Recovery of Word 6.0 Doc
June 16, 2006 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Help me recover a seemingly corrupted Microsoft Word 6.0 file.

The file is a 200+ page manuscript. When I load it into MS Word 2004/WordPad/AbiWord/Open Office it comes up as a blank document (no error message, just blank. "Properties" claims 0 characters, 0 words, 1 page) If I load it into a plaintext editor, I can see the manuscript, but in the slightly mangled way in which all Word docs look in plaintext editors (i.e. no formatting, non-alphanumeric characters are wrong, etc.) I've also tried running it through some shareware apps that supposedly repair corrupted docs with no luck.
posted by gwint to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
This may or may not work, but I once recovered a seemingly hopeless PowerPoint file by opening and and saving it back out through OpenOffice. I had to do a lot of reformatting, but it wasn't so bad compared to the alternative. Worth a shot...
posted by j-dawg at 7:04 AM on June 16, 2006

Oh, sorry... you tried Open Office. (Note to self: read more carefully.)
posted by j-dawg at 7:13 AM on June 16, 2006

At one time I knew of a freeware utility that extracts text from any binary file (disadvantage: formatting is gone) but I can't find it now. TextExtract looks like it might do this.
posted by davcoo at 7:26 AM on June 16, 2006

You could try strings or wv and see what they come up with.
posted by shepd at 7:45 AM on June 16, 2006

Try this to get the text back. If it works,you'll probably lose any formatting, but at least you'll have the text.

In Word, select File -> Open. In the Files of Type box, change it to "Recover Text From Any File". Select your document and open it. Then save your document to a new file name. Make sure you don't replace the corrupted file. You might still find something that will recover the file with the formatting.
posted by rsclark at 8:12 AM on June 16, 2006

You could try to open it in Word Viewer, then copy and paste into a new document. Quick View is another option.
posted by JJ86 at 8:22 AM on June 16, 2006

Thanks for all the suggestions... still no luck.

rsclark, your idea came the closest to working: It pretty much gave me the same results as when I open the file in an plaintext editor.
posted by gwint at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2006

In the worst case, could you get that text, re-do the formatting and find/replace the mangled characters? That's sometimes what it seems to come down to.
posted by reklaw at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2006

Is there any way that you can get a copy of Word 6, perhaps from ebay or something? Word files are notoriously flaky from version to version anyway.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:42 PM on June 16, 2006

I have Word 2003 - I could try opening it for you. Email is in my profile.

You might try a library for a computer with Word 6.0, since libraries often have older versions of software.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:30 PM on June 16, 2006

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