Oct 062010

I had a fairly scary experience yesterday when I was making a new index for the latest version of my ebook Business Success for Freelance Translators (the new title for How To Earn $80,000+ per year as a Freelance Translator.) Basically what happened was, after updating the index with the new concordance file, some of the links in the book were mangled.

And after generating a PDF of the text, the original Word file could no longer be opened. 😥

“Eek.” 😮 I hear you say. All that work lost? Well not quite. Only about an hour’s work lost actually. I’ve been using computers for over 30 years and I don’t really trust them an inch. So when I’m working on something really important I usually save a new version of the file every time I make substantial changes (say more than an hour or two of work). Consequently, I had a version of the file that had been spell-checked, but not paginated or indexed. So all I had to do was repaginate, save the file as a new version and then do the indexing again.

Once indexed, and saved, the file wouldn’t open. :teeth: No problem. Back to the spell-checked and paginated version. I found a macro to strip out all the previous index entry codes, applied this, made a new index from scratch, saved the file, made a PDF version et voila. PDF version is fine, but the indexed file still will not open in Word 2007.

I’ve got no idea why this is, and it’s not the end of the world, but it is a bit of a nuisance. Perhaps it’s something to do with it being a legacy file that’s been updated and updated since the orginial version in 1998 through various different versions of Word (including Mac versions from my US editor).

It doesn’t really matter. No significant amount of work has been lost, and I got to my destination (a publishable PDF). But it was a bit scary for a while, until I thankfully realised I had oodles of older versions to go back to.

Computers are great, but don’t trust them an inch when it comes to valuable work.

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