Several Ways to Fix a Corrupt Word Document

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q I’ve got a Word document that appears to be corrupt. I suspect there’s a problem because, although I can open the file, it will not respond to several commands, such as Ctrl+F (Find and Replace). Is there some way I can repair it?

 

A This is a tricky area. There are several methods—and often one of them will work for you, but there’s no guarantee. If these methods don’t work, and the file is critical, refer it to a tech expert.

 

Method 1: This one works in Word 2003 and 2007. Go to File, Open and select the file, but don’t open it. Instead, go to the bottom right of the File Open dialog box, and press the down button and click on Open and Repair (see screenshot at left).

 

Method 2: This works on the theory that whatever is corrupted is often contained inside the formatting of the last paragraph (which is bundled in the paragraph symbol shown on the right). Open a new blank document. Return to the corrupted document and press Ctrl+A to select the entire document. Then hold down the Shift key as you press the left arrow key until the last paragraph is no longer highlighted. Then press Ctrl+C to copy the rest of the document. What that does is copy all of the document except what may be the source of the corruption in the formatting icon at the end of the document. Finally, go to the new document and press Ctrl+V to paste it there and save it with a different name.

 

Method 3: Open the document and save it as a Web Page (see screenshot at right). Be careful not to save as a Web Page, Filtered or you will lose all formatting.

 

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