Troubleshooting Classic on Macs

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Are you having a hard time using Wordfast Classic (WFC) in Word 2011? Here is some advice.


First of all, make sure a recent WFC version is properly installed. Unlike other supported Microsoft Word versions, Word 2011 does not let WFC auto-start from its Startup folder when Word is launched. WFC can only be installed manually under Word 2011.

Important: If you attempted to install WFC in Word 2011 by double-clicking file or opening it in Word in any other way or if you think you may have installed WFC incorrectly for any other reason, use Finder to locate and delete all instances of file to start with a clean slate.

To start using WFC properly in Word 2011, these two steps need to be followed for the first time:

  1. Unzip the download and save the file in a fully accessible folder. I recommend using a folder you created; use a simple path and no accented or special characters, something like MacHD:Wordfast or MacHD:Users:david:Wordfast (of course, your Mac shows your user name, not necessarily david).
  2. Launch Word 2011. Click Templates and Add-Ins in the Tools menu. Click Add... and navigate to the folder where you placed the file. Select the file and click Open. It will be listed among Templates and Add-Ins now. Make sure it's checked (ticked, activated). And that's it! WFC is ready to work.

Next time you launch Word and want to use WFC, simply click Templates and Add-Ins in the Tools menu and activate

Note: You may notice is identified as Ms Word 1997-2004 template in Finder. Don't worry; that's OK. Word 2011 has no problem working with this file type, while it ensures WFC compatibility with older Word versions.

Eliminate all traces of older MS Word installations

Experience shows Wordfast tends to have difficulty running reliably under Word 2011 if your Word 2011 is installed on a Mac where Word 2008 or any older Word version was previously installed. We recommend removing all traces of older Word versions – the most important ones are probably the template and Word-related preference files (see below).

Note: if you willingly keep an older version of Microsoft Word installed next to Word 2011 on your Mac, it may work well if you know what you are doing. It's difficult to help trouble-shoot such systems, though.

Deleting template

MS Word saves some user settings in a file called Normal.dotm (in Word 2011) or (in older Word:Mac versions). This global Word template can get corrupted, causing all sorts of problems. Fortunately, you can delete the template, which forces Word to create a new one, with fresh, default settings. Note that this means you can lose some of your user settings in Word (such as your own macros or auto-correct entries). Search the web for if you want details.

To delete the template, quit Word and locate the file. Make sure Finder includes system files in the search. Delete all instances (or move them to a backup folder if you want to be on the safe side). Launch MS Word and see if it helped.

Deleting preference files

Just like with the Normal template, corrupted Word-related preference files might cause problems, too. The cure is the same: quit Word, search for the files (again, instruct Finder to look at System Files, too – see the box above), and delete the files (or move them to a backup folder).

There is a number of Word-related preference files. You can find them by searching for ".plist" and then looking at those whose name starts with The standard Word-related preference files are:


When you start Word after deleting these files, they will be re-created, with default values (they do no need to be re-generated immediately, as MS Office creates them when it needs them).

There may be other Microsoft Office-related preference files, such as:


You can delete these, too, especially if the above does not help.

Slowness? Quit the CEIP

If Wordfast is very slow under Word 2011, try changing a setting. Access Preferences in Word 2011. Click Feedback. Select No, I don't want to participate at this time and click OK to confirm you don't want to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. That's it. Quitting the CEIP might prevent Wordfast from being slow under Word 2011.

If the problem persists...

If none of this helps, contact the Wordfast team for help or post in one of the Wordfast user forums.

When you do so, it's a good idea to paste the Wordfast setup report in your message. To generate the report, launch MS Word, load WFC but do not open the Wordfast window and do not start any translation session. Instead, press Ctrl+Alt+P.