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Word corrupted document 2003

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I have an odd situation, one of the emloyees in my office has WORD 2010 while everyone else has WORD 2003, this employee saves his documents in the word 2003 ".doc" format from word 2010.


Everything was working fine until recently all the employees have been getting a "Word was unable to read this document. It may be corrupt" when trying to open files saved from word 2010 in to the word 2003 format.


I also have word 2010 on my PC and I can open those specific documents without any issues, in order to temporarily fix the issue I have to open it and save it back in to the word 2003 format.


I read online that there's a hotfix for this issue, I've installed it but yet I'm still getting these messages. That employe with word 2010 also has some VBA code that automates some things in the document; but when I open VB in word, there seems to be no code listed in the document.


I know the obvious solution would be to update word, but my secretaries have a tough time with the new interface and it would create a serious slow down in our report output.

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Hi relkohn15 and welcome to our forum.



As the majority of your people are using the Word 2003 then it would be easy for them to install the free File Format Converter, by Microsoft that is specifically designed to allow Word 2003 and other Office 2003 products to open files created with later versions...like 2007, 2010 etc.

THere would then be no need for the colleague with the Word 2010 to save documents in any other format than the native.docx


Here's the link:



When opening files created with later versions of MSOffice the converter will flag up that certain features may not be available.... I have always just clicked OK and this has never presented a problem, although it is possible (but fairly unlikely) that a "fancy bit of formatting "may not look identical to the original.


Post back and let us know how you get on



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For help steps below, if they can't assist you, you may see more powerful methods






Open your document by using the Open and Repair feature


Microsoft Word has a feature that you can use to try to recover the text from a damaged document. This is the Open and Repair feature. To use the Open and Repair feature, follow these steps. 

Step 1: Start Word.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type winword, and then click OK.

Step 2: Locate the Word document that you are trying to open.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the File menu in Word, click Open.

    Note If the Open command does not appear on the File menu, do the following. Notice the arrows at the bottom of the File menu. Click these arrows. This will expand the menu and display all the menu commands.
  2. In the Open dialog box, locate your Word document. Then, click to select your Word document.
  3. Click the arrow next to the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

Method 1 Verification

  • If your Word document opens and if your document looks correct, Word has successfully repaired your document, and you are finished.

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