WD: Word Displays Error Message or Hangs When Formatting Table

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Article ID: 108456 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you format a table (or when you use the AutoFormat command to format the table automatically), Microsoft Word may stop processing the table editing and formatting commands, and either your computer may stop responding or one of the following error messages may appear:

  • There is not enough memory to update display.

  • The formatting in this document is too complex.
This problem may occur even when the document is the only open document and Word is the only program running.


Microsoft Word runs out of memory while you format a table in page layout view because both tables and page layout view use a large amount of memory.

When you perform extensive formatting on a table (such as splitting the table, merging cells, or modifying the height and width of rows and columns), Word quickly runs out of memory.


To restore the memory so you can continue formatting your table, perform either or both of the following steps:

  • Perform a full save of the document; that is, turn off the Allow Fast Saves option. To turn off the Allow Fast Saves option, on the Tools menu click Options (click Preferences in Word 98 Macintosh Edition), click the Save tab, and click to clear the Allow Fast Saves check box.

  • Switch to normal view by clicking Normal on the View menu.
IMPORTANT: If you continue to work without doing a full save of the document or switching to normal view, the error message may reappear and your computer may stop responding.

If your computer stops responding, you need to close Microsoft Word. To do this, use the appropriate method for your operating system.

Microsoft Windows 95

  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL on the keyboard to display the Close Program dialog box.
  2. Click to select "Microsoft Word (not responding)."
  3. Click End Task to close Microsoft Word.


  2. Click Force Quit to close Microsoft Word.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


Article ID: 108456 - Last Review: October 21, 2013 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 6.0a
  • Microsoft Word 6.0c
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 95a
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 98 for Macintosh
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