Friday, 12 November 2021

Word documents not opening

I ran into an interesting problem recently where I was unable to open a Word document. I had made a lot of changes, and went back to make more changes, to find that the document would not open. As it is a Word document that I use daily, this was very frustrating. 

Interesting. Worse, I had not backed it up that day, so had lost the work I had been doing in it... blast it.

Argh! Time to check through the list: 

  • I checked file permissions. Although in the past I have had problems with Microsoft changing file permissions willy nilly, nothing had changed there.
  • Next I checked memory. Everything looked OK, so I shut down and restarted. I was still unable to open the file. 
  • The next item on the list was a "Text Recovery converter". I vaguely remembered something about this from Microsoft's long past, but after a fairly decent online search was unable to find anything that rang any bells.
  • So next I simply went to the file location in File Explorer. I created a copy of the faulty document. Then I tried opening it from there by double-clicking on the file. Same message. I deleted the copy. 
  • I shut down, and restarted. I created a new copy of the document, opened Word, and tried opening the new file copy within Word. Same message. I deleted the copy. 
  • The next thing I tried was to go back to File Explorer, and created a new copy. I then right clicked on that, and selected "Open With" on the pop-up menu. I selected "Choose another app" from the fly-out menu.
  • In going into the apps list, I selected Wordpad, and - lo! - my document opened
While the document had had some corruption, I was able to repair the areas of error, and resave it as a Word file.

I will have to find a permanent solution for this document (as I think there is some hidden corruption) but at least I have a work-around for now. 


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