How to Fix Damaged & Corrupt Word 2007 Documents – Part 1

ms-word-damaged-files-open

This article describes how to identify a damaged document in Microsoft Office Word 2007. It also includes steps that explain how to recover the text contained in a document.

Step 1: Determine the template used by the document

  1. Open the document in Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  3. Click Add-Ins.
  4. In the Manage box, click Templates under View and manage Office add-ins
  5. Click Go.

The Document template box will list the template that is used by the document. If the template listed is Normal, go to step 2, otherwise, go to step 3.

Step 2: Rename Normal.dotm

For Windows Vista

  1. Close Word 2007.
  2. Click the Vista Start icon.
  3. In the Start Search box, type the following and then press ENTER:
    %userprofile%appdataroamingmicrosofttemplates
  4. Right-click Normal.dotm, and then click Rename.
  5. Type Donotuse.old, and then press ENTER.
  6. Close Windows Explorer.
  7. Start Word 2007 and open the document.

Check if the document is now fixed. If not, see below.

For Microsoft Windows XP

  1. Exit Word 2007
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type the following and then press ENTER:
    %userprofile%Application DataMicrosoftTemplates
  4. Right-click Normal.dotm, and then click Rename.
  5. Type Donotuse.old, and then press ENTER.
  6. Close Windows Explorer.

The next step is to change the document template.

Step 3: Change the document template

  1. Open the document in Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  3. Click Add-Ins.
  4. In the Manage box, click Templates under View and manage Office add-ins, and then click Go.
  5. Click Attach.
  6. In the Templates folder, click Normal.dotm, and then click Open.
  7. Click OK to close the Templates and Add-ins dialog box.
  8. Close Word 2007

Step 4: Check if changing the templates worked.

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Open the document.
  3. Click if the document if fixed.

If the problem persists, go to Method 2.

Method 2: Start Word 2007 with the Default settings

Use the /a switch to start Word 2007. This start Word with its default settings, which stop Word from loading add-ins. Also, Word 2007 won’t use your Normal.dotm template.

Step 1: Start Word 2007 by using the /a switch

  1. Exit Word 2007
  2. Click Start
  3. In the Start Search box, type the following text, and then press ENTER:
    “%programfiles%microsoft officeoffice12winword.exe” /a

Windows XP

  1. Exit Word 2007
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type the following text, and then press ENTER:
    “%programfiles%microsoft officeoffice12winword.exe” /a

Step 2: Open the document

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  2. Click the document, and then click Open.

If the strange behavior persists, go to Method 3.

Method 3: Change Printer drivers

Step 1: Try a different printer driver

Windows Vista

Step a: Open Add Printer
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Printers.
  3. Click Add a printer.
Step b: Add a new printer
  1. In the Add Printer dialog box, click Add a local printer.
  2. Click Use an existing port, and then click Next.
  3. In the Manufacturer list, click Microsoft.
  4. Click Microsoft XPS Document Writer, and then click Next.
  5. Click Use the driver that is currently installed (recommended), and then click Next.
  6. Click to select the Set as the default printer check box, and then click Next.
  7. Click Finish.

Windows XP

Step a: Open Add Printer
  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Under Printer Tasks, click Add a printer.
Step b: Add a new printer

After you install the following patches, the Microsoft XPS Document Writer icon automatically appears in the Printers and FAXes folder.

  1. Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.
  2. Install Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0.
  3. Install Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack.

For more information on these patches, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/viewxps.mspx

Step 2: Verify that changing printer drivers fixes the problem

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  3. Click the damaged document, and then click Open.

If the problem persists, go to step 3.

Step 3: Reinstall original printer driver.

Windows Vista

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Printers.
  3. Right-click the original default printer, and then click Delete.
  4. If you are prompted to remove all the files associated with the printer, click Yes.
  5. Click Add a printer, and then follow the instructions in the Add Printer Wizard to reinstall the printer driver.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the original default printer, and then click Delete.
  3. If you are prompted to remove all the files that are associated with the printer, click Yes.
  4. Under Printer Tasks, click Add a printer, and then follow the instructions in the Add Printer Wizard to reinstall the printer driver.

Step 4: Verify that changing printer drivers fixes the problem

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  3. Click the damaged document, and then click Open.

If the problem persists, go to Method 4.

Method 4: Start in Safe Mode

Step 1: Start Windows in safe mode

Windows Vista

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart the computer.
  2. Click Start
  3. Click the arrow next to Lock, and then click Restart.
  4. Use one of the following procedures:
    • If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold F8 as the computer restarts.NOTE: You must press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, it’s too late; shut down and restart.
    • If your computer has more than one OS, use the arrow keys to highlight the OS that you want to start in safe mode, and press F8.
  5. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.
  6. Log on to your computer by using a user account that has Admin rights.

Windows XP

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your PC and restart.
  2. Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
  3. In the What do you want the computer to do list, click Restart, and then click OK.
  4. Hold down the CTRL key as you restart the computer.
  5. When you see the Starting Windows message, press F8, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode on the Startup menu, and then press ENTER.

Step 2: Verify that starting in safe mode fixes the problem.

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  3. Click the damaged document, and then click Open.

If the problem persists, restart Windows, and go to Method 5.

Method 5: Force Word to try to repair a file

Step 1: Repair document

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  2. In the Open dialog box, click your Word 2007 document.
  3. Click the arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

Step 2: Verify that repairing the document fixes the problem

Verify that the problem no longer occurs.
If the strange behavior persists, restart Windows, and then go to Method 6.

Method 6: Change the document format and then convert it back to Word 2007

Step 1: Open the document

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  3. Click the document, and then click Open.

Step 2: Save the document in a different file format

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save as.
  2. Click Other Formats.
  3. In the Save as file type list, click Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Close.

Step 3: Open the document, and then convert document back to Word 2007 file format

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  2. Click the converted document, and then click Open.
  3. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save as.
  4. Click Document.
  5. Rename the document and click Save.

Step 4: Verify that converting the document file format fixes the problem

Verify that the problem no longer occurs.
If the behavior persists, try to save the file in another file format, such as HTML.
Repeat step 1 to step 4, and then try to save the file in the following file formats, in the following order:

  • Web page (.htm; .html)
  • Any other word processing format
  • Plain Text (.txt)

WARNING When you save a file in the Plain Text (.txt) you may fixed the problem but lose all the document macros, formatting and graphics
When you save files in the Plain Text (.txt) format, you must reformat the document. Therefore, use the Plain Text (.txt) format only if the other file formats do not resolve the problem.

If the problem persists, go to Method 7.

Method 7: Copy everything – EXCEPT the last paragraph mark – to a new document

Step 1: Create a new document

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click New.
  2. Click Blank document, and then click Create.

Step 2: Open the problem document

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  3. Click the damaged document, and then click Open.

Step 3: Copy the contents of document, and then paste the contents into the new document

WARNING If your document contains section breaks, copy only the text between the sections breaks.

Do not copy the section breaks as this may bring the damage into your new document. Change the document View to Draft view when you copy and paste between documents to avoid transferring section breaks.

To change to draft view, on the View tab, click Draft in the Document Views group.

  1. In the damaged document, press CTRL+END, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME.
  2. On the Home tab, click Copy in the Clipboard group.
  3. On the View tab, click Switch Windows in the Window group.
  4. Click the new document that you created in step 1.
  5. On the Home tab, click Paste in the Clipboard group.

If the problem persists, go to Method 8.

Method 8: Copy the undamaged parts of the document to a ‘clean’ blank document

Step 1: Create a new document

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click New.
  2. Click Blank document, and then click Create.

Step 2: Open the damaged document

  1. Start Word 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
  3. Click the damaged document, and then click Open.

Step 3: Copy the undamaged parts of document, and then paste the undamaged parts to the blank document

WARNING Do not copy the section breaks because this may bring the damage into your new document.
In the damaged document, locate and then select an undamaged part of the document’s contents.

  1. On the Home tab, click Copy in the Clipboard group.
  2. On the View tab, click Switch Windows in the Window group.
  3. Click the new document that you created in step 1.
  4. On the Home tab, click Paste in the Clipboard group.
  5. Repeat steps 3a to 3e for each undamaged part of the document. You must reconstruct the damaged sections of your document.

Method 9: Switch the document view to remove the damaged content

If some of the pages are missing, switch the document view and try to remove the damaged content from the document.

  1. Determine where the damaged content is causing the document to appear to be truncated.
    1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
    2. Click the damaged document, and then click Open.
    3. Scroll to view the last page that is displayed before the document appears to be truncated.
  2. Switch views, and then remove the damaged content.
    1. On the View tab in the Document Views group, click Web Layout or Draft view.
    2. Scroll to view the content that was displayed before the document appeared to be truncated.
    3. Select and delete the next paragraph, table, or object in the file.
    4. On the View tab in the Document Views group, click Print Layout. If the document continues to appear to be truncated, continue to switch views and delete content until the document no longer appears truncated in Print Layout view.
    5. Save the document.
See: Advanced Troubleshooting steps if the damaged document still does not open

Thousands of templates to jump start your project

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan