Word integration crashes - Report ID 95943338

JavaScript Error: "The RPC server is unavailable."

In a clean document, after adding some text (1.5 pages) and a couple of references in APA 7th ed, Zotero prompts with"Zotero experienced an error updating your document." After clicking the prompt box, the document crashes. Sometimes also Word itself crashes.

Word 2102, Zotero 5.0.96, Windows 10

Depending on the document, I also get error messages about illegal javascript function calls. The test document resides on the Desktop.

I have now spent several days trying to locate the problem. The crash seems to be generated by javascript bug (uncatched exception) but it might have something to do with Word styles that I have to use in the document. In any case, this makes Zotero unusable.

At first, I though the problem was with Word pagination as it seemed that reducing footnotes to less than 4 lines solved the problem. The error, however, is reproducible with a short document with no footnotes.
  • Do you use any highly custom/specific Word styles? Can you reproduce the issue by using the default Word styles? Can you reproduce the Word crash by following the same steps consistently in a new document?
  • There are custom Word styles, and that seems to be part of the problem. The styles, however, are relatively normal looking.

    I was able to copy the 1.5 page document onto Word blank template doc, with a couple of the custom styles, and the error went away. So probably an interaction with styles and something else. I noticed earlier that the crash also happened without inserting Zotero references, simply by editing long footnotes or other text (which had already many citations inserted). In that case, at the time of crash, Word kept on flickering between pages. Could Zotero have problems in locating the citation if pagination is not stable?
  • With another document, I was able to insert new references in the first few pages. Then comes a critical point, after which a new reference crashes to doc.

    The error messages are different, in Report ID 771381956, but start with RPC.
  • edited 19 days ago
    If you have a document where the crashing can be reproduced consistently please email it to support@zotero.org

    Recent Word update notes suggest that they have fixing some issues with Word hanging/freezing. I don't know more details about that, but that suggests that there may be more bugs to fix (or related bugs introduced) as part of Word updates.
  • Test doc sent.
  • @ilkkaT I could not reproduce the crash. When opening the document, however, I got prompted about a "Word hyphenation feature" that I did not have installed. Apparently you can run the Office setup to add/remove it. I suggest you try removing/disabling this feature and seeing whether it fixes it. Otherwise all I can say is that whatever is causing the crashing is configuration specific to your system and you will have to do individual troubleshooting. It's worth trying to disable any proprietary security software you have installed as well as testing in a new user account.
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