Corrupt Documents

Trying to recover a corrupt Word document on a Mac

This needs some serious tidying up!

Anyone got any advice on opening a corrupted Office document on a Mac? The file is in the auto-recovery folder but it won't open.

Any hints or tips or stating of the obvious most welcome!


If it's an Excel file that's corrupted, try opening (insert object) it from inside Word. This sometimes recovers most of the content. I've never tried it the other way around.

Or try using Pages or Numbers to open the corrupted file.

- Insert the affected Word document to a new blank document of the same version.
- Open document with the link using Paste Link Command.
- Use “Recover Text from Any File” option while opening the file. It is the last resort to handle document corruption.
*** If none of the above methods help you work around the issue, then you have to go for effective third-party recovery applications***

here's another one, should you have ports installed. I had acceptable results with antiword, to get plaintext out of Word files people kept sending me:

shiny:~ fl$ port info antiword
antiword @0.37, Revision 1 (textproc)
Variants: universal

Description: Antiword is a utility that can read binary files from Microsoft
Word 6, 7, 97, and 2000.

Platforms: darwin
License: GPL-2+

I found that LibreOffice is better at opening corrupted Office documents than the Office programs

I found the autorecovery functions in Mac office to be pretty poor - was fixed by opening on a windows version. I think there are some online recovery tools but can be a pain to use.

Slight hassle but try this

Oh and on Word (windows) if you go to open the file there is an drop down arrow on the open button - drop that down and try "Open and Repair" if you haven't already