WD: Memory and Disk Requirements for Converting in Mac Word

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When saving in a non-Word file format, Word for the Macintosh caches data in the form of temporary files onto the disk. Therefore, to save a file in a non-Word format, you must have enough disk space for temporary files and the saved document. During conversion, if there is not enough disk space available for the conversion, Word displays the error message:
Not Enough Memory; Please close other applications and retry.


The size and number of temporary files needed to save a file in a foreign format vary depending on the size of the Word document to convert, the presence of graphics or embedded objects in the document (known as a compound document), and the physical size of the converter and its supporting components (if any).

Word's external file format converters require enough memory to accommodate approximately half the converter's size as well as approximately 24 kilobytes (KB) for processing data. This requirement, therefore, varies depending upon the physical size of the converter and its supporting components (if any). Additionally, more memory may be required to process features (such as bookmarks and tables of contents) that frequently appear in large quantity within documents.

Because converters are limited to a maximum of 64 KB for internal data processing, the converters keep most of the document data in temporary files on disk when converting a document to or from Word. Word retains document data in a temporary file and reassembles it at the end of the conversion process.

The following example demonstrates the temporary files created during a file conversion. After you enter a document name, select a file format from the Save File As Type list, and choose Save, the following process takes place:

  1. Word creates a temporary file in the originating directory. This is a copy of the file in the Interchange Format, or Rich Text Format (RTF).

    If the converter detects a compound document, it creates another temporary file in which to store OLE objects for conversion. This file is also stored in the originating directory.
  2. The converter writes the output file in the non-Word format. Word saves this file in the destination you specify in the Save As dialog box.
  3. Word deletes the temporary file created in step 1.

    In the case of a compound document, the converter creates a temporary file, located in the originating directory, to store OLE objects that were saved in the final output file. This file exists so that after the conversion is complete and the document appears on the screen, Word can still display the embedded objects in the document. When the converted document is closed, this temporary file is deleted.
  4. Word deletes the temporary file (Word Temp #) created in step 1.


Article ID: 115398 - Last Review: November 21, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Word 4.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 5.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 5.1 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 98 for Macintosh
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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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