To add one more point, the file is there on my desktop but on trying to open it says "There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired.
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I would suggest saving periodically, not after 4 hrs of work. Also, use Save As, particularly if you are having such problems. Save as a new PDF name so that you do not lose your latest work. You should be able to alternate between saves. I would always keep the original intact. Other than that, you would need to identify what is causing the shut down.
As you have seen, documents with high page counts and large file sizes can become unstable. Adding several hundred comments to such a document further contributes to the problem. It's a great feature that everyone loves, but it's not omnipotent, as you have seen! To avoid this, I always recommend regular exporting of comments to an .fdf file, and always PRIOR to regular saves. That way, if your files does crash for some reason, the comments can easily be re-imported. It's also advisable to have a backup, pre-annotation version of your document, as a matter of course.
Other issues to be aware of are file size, CPU usage and, most importantly, available memory. These are usually the culprits in situations like the one you described, although they provide no advance warning. In fact, the warning is usually when the file becomes unstable and behaves exactly as you described. Although your machine may meet the minimum systems requirements to run Acrobat X, when you get into this type of workflow, there is much more at play than most users initially realize. I wish there was better information available to warn users in advance about these these situations, but I did address these issues extensively in my book, "The PDF Litigation Guide."
Hope that helps!
PDF Litigation Solutions, LLC
thanks for the feedback
thanks for the feedback. I am also experimenting now with foxit phantompdf