So disheartened

  • I suspect this is in part a misunderstanding. The latest report sounded like a performance problem to me ("15 minutes to put one footnote in my book") but that may have just been referring to Word crashes impeding the process.

    @taylorspencephd, if we're still just talking about Word crashing, could you confirm your exact current versions of both Word and Windows?

    Ultimately a Word crash may be outside of our control — @adomasven will have to comment on whether there's any chance we can do something about that — so there might not be a great answer here other than reinstalling or upgrading to a newer version of Word. But Adomas can probably say more.
  • I am only browsing through the forum but I am interested in learning how to troubleshoot such issues.

    I read your configuration from here ...

    version => 5.0.45, platform => Win32, oscpu => Windows NT 6.1; WOW64, locale => en-US, appName => Zotero, appVersion => 5.0.45, extensions => Zotero LibreOffice Integration (5.0.13.SA.5.0.45, extension), Zotero Word for Windows Integration (5.0.8.SA.5.0.45, extension), Shockwave Flash (, plugin)

    This suggests to me that you have already installed LibreOffice and Zotero extension in Windows?

    Quoting you:

    “I explain it above, but Word has crashed repeatedly, and continues to do so. ”

    I would try this different angle to help pin down the root cause.
    Switch to LibreOffice Writer to open your Word manuscript (backup first) to see if same problems of crashing continues with LibreOffice.

    Note: I am not on Windows and I am running Zotero 5.0.52 on Ubuntu 16.04.
  • @dragonfly Please start a new thread for Word Processor issues.
  • @bwiernik Personally I have no Word Processor issues. The OP has. The suggestion is simply to test if same problems occur with LibreOffice.
  • edited June 23, 2018
    Dear DWL-SDCA,

    In fact, "annoyance and frustration," as you characterized it, do not begin to describe how I feel. Try desperation.

    I have built my entire academic career on Zotero, recommended it to countless colleagues and students, and now you have ruined it. I know that is true, because from 2005 to about 2016, I used it every day and it never crashed, not one time. Now it is nearly unusable because I never know when it is going to crash and when I am going to lose work. I am trying to finish my book manuscript and this is a disaster for me. I have spent much time trying to "debug" my documents, reporting error IDs etc. But the core question is this: why should I have to do this at all? You are the geniuses who invented this software, and presumably you should be able to resolve this issue. And I know that I am not the only one. So why is this my problem? I have hundreds, thousands of documents from previous permutations of Zotero that should work. But they do not now. As I have said earlier and many times. When I have more than 2 word docs open Word crashes. I cannot have my outline and my chapter open at the same time, or Word crashes when I try to add a citation. What else do you need to know? The Debug ID is above from weeks ago. My documents are not the problem, as your debug ID requirement insists. Your software is the problem.I did not change my documents from 2004-2016. You changed Zotero. When I say desperate, I mean it. What I am to do now with a database of more than 5000 references that I cannot use! Your attitude of throwing it back on me is not helpful. I have posted and posted and put debug IDs many times. What else can I do?

    Taylor Spence
  • @dstillman and @bwiernik please see my posts from April of this year when I went through the process of updating my Word, downloading all new Zotero plug ins etc. I have done this already.

    "Ultimately a Word crash may be outside of our control — @adomasven will have to comment on whether there's any chance we can do something about that"

    Really? REALLY? This is the most common WP system there is! Every single thing I have ever written is in Word.

    I really appreciate your help, but the fact that after I did all of those things you have suggested, I still cannot open an old Word document without all my documents crashing, and losing any new work I have made, is just so depressing

  • The point Dan is making is that Word crashes really don’t have anything to do with Zotero. If you are experiencing major crashing issues with opening a document, that points to an issue with Word and not Zotero.
  • I assume you're still using Office 2013 as you stated a while ago in another thread.

    The most current version is 15.0.5041.1001, which was released on June 12, 2018.

    Not sure if that will fix things for you, but it is worth trying. Their April update advertised performance improvements and fixes for bookmarks including those manipulated by macros/plug-ins.

    Word should be robust enough that no plugin should be able to crash it. A plugin may fail, but that failure shouldn't bring down the host program.
  • @taylorspencephd
    There are many causes of PC crashes (sometimes hardware such as memory and sometimes software) and you need to start working on a forensic troubleshooting plan.

    I would try these steps of elimination of causes.

    Does manuscript crash on

    another PC + Word + zotero installation?

    using LibreOffice instead of Word? (see my suggestion some few posts earlier - unanswered).

    and perhaps more difficult steps ...

    Can you run a memory test from your PC?

    If you have two memory boards, shut down PC and remove one memory board.
    Does it work?

    Replace memory board and remove second memory board.
    Does it work?

    The logic here is we are trying to test a faulty memory board by trying one half of the available memory bank.

    The problem could also be a failing disk drive. Can you run a S.M.A.R.T. test on disk drive?


    Other suggestions ..

    Follow Microsoft troubleshooting ..


    Others here deduce that Zotero is not the root cause of your problems.

    Opening your manuscript on a different PC will help prove/disprove this theory.
  • Zotero developers and volunteers are willing to work with you here. Please follow their instructions and answer their questions. Stating that you answered in an earlier post or that you alrady provided a debug id, etc. isn't being fully cooperative on your part. In my 10 or so years of following this forum I do not recall ever seeing a problem go unresolved when a help request was accompanied by orderly and systematically answering questions and conducting the asked-for tests.

    Know that my own questions/suggestions (below) don't necessarily apply as I'm not a developer or someone who is an active volunteer. What I suggest about an installation on a naive computer is what I would do in an attempt to identify the cause of a problem such as yours.

    @dragonfly suggested
    "Opening your manuscript on a different PC will help prove/disprove this theory." I was going to suggest this. Make a copy of your document and oen it on a computer that does not have Zotero. Does the document fail? If it does this suggests that there could be something about the document that is damaged. Make a copy of your document and remove Zotero field codes from the copy. Does the document then lock-up? Are you using non-Zotero macros or other Word add-ins in your document?

    If the document does not fail, try installing Zotero on the new machine and importing your library. If you connect your document on the new machine to your new Zotero and everything works this suggests a memory or disk problem on your original computer.

    Although it has been reported that Word has had problems with very large documents and _sometimes_ particularly so with an add-in like Zotero leading to slow response; many people (myself included) don't have this unfortunate experience.

    It is still not clear what version of Word you are using nor is it clear what operating system version and computer resources you have.
  • I will try all of these things as soon as I am in my office where I can have both my laptop and the desktop open at once, and respond to all the questions you pose then.

    I do appreciate your help, though I am really bummed about this generally.
  • The general issue sounds like you might have a document with corrupt Zotero citations in it, or a broader issue with Word. We need you to work through the questions we pose to be able to figure out what the issue is and how to resolve it.
  • @taylorspencephd Please install the Zotero Beta and see if that works better.
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