Word 2007 under Wine crashes when changing a font

In my previous post I noted that “… Word, Excel and PowerPoint… ran more-or-less flawlessly…” in Office 2007 installed under Wine. The more-or-less qualifier was because I still had an issue trying to change the default Calibri font to Times New Roman. In particular, this caused Word to crash with the error message: “Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close”.

This is a result of a long-standing bug (Bug #37390) in Wine. By default, Mint provides Version 1.6.2 of Wine; however, later versions still seem to be subject to the same bug. In particular, Mosaab Alzoubi, on 2017-01-01, noted in a comment on this bug report that the bug was “Still in Wine 2.0 rc2”.

Now, my problem, is that (a) I never use the default Calibri font, and (b) I use Time New Roman extensively. So, how can I make the switch to Times New Roman in my documents?

My workaround was to replace the default document template (Normal.dotm) in Linux with the template file extracted from my Windows installation. The latter has Times New Roman set as the default font so that any new documents use my preferred font. With this template available in Linux, I have no need to change the font and hence I can avoid the crash!

The template files are buried deep in the file structure. In Windows, Normal.dotm can be found at:

C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Template

I made a copy of this file and stored it in the Linux folder:

/home/{user name}/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Office2007/drive_c/users/{user name}/Application Data/Microsoft/Templates

(Clearly, in the above folder locations, {user name} should be replaced by your actual user name for either Windows or Linux as appropriate.)

Now, on my Linux system, when Word is launched, 12 pt Times New Roman is set as the default font.

The other, fairly good news is that Word doesn’t seem to mind me switching to a number of other fonts, such as Courier New or Comic Sans MS. The trick here is to only change the font away from Times New Roman if you are certain this is what you want to do. Word will crash if you change the font and then try to change the text back to Times New Roman!

References:

Office 2007 and Wine Revisited
https://linuxnorth.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/office-2007-and-wine-revisited/

Word 2007: crashes when choosing a font
https://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=37390

Change the Normal template (Normal.dotm )
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Change-the-Normal-template-Normal-dotm-06de294b-d216-47f6-ab77-ccb5166f98ea

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