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  1. #1
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    for the second time this week, i have been unable to open a docx document for no apparent reason. word gives me the rather useless message that the document cannot be opened due to a problem with the contents, but provides no error details. this points to some type of corruption within word, or so i would guess.

    so, a few questions---


    given the uselessness of the error message, are there any ways i can troubleshoot this problem to determine what's going on?

    in the event that word is indeed corrupt, is there a way for it to fix itself? i am leaning towards a full office reinstall. i did a search within word for troubleshooting word itself (rather than say, just a document) but found nothing.

    are there any viruses my computer might have that specifically target word (other than this huge problem w/ word, my computer is behaving normally)?

    i just can't afford to be losing 4 or more hours of work per document twice in one week, so this is a problem i need to address ASAP.

    thanks for any insights anyone may have? and please don't chide me for not making a backup--it's troubleshooting advice i'm looking for, especially given the apparently increasing frequency of the problem :-)

  2. #2
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    [quote name='ben000' post='776271' date='21-May-2009 10:40']for the second time this week, i have been unable to open a docx document for no apparent reason. word gives me the rather useless message that the document cannot be opened due to a problem with the contents, but provides no error details. this points to some type of corruption within word, or so i would guess.

    so, a few questions---


    given the uselessness of the error message, are there any ways i can troubleshoot this problem to determine what's going on?

    in the event that word is indeed corrupt, is there a way for it to fix itself? i am leaning towards a full office reinstall. i did a search within word for troubleshooting word itself (rather than say, just a document) but found nothing.

    are there any viruses my computer might have that specifically target word (other than this huge problem w/ word, my computer is behaving normally)?

    i just can't afford to be losing 4 or more hours of work per document twice in one week, so this is a problem i need to address ASAP.

    thanks for any insights anyone may have? and please don't chide me for not making a backup--it's troubleshooting advice i'm looking for, especially given the apparently increasing frequency of the problem :-)[/quote]

    1.) Do you know that the document was OK at some prior time?
    2.) can you copy the document to another PC and have it open OK?
    3.) Does this persist over a re-boot?
    4.) Have you run the Office Diagnostics? In Word go to the office Orb | Word options | Run Microsoft Office Diagnostics

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
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    hey joe,

    thanks fro your reply

    1. yes, i was able to work with it earlier, after saving it
    2. no, no one at work can open it and i cannot open a copy of it
    3. yes
    4. yes, and it was typically useless (The crashes you experienced with Microsoft Office have been analyzed. The following are solutions that may improve your experience with Microsoft Office: At this time, we know the problem was caused by Microsoft Office, which was created by Microsoft Corporation, but we do not know the specific nature of the problem.

    If you have a moment, please consider answering a few questions...)


    all other diagnostic results came up clean

    i did Select the Download a file periodically that helps determine system problems check box but that will take a week or more to occur
    so, i plan to reinstall office tomorrow at work, but would really like to get an idea of what's going on here


    ps- does MS office ever provide relevant troubleshooting info on itself?

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    [quote name='ben000' post='776281' date='21-May-2009 11:25']1. yes, i was able to work with it earlier, after saving it
    2. no, no one at work can open it and i cannot open a copy of it

    ps- does MS office ever provide relevant troubleshooting info on itself?[/quote]

    If you have other documents that you and others can successfully access it seems unlikely that Word is the culprit. Reinstalling Office won't hurt but probably won't help.

    Yes, there are various infections that target Word. Although I can't remember one targeting Word 2007 specifically. A full malware scan would seem to be in order.

    Office 2007 file format are just ZIP files with a different extension. You could copy one of the bad files, change the extension to .zip, and then examine it with a file compression program.

    Another possibility is a hardware problem. Have you run a CHKDSK recently?

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
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    sorry to ask again, but how do bring up the file extension option to rename the word doc to a zip file:?

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    [quote name='ben000' post='776285' date='21-May-2009 11:51']sorry to ask again, but how do bring up the file extension option to rename the word doc to a zip file:?[/quote]

    In Windows Explorer, go to Tools | Folder Options | View. Make sure "Hide extensions for known file types" is NOT checked. Then press the "Apply To Folders".

    For Windows XP you should see something similar to the attachment.

    Joe
    Joe

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    ok- figured taht out. thanks. within the zip file, most all of the files are xml files in the following folders:

    word, docProps, customXml, _rels

    looked in the word folder and there are multiple sub folders, as well as a document.xml file. just curious if folks know which program i use to open these- right clicking and selecting View as just brings a windows text book w/ machine language in it

    i'm basically just trying to salvage the copy here- no formatting, charts, headers, or tables

    seems kind of odd that, within the zip file of the word document i created, tehre are full excel spreedsheets in excel format but no word docs or any kind...just xml and rels files primarily

  8. #8
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    [quote name='ben000' post='776295' date='21-May-2009 12:58']ok- figured taht out. thanks. within the zip file, most all of the files are xml files in the following folders:

    word, docProps, customXml, _rels

    looked in the word folder and there are multiple sub folders, as well as a document.xml file. just curious if folks know which program i use to open these- right clicking and selecting View as just brings a windows text book w/ machine language in it

    i'm basically just trying to salvage the copy here- no formatting, charts, headers, or tables

    seems kind of odd that, within the zip file of the word document i created, tehre are full excel spreedsheets in excel format but no word docs or any kind...just xml and rels files primarily[/quote]

    Use a text editor to open the .xml files. document.xml should have the document contents in it.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Are these new documents you've created yourself, that are corrupting, or are they documents you got from someone else?

    If you are creating brand-new clean Word documents, and the zip file reveals Excel spreadsheets, that would be mighty strange!

    If you got the documents from someone else, it sounds like they may have Excel objects embedded in them - which I believe in Word 2007 can be something simple like a chart (although not sure why that would create the problem per se). If you know the originator of the document, could you see if they can send you a copy of the document without any Excel objects embedded, and see if the documents then behave on your system? - at least that would start narrowing down the cause.

  10. #10
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    documents i'm creating myself, and in some cases, creating from prior reports. i should clarify that these are not blank word documents, but 15-30 page reports.
    in both cases recently, i created the documents, so i unfortunately cannot ask anyone else to send me an excel-free version.


    joe- what exactly is a text editor? a particular application or type of application?

  11. #11
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    i opened the xml document with xml editor and it's just machine language and hardly any of the report text:
    "<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?>
    - <w:document xmlns:ve="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006" xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" xmlns:r="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/relationships" xmlns:m="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/math" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:wp="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/drawingml/2006/wordprocessingDrawing" xmlns:w10="urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:word" xmlns:w="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/wordprocessingml/2006/main" xmlns:wne="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word/2006/wordml">
    - <w:body>" etc etc


    surely my text is SOMEWHERE within this zip file...christ, this is annoying

  12. #12
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    [quote name='ben000' post='776360' date='21-May-2009 16:23']i opened the xml document with xml editor and it's just machine language and hardly any of the report text:
    "<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?>
    - <w:document xmlns:ve="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006" xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" xmlns:r="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/relationships" xmlns:m="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/math" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:wp="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/drawingml/2006/wordprocessingDrawing" xmlns:w10="urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:word" xmlns:w="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/wordprocessingml/2006/main" xmlns:wne="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/word/2006/wordml">
    - <w:body>" etc etc


    surely my text is SOMEWHERE within this zip file...christ, this is annoying[/quote]

    Yes it is when you only want to open the darned thing. What you're looking at is XML, a markup language similar to HTML. Although you could walk around in it to try to find your text, it might take longer than retyping your report.

    Have you tried Open and Repair? Click the MS Orb > Open. Then navigate to the file you're having trouble with and click the arrow next to the Open button (see the screenshot). If it opens the document and you're still not happy with the ways it's acting, save the file to TXT. Then create a new document and insert the txt file.

    Kim
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    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Here's a simple example of how to look through an XML file

    Below is a screenshot that I've annotated to show the text. I've also attached the simple document (total of four paragraphs) that the xml file came from.

    The text is in document.xml, but is interspersed with the xml codes, making it difficult to find. It's even harder when you've got text in a table as the contents of each cell is separated by xml codes.

    So while it's possible to salvage a document from the XML, it's perhaps wiser to determine if it's worth the time. Unless there's a utility out there that can isolate the text code and extract anything between them? If not, that's a utility just waiting to be written!

    Kim
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  14. #14
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    [quote name='kmurdock' post='776373' date='22-May-2009 01:17']Yes it is when you only want to open the darned thing. What you're looking at is XML, a markup language similar to HTML. Although you could walk around in it to try to find your text, it might take longer than retyping your report.

    Have you tried Open and Repair? Click the MS Orb > Open. Then navigate to the file you're having trouble with and click the arrow next to the Open button (see the screenshot). If it opens the document and you're still not happy with the ways it's acting, save the file to TXT. Then create a new document and insert the txt file.

    Kim [/quote]
    this won't work--"cannot be opened because there are problems with the documents"
    saved the docx file as a txt file and opened it but it's all machine language

    this crap is totally unacceptable, and word's inability to shed even the slightest insight into the problem is LAME

  15. #15
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    [quote name='ben000' post='776378' date='21-May-2009 19:36']this won't work--"cannot be opened because there are problems with the documents"
    saved the docx file as a txt file and opened it but it's all machine language

    this crap is totally unacceptable, and word's inability to shed even the slightest insight into the problem is LAME[/quote]
    I have no idea what is wrong with your documents. I suspect that the new format is a bit buggy with OLE objects (e.g., Excel, Visio) inserted into Word documents. I don't know how to selectively remove the OLE objects, but did you try the transplant method discussed in your March 2009 thread to salvage the text? See [topic="761243"]How to open/recover a corrupt document? (Word)[/topic].

    Added: Is it an acceptable workaround to save in .DOC format while you are working, and then make a final save to .DOCX? Not that I have any statistical basis for believing this will be more successful, but the binary formats have a lot of fine-tuning behind them and the XML formats are comparatively unrefined.

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