Someone at my work had a problem with Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac crashing whenever they’d go to File > Open inside of Word. If they double-clicked on the file, everything was fine. Not wanting to hunt around through infinite Library folders looking for the offending files and “uninstalling” Office, I found a quick and easy solution online:
According to this site, “This is due to corrupt preferences, specifically the UserName/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist . Quit Word, drag that file to the desktop, and relaunch Word.” That solution worked perfectly for my customer, and they’re back to happily opening files from inside of Office.
Now, if that doesn’t work, there are some additional preferences files you can tweak/delete. You can find that additional troubleshooting advice here.