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>>>>And Word -- in my experience -- flaked out as soon as I hit 30 pages. (You might get more if there aren't graphics involved.)

Kate: I haven't tried any huge Word files involving graphics yet (although I will very soon), but I wrote my novel in Word and had no troubles with it. Mostly I have been working in Tms New Rmn with 1.5-line spacing, which resulted in a 213 pp. length. If I switch to double-space Courier, the total runs up to nearly 400 pp. So far no problems.

Last year I had to create a document at work that was 278 pages of text and graphics (the filesize was over 50MB). I used WordPro with a master file and individual chapter files and it worked like a champ. Later this year I'm going to have to make a similar document in Word. With the reported problems using master files in Word, I'm not sure how well it will turn out, but I'm crossing my fingers.

As for your problems with 30+ pp. Word docs, what OS are/were you using, and how much memory do you have? I suspect that Win 2K or XP Professional would be preferable for juggling large documents in memory than would Win 9x or XP Home, and 384MB or more of RAM would probably be better than 256MB or less. (A lot of the performance problems and flakiness I'd been having at work went away when I was able to upgrade from 128MB to 384MB.)

Also, the version of Word might make a difference. I'm using Word 2000. Word '97 might not work as well with newer OSes (such as XP), and Word 2003 might not work as well on older OSes. (Just a guess, though.)

There are all sorts of things that could cause the kinds of problems that you were seeing that may have nothing to do with software bugs. (Not that I'd ever claim Word to be bug-free....)

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