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Chapter 19. Advanced Document Formatting > Keeping Long Documents Under Control

Keeping Long Documents Under Control

Effectively using Word to handle long documents requires forethought and planning. In previous editions of this book, we strongly recommended that Word users exercise extreme caution with long documents—100 pages or more in length, or more than a megabyte or two in size. That advice was valid for previous Word versions, based on a rich historical record of long documents that were unwieldy, slow to load, and susceptible to corruption.


After using Word 2003, we've become cautiously optimistic that those problems are history. Part of the credit goes to the underlying operating system: Because Office 2003 requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you don't have to worry about crashes caused by older, flakier Windows versions—thank goodness. (In fact, we're willing to bet that many of the document-corruption problems people experienced years ago were caused at least in part by system-resource limitations in Windows 95 and 98.) In addition, today's typical PC configuration is far better suited to big jobs than those that were standard a few years ago; if you have at least 256MB of RAM and a 1GHz or faster CPU, Word's response time should be acceptable even on very large, very complex documents. Finally, the on-line crash reporting tools that debuted in Office XP have paid big dividends in Office 2003; many of the glitches that caused crashes or hangs have been found and fixed in Word 2003.


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