Microsoft Office Word: Basic problem solving tools for when unexpected things happen

Just like many other trades and professions, the Microsoft Office Word support engineer uses a basic set of tools on a daily basis. But while carpenters, cooks, gardeners, and auto mechanics might use physical tools to solve problems, the Word support engineer's basic tools are a set of Microsoft Knowledge Base articles related to Word.

These three Knowledge Base articles are the basic tools that we use on a daily basis to solve or narrow down most of the unexpected problems that a person might encounter with Word.
KB 259413 "How to troubleshoot problems that may occur when you start or work in Word 2000, in Word 2002, and in Word 2003"
When I first started working as a support engineer for Word, I literally kept a printed copy of KB 259413 next to my computer so that I could refer to it in the event that our support center might experience network connectivity issues while I was on the phone with a customer. Only recently did I discard that coffee-stained, dried-paper copy of the article.
KB 259413 includes information about how to recognize when a printer driver, antivirus software, a damaged file, a damaged template, damaged registry keys, a Word customization, a video driver, a damaged Office DLL file, or a non-essential service might be causing Word to behave badly.
A carpenter might pick a hammer and a cook might pick a good cutting knife, but if I were to pick a single tool to help me with my job, KB 259413 is the one.
KB 826864 "How to troubleshoot damaged Word documents"
Files of any kind can become damaged. Complicated files that you open and modify again and again stand a higher chance of becoming damaged. Backing up your files on a regular basis is always a good idea.
Fortunately, it is usually possible to recover some or most of the content in a damaged Word document, or in the very least the text from the document. KB 826864 walks you through how to recover a damaged document.
316951 "How to recover a lost Word document"
If you do your work on a laptop, it's less likely that you will ever need to recover a lost document. A "lost document" means exactly what it says: the document is lost and you can't find it. This can happen if you're working on a document and then suddenly the power goes out or something unfortunate happens that causes Word to quit. KB 316951 will help you to find the AutoRecover and temporary files that might have been created for the lost document before the document became lost.
If you’re not frequently saving changes to your document, however, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to recover the lost document. Save your work frequently and back up your files.

Author for the post: - Ryan Christiansen