Fixing 'Word cannot open the existing [square]...' error in MS Word

Published: 18th July 2010
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Writers, scribes, advertising professionals and others professionals cannot think about a work environment if it is devoid of favored word processing program i.e. Microsoft Word. The files created with MS word either have .doc or .docx extension. The application's main settings are in a file called as '' (for MS Word 2003 and earlier versions). In MS Word 2007, it is, however, named as Normal.dotm. If you encounter any problems while working in MS word application or if it just crashes, the reason could be a corrupt global template. As word crashes unexpectedly, it may give rise to serious data loss situations. You can then use the updated backup copy in order to restore the lost data. However, if a backup copy is not updated or it doesn't fulfill the requirement, you must use an advanced Word repair software in order to recover lost data.

Consider a practical scenario, wherein, you work for an organization which has a set template to follow in order to produce Word documents. When you open an important Word document (made using the set template) to edit something or write something, you may receive the following error:

HRESULT: 0x800A142D
VB Error: 5165
"Word cannot open the existing [square]"

As a result, you are unable to access the data stored in that particular word file. You can also observe the same problem with another Word document or Word application may crash while you open an another file.


The root cause of the above problem is corrupt global template file i.e. Since the master template is corrupt, it is very much likely that all the documents could have got damaged and may exhibit abrupt behavior.


In order to fix issues with Word application, you must rename your file using the following steps:

Quit Microsoft Word
Go to Start, click Find, and then click Files and Folders
In the named box, type or normal.dotm as per your Word version
In the Look In box, select your local hard disk
Click Find Now and initiate the search
Right-click each occurrence of global template and Rename it to say ot and etc.

If Word starts correctly, you have successfully resolved the problem. Copy the customizations from the old global template file to the new global template file by using the organizer.

If you are not able to overcome the problem with MS word documents, you must immediately go for a third-party repair word file software. Such professional word repair utilities repair corrupt or damaged Word documents and recover Word documents in the original form.

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