De-corrupt Word Documents

Try the updates first. Then do a Maggie to clean that document up.

The Maggie:

  • Create a new blank document
  • Carefully select all of the text in the bad document EXCEPT the last paragraph mark.
  • Copy It.
  • Paste in new document.
  • Save under a new file name and close all, then re-open.

This technique for de-corrupting is known as "Doing a 'Maggie' ", after Margaret Secara from the TECHWR-L mailing list, who first publicised the technique.

Those two things may get you far enough to make the document workable.

(courtesy John McGhie Microsoft MVP)

Here is More Detailed version of John's Directions:

  • Turn on hidden characters with the ¶ Button.
  • Click at beginning of document.
  • Scroll to end of Document.
  • Click just before the last ¶ (Paragraph) Mark. *
  • Now do a copy ⌘-C.
  • Open a new blank document.
  • No do a Paste Special (From Edit Menu choose Paste Special > Plain Text).
  • Now save document with aslightly different name (example: letter.docx would become letter1.docx.

This should correct any corruption.

*  example:

John hit the ball out of the park.¶

John hit the ball out of the park.¶  ⬅ copy to here.

¶ ⬅ not here.