Word for Mac - save as PDF fails with internet connection error on large document

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Apologies if this is a duplicate.  I thought I posted a couple days ago but I haven't seen any indication it posted.

 

I have a friend who recently replaced their Mac which upgraded Word for Mac to 2019.  Since that time , he is unable to save the document as a PDF.  The error says "Can't export file.  There was a problem connecting to the internet."

 

Reducing the document size below 4MB allows the save as PDF to work properly.  Any suggestions on what can be done to fix this are appreciated.  NOTE: No other indications of "internet issues".  He can download and upload files with no issue at all and reduction of the document size fixes the problem.

 

Details:

macOS Monterey 12.0.1

Word for Mac 2019 16.55

privacy setting "Turn on optional connected experiences" is checked

during the save as the option "optimize for online use" is checked - with the smaller document, the export works and the hyperlinks also work

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