.doc files open into Notepad instead of Word, with text completely garbled

Posted on 2008-06-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
SOME but not all of the Word 2003 .doc files on my computer suddenly will not open in Word, even though the extension is correct.

Instead they open in Notepad, with a small amount of readable text at the top but the rest of the file completely jumbled.

On files being emails to me, if they are saved in Word 2003 as rtf, they open fine. If sent as .doc -- same problem: Notepad, and jumbled.

What could be causing this, and what can I do about it?

One file I just looked at has on the last line Microsoft Office Word Document 0 Word.Document.8. See attached. Any clue there?

Running Win XP, SP 1; anti-virus is Kaspersky.
Question by:wlsimon
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 21861509
Go to Control Panel > Folder Options > File Types (Tab):

Under Extensions Column, scroll down to "DOC".
Hit the Change Button, and browse for Microsoft Office Word.

It is also possible that you might need to re-install your Microsoft Office.
Sometimes the Office Suite may become corrupt, and will not open .doc files.

In these cases, .doc is delegated to Notepad. Notepad does not understand some of the formatting used in MS Office, thus the garbled language.

Author Comment

ID: 21861520
How in the Hell could that have gotten changed?

Thanks, guy -- you're a lifesaver!

   Bill Simon
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

torimar earned 2000 total points
ID: 21861620
This amazes me, tbh.
I had just been considering this problem for a while, thinking that the cause most likely had to be something else, since you emphasized in the original question that this happens to only "SOME, but not all" of your Word .docs.

If the filetype associations got changed, I should expect this to happen to ALL of your .doc files.

Expert Comment

ID: 22165054
I thought I was the one that helped you?????

Featured Post

Free Tool: SSL Checker

Scans your site and returns information about your SSL implementation and certificate. Helpful for debugging and validating your SSL configuration.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

The Selection object is designed for user interaction. It has a Range property, so it can be used in most places that a Range object can. Recorded macros must use the Selection because they are simply copying what the user is doing. A Range propeā€¦
Lost Word File? Eagerly, need it back? Read ahead; this File Recovery guide is for you.
This video walks the viewer through the process of creating a watermark for their document, customizing it, and saving it for viewing/printing needs.
This video teaches the viewer how to align pictures around text while keeping the text properly aligned in the document.

627 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question