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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Computer Software Engineer
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 1081
Experience:  B.S. Electrical & Computer Engineering, 20+ years technical experience
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Hello. I have Microsoft Office 2011 for MAC and have updated

Customer Question

Hello. I have Microsoft Office 2011 for MAC and have updated the original application but cannot open any of my documents. Microsoft Excel (or Word) Error Report comes up with the Error Signature: Exception: EXC_BAD_ACCESS. I have clicked to report to Microsoft but it doesn't seem to go. Can you help
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Microsoft Office
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Dan :

Hi there my name is Dan and I will be helping you with your problem today

Dr. Dan :

Please see the following to troubleshoot this error:

Dr. Dan :

This is a complicated error with several options to fix. It could be a simple fix of deleting preference files to repairing your drive.

With all Office applications shut down:

1) Delete Preferences then restart your computer.

In your User's Library/Preferences

  1. Delete the plist file for app that is crashing:
  2. Microsoft/Office 2011 (the whole folder)

2) If removing preferences fails....

If the following files exist, Remove or rename them:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Word Settings (10)

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Word Settings (11)

Note: After updating Office 2011 to Service Pack 2 (SP2 14.2.0) you'll need to look in their new location. The Old files were nor removed.

Old location
~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2011

New location
~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Preferences/Office 2011

Normal Template:

1) Track down all instances of pre-2008 Normal template on your computer, and drag them to your desktop. The file is called simply "Normal" and has no extension.

2) Find and drag the file Normal.dotm to your desktop. Unless you have moved it, it should be in

~ /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/

Re-start computer after removing files.

3) Run Repair Permissions Don't run from CD. Updates contain a newer versions of the application's permissions.

  1. Open Disk Utility in your Applications/Utility folder.
  2. Click on the First Aid tab and select Repair Permissions
  3. Click on the icon for your boot volume.
  4. Click the repair permissions button.

4) Repair Drive using Disk Utility

To repair your startup disk, you must startup from your Mac OS X Install disc or another drive on which Mac OS X is installed.

Choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu at the top of the screen.


Open Disk Utility

  • Click on the First Aid tab.
  • Select your drive from the sidebar
  • Select Repair Disk
  • Restart computer normally


5) Download and run Apple Combo

It wouldn't hurt to download and run the latest Apple combo over your current install. A combo goes back and refreshes all files. More info

Dr. Dan :

Reference: for screenshots of the above instructions

Dr. Dan :

I would work through these options first to try to get that working and let me know if it helps out

JACUSTOMER-0fn6etzp- :

I am assuming I start at #3 to run repair permissions, is that correct. I am on my way to lunch and will respond when I return. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-0fn6etzp- :

Oops I just scrolled up to see the entire response. I will go from #1.

Dr. Dan :

Great, start from 1-5 and keep me updated on your progress

Dr. Dan :

I will be notified when you respond and will try to get back to you as soon as possible

Dr. Dan :

but we'll be able to communicate at any time in this space

Dr. Dan :

You can bookmark this page:

Dr. Dan :

This return to this conversation

JACUSTOMER-0fn6etzp- :

Hi Dan: This might be the beginning of a long process... I cannot find the User's Library/Preferences.... Or at least there is nothing in there for microsoft. Don't find the plist either. What am I doing wrong?

JACUSTOMER-0fn6etzp- :

Hi Dan: Tried to get back to you yesterday as none of the plists are here unless I am looking in the wrong place. Can you please help!!!

Dr. Dan :

Click on your user account (your name with a picture of a house next to it in the sidebar of a Finder window), then go to Library>Preferences and you will find the Microsoft folder in there for steps 1 and 2