Word doc corruption due to Document Map? Steps to repair

Published: 22nd September 2010
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Word document corruption can occur due to a variety of reasons. One of the relatively less cited reasons is use of Document Map option. The Document Map allows you to quickly go through a long Word document whilst keeping track of your location in it. It offers you a flexible view of a Word file and allows you to select the level of detail to display. However, you can run into corruption problems while using this option with a document. In corruption scenarios, the text of the Document Map becomes very small or unreadable. In worst cases, the document itself becomes corrupt and exhibit strange behavior including unusual page numbering, incorrect document layout, strange characters etc. To overcome data inaccessibility problems, you can try some effective measures or use a backup copy of the document. However, if no assistance is available, you must use a third-party Word repair software.

Consider a scenario, wherein, you have a huge Word 2003 document (on Windows XP-based system), which is actually a thesis paper. You often have to jump to different headings in the document to edit text or check references and that's why you have enabled the Document Map option. One fine morning, when you decide to add some extra inputs, you find that the font size in the Document Map pane has become too small, and almost unreadable. Additionally, there are some extra headings which appear and vanish randomly.


The above problems can be witnessed with a Word document in the following scenarios:

If there is an issue with one of the registry entries in the Word data key

If you have used the Document Map option: This option works on guesswork to add outline levels to paragraphs, and can lead to document corruption.


The following Word recovery steps must be considered to resolve the problem:

Delete the Word data key

1. Close all MS Office programs, click Start>Run, type regedit, and click OK

2. Locate the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Data

3. Click the Data key

4. In XP, click Export on the File menu, type a file name for the backup copy of the key, and click Save.

5. Click Yes when you receive the following message:

"Are you sure you want to delete this key and all of its subkeys?"

6. Exit Registry Editor by clicking Exit on the File menu.

In case of corruption due to the use of Document Map, you should consider employing an advanced Word repair application.

Corrupt Word documents can be repaired safely by trusting a comprehensive utility like Stellar Phoenix Word Recovery. The software helps you in recovering damaged Word documents created with MS Word 2007, 2003, 2002 and 2000 versions. This Word recovery application restores all elements including text, graphics, images, tables etc.

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