On February 1, 2018, Microsoft released a non-security update for Office 2016 and Office 365 (version 1801, build 9001.2138)
that appears to change the way that Word reads RTF files. This change is causing Word to hang when a user attempts to open an RTF file that contains a style reference with an applied color that's based on a second style reference that also has an applied color. This happens regardless of whether Workshare is used at any point. We expect this change is also having an impact on many applications that produce RTF files, affecting a large number of businesses. You can test that the issue reproduces without Workshare by following the steps provided at the end of this article.
The change in the Microsoft update affects Workshare in the following ways:
- When the Microsoft patch is installed, Microsoft Word hangs when opening any RTF produced by Workshare Compare or Workshare Compare Server. This happens regardless of whether Workshare is installed.
- When both the Microsoft patch and Workshare Compare are installed, Workshare Compare hangs when saving a redline as a TXT, DOC or DOCX.
There are currently two workarounds available. We're continuing to investigate the issue and will update this article with any new information.
Workaround 1: Uninstall the Microsoft update
This workaround prevents the issue from occurring when saving files from inside Workshare Compare. It also prevents the issue from occurring when opening RTFs in Word, regardless of whether the RTF was created before or after this workaround was applied and regardless of whether the RTF was created with Workshare Compare or Workshare Compare Server.
Follow these steps by Microsoft: How to revert to an earlier version of Office 2013 or Office 2016 Click-to-Run
Workaround 2: Replace Workshare's style template
This workaround prevents the issue from occurring when saving files from inside Workshare Compare. It also prevents the issue from occurring when opening RTFs in Word in cases where the RTF was created with Workshare Compare after
this workaround was applied. This workaround does not prevent the issue from occurring when opening RTFs in Word if the RTF was created before
this workaround was applied or if the RTF was created with Workshare Compare Server.
Workshare has produced a new style sheet that does not contain any styles that cause the issue to reproduce. You can replace the template in the Workshare Modules
folder with this updated template.
- Navigate to the Modules folder:
- 32-bit machines: C:\Program Files\Workshare\Modules
- 64-bit machines: C:\Program Files (x86)\Workshare\Modules
- Locate the existing Template.rtf file and rename it as Template.RTF.old
- Download the new Template.rtf file, attached to the bottom of this article.
- Move the new Template.rtf file into the Modules folder.
- Restart Workshare Compare.
Test the issue
You can test the issue to validate that, even when Workshare is not installed and when Workshare has not produced the RTF, Word hangs.
Attached to the bottom of this article is a document that was not produced with Workshare software. The document includes two style references:
The first style reference (cs11) has an applied color (cf2). The second style reference (cs12) is based on the first style reference (sbasedon11) and also has an applied color (cf3).
In an environment that has the Microsoft update installed:
- Uninstall Workshare
- Download Test.rtf, attached to the bottom of this article.
- Attempt to open Test.rtf in Word. Notice that Word hangs.
If Word does not hang when you try to open this document and you are still experiencing a problem, please log a case.