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How to Properly Open an Unreadable Word Document

When a Word document become unable to read, it may be corrupt. Word documents can become corrupt in a number of different ways, but usually it’s just a problem with the headers in the file, and the data can be recovered most of the time. This article will provide serval ways for your selection.


How to Force Word to try to repair a file

If you can open the damaged document,  use Word’s built-in recovery to try and get some of your text back.

Step 1: Repair document in Word.

1. Go to click File > Open. In the Open dialog box, click to highlight your Word document.

2. Click the arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

Repair the corrupt Word docunment

Step 2: Verify that repairing the document fixes the problem.

Verify that the strange behavior no longer occurs. If the strange behavior persists, restart Windows.

Step 3: Copy the undamaged parts of the damaged document to a new document.

1. Create a new document, then click File > Open.

2. Click the damaged document, and then click Open. Copy the undamaged contents of the damaged document, and then paste the contents into the new document.

Step 4: Switch the document view to remove the damaged content.

1. On the View tab, click Web Layout or Draft view.

Click Web Layout

2. Scroll to view the content that was displayed before the document appeared to be cut off. Select to delete the next paragraph, table, or object in the file.

3. On the View tab, 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. Save the document.

Print Layout view

How to Recover Text from Any File

If the damaged document does not open, use these ways to repair unreadable Word files.

Wore cannot open the document

Way 1: Open the damaged document in draft mode without updating links

Step 1: Start Word. On the View tab, click Draft in the Document Views group.

Step 2: In Word, click the File > Options and then Advanced.

Step 3: In the Show document content section, click to select the Use Draft font in Draft and Outline views and Show Picture placeholders. In the General section click to clear the Update automatic links at Open, then click OK and close Word.

Open the damaged document in draft mode

Step 4: In Word, click the File > Open. Click the damaged document, and then click Open. If you can open the document, close the document and then reopen it by using way 2.

Way 2: Insert the document as a file in a new document

Step 1: Create a new blank document.

Step 2: Insert the damaged document into the new document.

On the Insert tab, click Insert Object, and then click Text From File. In the Insert File dialog box, locate and then click the damaged document. Then, click Insert.

Insert damaged doc as a file in a new document

Way 3: Use the "Recover Text from Any File" converter

Step 1: In Word, click the File > Open.

Step 2: In the Files of type box, click Recover Text from Any File(*.*).

Step 3: Click the document from which you want to recover the text. Click Open.

Recovey Text from any file

After the document is recovered by using the "Recover Text from Any File" converter, there is some binary data text that is not converted. This text is primarily at the start and end of the document. You must delete this binary data text before you save the file as a Word document.

Preventing file corruption in the future

Problems with file corruption typically happen when the file is stored on a USB device that is disconnected while the device is open in Windows. You can prevent damaging files by using the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the Windows taskbar. If you don't see the icon, click the up-arrow in the notification area to show hidden icons.

In the event of a crash or loss of power, you can recover a previous version of your file if you turned on the Autorecover feature in Office.