToEventTargetInternalP14OpaqueEventRefP20OpaqueEventTargetRefP14HandlerCallRec + 0x00000170 (HIToolbox + 0x00006748)
# 40  0x931944e8 in _SendEventToEventTarget + 0x00000024 (HIToolbox + 0x0000d4e8)
# 41  0x93383740 in __Z16HandleMouseEventP14OpaqueEventRef + 0x00000180 (HIToolbox + 0x001fc740)
# 42  0x93194854 in __Z29ToolboxEventDispatcherHandlerP25OpaqueEventHandlerCallRefP14OpaqueEventRefPv + 0x000001EC (HIToolbox + 0x0000d854)
# 43  0x9318e240 in __Z23DispatchEventToHandlersP14EventTargetRecP14OpaqueEventRefP14HandlerCallRec + 0x00000500 (HIToolbox + 0x00007240)
# 44  0x9318d748 in __Z30SendEventToEventTargetInternalP14OpaqueEventRefP20OpaqueEventTargetRefP14HandlerCallRec + 0x00000170 (HIToolbox + 0x00006748)
# 45  0x931944e8 in _SendEventToEventTarget + 0x00000024 (HIToolbox + 0x0000d4e8)
# 46  0x005fe82c in  (MCPZ.stb + 0x0002289c)
# 47  0x0209ccb0 in  (Microsoft Excel + 0x0008bea0)
# 48  0x0209cc14 in  (Microsoft Excel + 0x0008be04)
# 49  0x02010fb4 in  (Microsoft Excel + 0x000001a4)
# 50  0x0282aa70 in  (Microsoft Excel + 0x00819c60)

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