Multiple choice fields get set to default value when saving a document to SharePoint 2007 using Office Word 2003

Had this happen to me at a client’s site. Would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes…

When a user opened an office document (in our case, it was a word document) in Microsoft Office 2003 and then saved it, it reset all of the multi-choice fields to their default values. In fact, it was impossible to save anything but the default values from within Office 2003. The process worked fine in Office 2007… so what was happening?

According to this article, it appears a bug was introduced in SP2 where if the default document Content type (Document) is removed from a document library and replaced with an alternative (eg a content type that inherits from Document), it cannot resolve the multi-choice fields properly and so it resets them to the default property.

There’s a fix for this issue – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971500/ – but it looks like the issue is in a Javascript file called bform.js. The most reliable solution (and one that could be done more easily than installing software and running it through a change control process) is to pull this file from a pre-sp2 install, back up the current version of bform.js and replace it with the earlier version. The file lives in the ..\Template\layouts\1033 directory of the 12 hive (or whatever language ID you are running).

If you want to have a crack at installing the latest cumulative updates, at this time they are KB 974989 and KB 974988.

Update 20091126 – I have just confirmed that dropping in the bform.js file from SP1 resolves this issue. However, I believe you lose some functionality relating to content types in Office 2003 (the reason the file was changed by MS in the first place). Not sure what it was that’s gone, but we are not using it at my current client, so they’re happy. I have dropped both files here in case you are having trouble getting them. Use Compare It! on them to see the changes…

Brad

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About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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