Workaround 1 Use the File/Open option to open the file
Start the Word for Mac application.
On the File menu, click Open.
In the Convert File window, scroll down and select Recover Text from any file. If you get a warning, click OK.
Note Some formatting might change.
On the File menu, click Save As.
In the Format list, select Word Document (.docx), then click Save. Refer the following screen shot.
Workaround 2 Use an earlier version of Word for Mac or Apple TextEdit
Try opening the file by using an earlier version of Word for Mac such as Word 2004 or Apple TextEditor. Some old Word documents can be opened in TextEdior with basic formatting.
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If you cannot open the file by using these workarounds, search for a backup copy in a Time Machine backup, in your email (if you ever sent the file to someone), on a network share, on a phone, or on a flash drive. If you cannot open the file, it may be corrupted.