Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Determining if a Document is Corrupt.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 18, 2014)
Vivian noted that there are times she suspects that a document may be corrupt, but she doesn't really know for sure. This leads her to wonder if there is an easy way to verify the integrity of a document or to easily tell if a document is corrupt.
The short answer is that there is no way to easily tell if a document is corrupted. The internal structure of Word documents is quite complex, and complexity always presents the possibility of corruption. The severity of the corruption can manifest itself in different ways. Some problems may result in a minor "glitch" (such as a character or two changing in a document) that can be easily corrected. Other problems may result in document instability or, in severe cases, a document that is completely unusable.
If you suspect a document is corrupt and you can still open the document, these steps represent the "tried and true" first line of trying to recover the document:
There is something else you can try, as well. When you are attempting to open a document, you'll normally find yourself staring at the Open dialog box. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate the file you think is corrupted, then click the down arrow at the right of the Open button. In the resulting options, choose Open and Repair.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13284) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Determining if a Document is Corrupt.
Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!
Want to delete the document you are currently viewing? Word doesn't provide a way to do it, but you can use the macro in ...Discover More
Word makes it easy to create a new, blank document. What if you want to create more than one document at a time, however? ...Discover More
If you receive a document from somebody else, you might not be able to edit it if the document contains fonts that you ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.