OS X

Bugs & Fixes: Failure to launch bugs

This week, Apple released updates to its Final Cut and Logic products. (Macworld has extensive coverage of the new features in Logic as well as the Final Cut Studio suite.)

If you install these programs on your Mac and later use Migration Assistant to transfer your data to a new Mac, you will likely find that these apps no longer open on the new Mac, crashing on launch instead. What happened? As explained by Apple, “Final Cut Studio (2009) and Logic Studio (2009) install a newer version of the ProKit framework, which the Mac OS X 10.5 Migration Assistant does not migrate.” Oops. Fortunately, the fix is simple: Go to Software Update and install the ProKit update that should appear there.

This is just the latest in a string of similar issues that can and often do result from using Migration Assistant. Almost the exact same problem occurs with Aperture 2. And, as I noted several weeks ago, iLife ’08 and ’09 applications may not launch after a migration because the latest version of the iLife Media Browser does not migrate. The solution here is to install the latest iLife Media Browser update.

Also released this week was Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 (12.2.0). As is typical, you install it via the Microsoft AutoUpdate application. While installing the update will not result in any of the Office applications failing to launch, Microsoft confirms that it may prevent the programs from opening certain Office files.

The problem primarily occurs with documents saved in the XML format. As this is the default format used by all Office 2008 applications (Word .docx, Excel .xlsx, and PowerPoint .pptx or .ppsx), this is hardly a trivial matter. However, as Microsoft further explains, the symptom occurs only with XML documents that attempt to “abide by an interpretation of the ISO29500 Office Open XML (OOXML) standard” (see this Wikipedia page for more on exactly what this means).

The specific symptom is that, when you try open any of the affected documents, an error message pops up claiming that: “You may have to download the latest updates for Office for Mac.” As you’ve just installed the latest update, something clearly seems amiss. Still, Microsoft advises checking again for a possible update. (Perhaps the company is working on one right now.)

Otherwise, the workaround is to resave the file in a “format other than Open XML. For example, you can save the file in the .xls, .doc, or .ppt file format.” Of course, if you can’t open the file, you can’t resave it, so the advice is a bit of a Catch-22. Potential solutions are to open and resave the file on a machine running a Windows version of Office or use a Mac program that can open Office files (such as using Numbers to open problem Excel documents).

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