Microsoft KB Archive/105781

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Relationship Between Available Disk Space and Conversions


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Word for Windows, version 6.0


Word 6.0 for Windows creates temporary files necessary for the conversion of Word for Windows documents into other file formats. To successfully convert a Word document, you must have enough available disk space to accommodate the temporary file, the normal document file, and the final converted file.


The size and number of these files will vary with the size and type of the Word document you are converting. The drive containing the temporary (TEMP) directory (specified in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file by SET TEMP=) will require the most space. The drive where the file is saved will require enough space for the final converted file. If a drive does not contain adequate space, a "Cannot write file" error will occur.

Documents containing OLE objects ("compound documents") require extra temporary files to store the objects for conversion. The process of conversion is as follows (steps required for compound documents are denoted by "*").

After you specify a name and select an alternative file format in the File Save As dialog box, and choose the OK button, the following occurs:

 1. Word creates a temporary file in the TEMP directory. This file is
    the document in rich-text format (RTF).

*2. The converter reads this file and creates a temporary file to
    store OLE objects for conversion. This file is stored in the TEMP
    directory. The size of this file is dependent upon the number and
    type of OLE objects.

 3. The converter creates the final output file in the specified
    format. This file is located in the drive and directory specified
    in File Save As dialog box.

 4. Word deletes the temporary file created in step 1.

*5. The converter creates a temporary file to store OLE objects that
    were saved in the final output file. This file is located in the
    TEMP directory.

    Word accesses OLE objects via the OLE docfiles** specification. At
    this point the converted document is still open in Word.
    Therefore, Word must create a file in the docfiles format so that
    objects can be displayed or activated.

    When the document is closed, the temporary file is deleted.

*6. Word deletes the temporary file created in step 2. 
    • "Docfiles" is a file format, specified by the OLE 2.0 specification, that allows for the implementation of OLE processes. In this format objects are saved in "data streams" (similar in concept to subdirectories of main directories in the MS-DOS file model) separate from the main application file stream.

Converting a file (not of Word 6.0 format) by opening it within Word causes the creation of a temporary file (step 5) if the originating file contains OLE objects.

Additional query words: 6.0 can't save file disk error APPSCONV word6 winword object linking embedding

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Last Reviewed: November 4, 2000
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