Being prompted with a message that the document that you're trying to open may be corrupt is one of the worst experiences that you can have when working with any software application. Corrupted documents can cause any application to exhibit unusual behavior if you are able to open the document. Such behavior occurs because the application attempts to make decisions about what to do next based on incorrect information in the corrupted document.
Turn off Word Fast Save whether in or out of RoboHelp. You can access this feature by going to the Word drop down menu TOOLS | OPTIONS and clicking the "Save" tab.
This is a feature added to Word, beginning with Word 6.0 which actually appends all newly saved information, instead of fully saving the new document. The document can bloat until it finally corrupts.
Always work in True Code mode. RoboHelp simply embeds buttons when displaying the document in Dynamic WYSIWYG mode. If you are creating a highly graphical document, sooner or later, that one last embedded object will corrupt the file, and you will no longer be able to save the file. Use Active Test instead to test your topics.
Keep documents less than several hundred pages where possible. If a document totally corrupts, the smaller the document, the better. You do not want to have to recreate a 1000-page document. You can have as many documents in a RoboHelp project as you need so limit your documents to 100-150 pages or less when possible.
Corrupted documents often exhibit behavior that is not part of the program's design (for example, infinite repagination, incorrect document layout and formatting, unreadable characters on the screen, error messages during processing, system hangs or crashes when you load or view the file, or any other unusual behavior that cannot be attributed to the normal operation of the program). These behaviors can be caused by factors other than document corruption.
If the problem occurs only with a single document after performing the steps above, your document has probably been corrupted.
Which method you use depends on the nature and severity of the corruption and the nature of the behavior exhibited. Although many of the methods that follow succeed regularly, not every corrupted document can be recovered. A backup copy of the document is the best way to recover a corrupted document.
Note: There is never any reason to create a new RH project to handle document corruption. A RH project does not in any way create nor contribute to Word document corruption.
When following the instructions below, do not save until a step explicitly asks you to save. If you do, you might see broken links or duplicate files. Make a copy of your project before attempting any of the suggestions below. Suggestions offered are in the order of least radical to most radical. Proceed at your own risk.
If a Word document will not open and you need to at least get a copy of the text within the document, you can choose File > Open, and in the Files of type drop-down list, select Recover Text From Any File. Using the Recover Text From Any File converter does have its limitations. Document formatting will be lost, along with anything that is not of a text nature. Graphics, fields, drawing objects, and so on, will not be converted. However, headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, and field text, will be retained as simple text.
NOTE: If the Recover Text From Any File converter is not installed, you will need to re-run Setup to install this converter.
NOTE: When you change the Files of type box to Recover Text from any File in the Open dialog box (on the File menu, click Open), Word will 'remember' this setting and will use it the next time you open a document. To avoid this problem, reset the Files of Type box back to Word Document (*.doc) after you have recovered the document.
You Can Attempt To Recover A Document That Will No Longer Open, By Linking A Good File With A Blank Document And Then Changing The Link Source To The Damaged Document.
Use the following steps to link and change the link to the damaged file: