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How to troubleshoot damaged documents in Word for Mac
Article ID: 285393 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q285393
This article provides troubleshooting procedures that you can use to identify damaged files in Microsoft Word for Mac and, in some cases, recover such files.
Damaged document files can cause any program to exhibit unusual behavior. Such behavior occurs because the program is receiving incorrect information from the damaged file.
How to Identify a Damaged FileDamaged files often cause behavior that is not part of the program design--for example, infinite repagination, incorrect document layout and formatting, unreadable characters on the screen, error messages during processing, system hangs or crashes when you load or view the file, or any other unusual behavior that cannot be attributed to the normal operation of the program. These behaviors also can be caused by factors other than document damage. To rule out other factors, follow these troubleshooting tips:
The AutoRecover feature in Word for Mac attempts to automatically recover text from a document that was open when Word for Mac stopped responding. When you restart Word for Mac after it stops responding (hangs), a dialog box will be displayed with the following message:
Word encountered file damage while opening File Name. Part of this document may be recoverable. Attempt Recovery Now?NOTE: This recovery may take some time, depending on the size of the document and the amount of damage in the document.
After the document is recovered, immediately use the Save As command on the File menu to save the document with a new file name. This ensures that the original document will be available for other recovery attempts. This automatic recovery method strips all formatting, graphics, and objects from the document.
Other methods listed later in this article may allow you to recover more of your original formatting from the damaged document.
For more information about the AutoRecover feature, see the "Prevent Loss of Word and Recover Lost Documents" topic in Word for Mac Help.
How to Correct a Damaged DocumentThere are several techniques you can use to try to correct a damaged document. The method that you use depends on the type and severity of the damage and the type of behavior that is exhibited. Although many of these methods succeed regularly, not every damaged document can be recovered. Keeping a backup copy of a document is the best way to ensure its recovery.
The following troubleshooting procedures are divided into two sections: "If the File Can Be Opened in Word for Mac" and "If the File Cannot Be Opened in Word for Mac." Use the appropriate section for your situation.
If the File Can Be Opened in Word for MacIf you can open the file in Word for Mac, use one of the following methods.
Method 1: Convert the File to Another FormatConvert the file to another format, and then convert it back to its native format.
This is the easiest and most complete document recovery method; always try it first. Save the file in Rich Text Format (RTF). This format preserves the formatting in your Word for Mac document. After you save the file in RTF, reopen the file in Word for Mac, and then convert it from RTF. If this method succeeds, the file damage is removed during conversion.
To save the file as RTF, follow these steps:
For additional information about loss of Visual Basic for Applications code in Word for Mac documents that are converted to other file formats, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/184153/ )WD98: VBA Code Lost After Converting to Another Document Format
Method 2: Copy Everything Except the Last Paragraph Mark to a New DocumentWord for Mac associates a wide variety of formatting with the last paragraph mark, especially section and style formatting. If you copy everything in the file, except the last paragraph mark, to a new file, the damage may be left behind in the original document.
To copy everything except the last paragraph mark in the document, follow these steps:
Method 3: Copy the Undamaged Portions of the File to a New FileSometimes you can determine the location of damage in your file by looking at the file or testing the file to determine when the behavior occurs. Another way to determine what area of the file is damaged is to copy either one page at a time or a series of pages into a new file. Save the new file, and then test for the original behavior. If the behavior does not occur, continue copying pages, saving, and testing until the original behavior occurs.
If you can find what area of the file is damaged, you can copy everything except the damaged portion to a new file, and then follow these steps to reconstruct your document:
If the File Cannot Be Opened in Word for MacIf you cannot open the file in Word for Mac, use one of the following methods as appropriate.
Method 1: Insert the File into a Blank DocumentIf you cannot open a file to copy all the text (except the final paragraph mark), you may be able to insert the file into a new document. This inserts a new final paragraph mark onto the file that you are correcting. To do this, follow these steps:
Method 2: Use the Paste Link Command to Open the Document with a LinkThis method uses a "dummy" document to create a link and then switches the link between the "dummy" document and the damaged document.
Follow these steps to use a paste-link operation to open a damaged document:
Method 3: Open the File by Using "Recover Text from Any File"As a last resort, you can use the special "Recover Text from Any File" converter to manually open damaged documents. This converter removes all formatting, graphics, and embedded objects from the file and leaves only readable text (ASCII characters). Because of the way that Word for Mac document files are organized and saved, the text may be disjointed or duplicated.
With even the simplest files, considerable reformatting is required. With smaller files, you may want to open a new second document and copy and paste text from the recovered document into the new document, because there is so much unwanted text recovered.
To use the "Recover Text from Any File" converter to open a document, follow these steps:
TIP: Save the recovered file with a new name at this point. This prevents you from accidentally overwriting the original document and ensures that the original document remains available for other recovery attempts.
Method 4: Open As CopyTo open a copy of a damaged document, follow these steps: