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How to Troubleshoot macOS 10.15 Office Issues

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2021-10-27 18:08:55 • Filed to: macOS 10.15 Solutions • Proven solutions

Microsoft's Office products are so ubiquitous that they've even invaded Apple's macOS environment. However, after you buy Microsoft Office for macOS 10.15 and start using it, you may run across various issues. Most of these are easily addressable, and this article shows you how to fix issues with the Office suite for macOS 10.15 - officially known as Catalina - that Apple will drop to all Apple desktop and laptop users on 23 September 2019.

How to Troubleshoot macOS 10.15 Office Issues

Once you download Microsoft Office for macOS 10.15, currently in public beta, you might notice a few issues that other macOS users have reported. The issues might continue even with the public release version of Catalina, so it will help if you know the most common issues seen in Office for macOS 10.15 and how to fix them. Since Microsoft products don't usually play nice with iOS or macOS devices, there are quite a few of them. The top ones are listed here, along with fixes.

1. Application Slow or Crashes Regularly

One of the most frustrating things with any desktop application is that it runs slow, posing a significant hurdle to anyone looking to get their job done quickly. Even worse is a piece of software crashing on you; in such cases, losing unsaved work is a major problem. Here are some ways to fix these issues:

application slow or crashes regularly on macos 10.15

Fix #1: Update your Microsoft Office macOS 10.15 Product Key - If your product is not officially licensed, you may find that it runs slower than it should even though your RAM isn't under any strain from other resource-intensive processes. The obvious fix here is to get a product key to activate your copy of Office. There are several websites that offer generic, master, or OEM product keys that don't have a one-machine-one-license restriction. You can get one of those to activate your product, and see if the issue persists. If it does, move to the next fix.

Fix #2: Upgrade your Microsoft Office Software - If you're running MS Word 2016 for Mac, you might have this same issue cropping up again and again. The icon in the dock will keep bouncing up and down but clicking on it doesn't seem to launch the application properly. Most often you'll need to do a Force Quit by right-clicking on the Word icon and then relaunching it. Instead of doing that all the time, consider upgrading to a higher version of MS Office 2016. The issue is common in version 16.11, but even applying a minor update to version 16.11.1 should do the trick. Oddly enough, this issue is generally seen exclusively with Word 2016 rather than Excel or PowerPoint.

2. Documents Saved in the Wrong Format

Some users have reported that documents that are saved in PDF format sometimes show up as .DOCX files. This typically happens when you're saving documents to a cloud service, specifically, OneDrive, Microsoft's own cloud storage service. There's no permanent fix, unfortunately, but there's a workaround that will fix the problem for a particular file.

Fix:  Rename, Save Locally, Then Save to Cloud - The way to circumvent this problem is to go into OneDrive, change the .docx file extension to .pdf, then switch the location to be saved as local. After that, you need to change it again to OneDrive, which usually fixes the issue.

3. Excel Issues: Format or Extension Not Valid

One of the more frustrating issues with Microsoft Excel for Mac is the problem with permissions. Protected files usually request that you grant permission before they can be opened. This is usually in the form of what is called the Open or User password. The issue with macOS 10.15 Office (Excel only) is that it will ask you for permission even if you didn't set a password, and then the system either freezes or alerts you that the .xlsx file extension is not valid or is the wrong format. Basically, Excel tells you that its own files are of the wrong type!

Fix: Delete a Library File - Microsoft doesn't have a fix for this yet, but they suggest a workaround. The first thing is to Force Quit Excel and then delete a specific file from your library. The file path is ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences, which you can access using the Go To function in the Finder menu. Once there, delete the file called com.microsoft.Excel.securebookmarks.plist by right-clicking and moving to Trash. Relaunch Excel, and the problem should have gone away temporarily. You may need to do it each time you face the issue until Microsoft releases a permanent fix.

4. Font Problems in Office 2016 Version 16.9 for macOS 10.15

There's a weird issue that occurs in this specific version of Office 2016 for Mac. What happens is that your fonts get all messed up. At times one font will appear as another, or looks like garbled text, or certain fonts might even be missing from the drop-down list. The problem is that you may have multiple copies of the same font loaded in your Mac, which causes errors with the Font Picker in Office. Here's the fix.

office font problems on macos 10.15

Fix: Set Active Copy for Fonts - First, open the Font Book app on your Mac. This can be found in the Applications folder in Finder. You can also search for and select it using Spotlight. Once it's open, choose the All Fonts option in the left sidebar menu and click the information icon, which is a lower case letter "i". If you know which font is causing the issue, click and expand it in the center panel. Make sure that only the latest versions are set to On. However, first, turn every version to On, and then where you see the warning message on the right-side panel, click on Resolve Manually and pick the most recent version. This is what is known as the Active Copy. Close Font Book, go back to the Office application where you first faced the issue, and see if it's resolved.


The Best PDF Editor for Mac to Complement Office for macOS 10.15 Catalina

The Office suite is incomplete if you don't have a robust PDF editor. Since Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are generally saved as PDF for easy portability and sharing, you'll need something like PDFelement to round out the experience. This is a powerful piece of software that costs a fraction of what you would pay for the same features in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. It contains all the features typically used in an office environment, such as signing PDF contracts and agreements, filling or creating forms, redacting confidential information when sharing internal documents with outsiders, securing and encrypting PDF documents, and much more.

pdfelement on mac os 10.15

As a matter of fact, the matches Adobe Acrobat's product feature for feature, providing users with editing, annotation, page management, merging, and other essential tools to increase your productivity and speed up the workflow in your office. Although Word does have some basic PDF functionality, it can only convert from Word to PDF. On the other hand, PDFelement is a dedicated PDF management software that offers bulk conversions from and to multiple other formats, OCR (optical character recognition), data extraction from scanned forms and documents, and other essential capabilities. If you have macOS systems in your workplace and have opted for Microsoft Office for Mac, then PDFelement is an equally essential productivity tool.

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Margarete Cotty

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