Tuesday, September 24, 2013

List of Free Resource for Fixing or Recovering Text from Corrupt MS Word Files - Mostly DOCX Ones, Some DOC Resources Too

I've been working in the past few days on a Word file with an error: "Unspecified error Location: Part/word/document.xml,Line:2, Column: 0". I've uncovered some free tools and nice articles on how to fix various kinds of Word errors, not just that one. Also to make the list complete I've added some links mentioned in posts here before.
  • Apparently the best advice about Word corruption is to install the latest Service Pack. Word 2007 is up to Service Pack 3. Word 2010 is up to Service Pack 2. There has not been a service pack released for Office 2013 yet. I'm not sure I understand it correctly but installing the latest service packs may be enough to fix corrupted documents. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/office-service-packs.aspx
  • http://silvercoders.com/en/products/doctotext/ - command line program used by several of my GUI programs which has a feature for recovering text from corrupt docx, xlsx, pptx, odt, ods and odp files (the last three being the Open Office extensioned files).
  • http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/office-open-xml-file-docx-cannot-opened-t3714016.html - member chrima mentions an algorithm for correcting Table of Content errors, that used to appear I think in Word 2007 before one of the Office Services Packs fixed it. If anybody knows that the TOC document.xml errors are still occurring let me know. In the same thread, member Ben3DX offers some Python code to automate the process. I will try to implement both their ideas in my code.
  • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2528942 - Microsoft Mr. Fixit that is supposed to be fixed by Office 2010 SP1. If you are getting "The name in the end tag of the element must match the element type in the start tag." and your Word document has math formulas, this might fix it (or update to Office 2010 SP1).
  • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817583 - probably the hotfix most relevant to users with "Unspecified error Location: Part/word/document.xml,Line:2, Column: 0" errors. These are apparently sometimes or always papers with math formulas in them as well. The download button is up at the top of the page.
  • http://sourceforge.net/users/socrtwo22 - the list of my free software, many of which will recover text and some try formatting too. The text extraction abilities are stronger than the various software's ability recover text and formatting. The programs that recover formatting use the overkill method of truncating at the first XML error, a method I'm moving past now. Some of the GUI programs use the command line text extractors on their back ends.
  • http://free-data-recovery.blogspot.com/2012/03/secrets-of-recovering-corrupt-office.html - My blog post that details how to do truncation and XML end tag fixing on the document.xml file. This method is efficient only when the first XML error is the beginning of a truncated document.xml due to zip corruption or some other XML corruption which corrupts the XML beyond recovery starting at the error location. It tells you how to use xmllint to add the correct XML tags automatically to truncated XML files. Theoretically xmllint is supposed to fix bad XML with some intelligence say even if your XML has correct ending tags and is corrupt somewhere in the middle, however in practice it may be only useful for adding correct ending tags.
  • http://onlinerecovery.munsoft.com/ - they will let you recover 10 files for free if you mention their name and link from Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Their recovery algorithm works quite well.
  • https://online.officerecovery.com/ - Recoveronix' Online File Recovery. One of the oldest names in the business is kindly offering a free recovery for users who go through a Demo recovery and then use the coupon code "S2SERVICES" (the name of my business :-) until Nov. 1, 2013. Often works.


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Rong C said...

Good job, Paul. Keep going on. Do u remember who I am..........Ccy........ :-)

Paul D Pruitt said...

I sure do! I hope things are going well for you. Thanks for doing such a great job for me, so many years ago.

Best regards,

Paul P.

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