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Six Ways to Restore (Fix) Corrupted Word (.doc/.docx) Files

by Edwin Liu | June 12, 2013 18:30 PM (Updated 02/29/2016)
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When you open a Word document, if the Word program does not respond or just give you heaps of symbols, the Word document has probably been corrupted, then, please try the six methods mentioned in this article, maybe they can help you recoup all or part of the losses.

1. Abstradrome Office Regenerator

Abstradrome Office Regenerator is a small software which can be used to restore (fix) the damaged Microsoft Word files. It well supports various versions of Microsoft Word including Word 97/XP/2000/2003/2007/2010/2013. When you open a Word file but get an error message saying that Word can’t open the file as it was corrupted, or the contents in your Word are turned to garbage due to a virus infection, you could try this software to restore (fix) your damaged Word files. It is very effective.

Directly download the free edition of Abstradrome Office Regenerator

2. Using the Special-purpose Repair feature

  1. Start Word.
  2. On the file menu, Click Open.
  3. In the Open dialog box, locate your Word document from the list of the folder, and then click to select your word document.
  4. Click the down arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

Only Word 2003 has the “Open and repair” feature, if you still can not open your damaged document in this way, or you are a Word 97/2000 user, you can try the following methods.

3. Text extraction method

  1. On the Tools menu, click the Options.
  2. On the General tab to select the Confirm Conversion at Open check box and then click OK.
  3. Click Open on the file menu, select Recover Text from Any File (*. *) in the Files of type box.
  4. Open the document as usual.

When you open your damaged document using this way and the content of document display confusion, please continue to the following work.

4. Convert the format of your document

Convert your Word document to another format, and then convert it back, it is the simplest and most complete document recovery method; please always try this method first.

  1. Open the damaged Word document.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. In the Save as type box, click Rich Text Format (RTF). And then click Save.

5. Copy all contents except paragraph mark to a new document

Word use the paragraph mark, which is located at the end of each paragraph, to store the formatting information of the paragraphs, fonts and sections, therefore, we can consider copying all contents in Word document except the paragraph mark to a new document to leave the corrupted contents in the original document. Proceed as follows:

  1. Open the corrupted document in Word. Click the Microsoft Office Button -> Word Options -> Advanced, Under Editing options, clear the Use smart paragraph selection check box.
  2. Press the Ctrl+End key combination, and then the Ctrl+Shift+Home to choose all contents except paragraph mark, and then press Ctrl+C key combination.
  3. Go to File, and then click Blank Document to create a new document.
  4. Press Ctrl+V key combination to paste the contents to the new document.

6. Create a new Normal.dot template in Word

Most of default settings of Word are stored in the Normal.dot file. If the Normal.dot file get damaged, there may be odd stuff in the Word document, then, please create a new Normal.dot template. Proceed as follows:

  1. Close Word.
  2. Use Windows Start menu to search for all the Normal.dot files, and then rename or delete the found Normal.dot files. For example, in Windows 7, click Run, and type “normal.dot” in the search box to let the search engine to scour your computer looking for the target files, after that, right click the file named as “normal” or “normal.dot” and choose Open File Location from the context menu, then click the file’s name and type a new name such as “Normal.old”.
  3. Run Word. Because Word can’t recognize the renamed Normal.dot template file, it will create a new Normal template automatically. After that, please try to open your corrupted Word file to see if it can be opened correctly.


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