How Do I Remove Junk Characters from A Word Document?

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The special characters are helpful in formatting, but distract the flow when you reading or printing the doc files, Read this article to get rid of them using all free solutions to remove those unwanted symbols easily.

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It's quite usual to see junk characters in Word documents. Unfortunately, on seeing garbage characters, most of the users assume that their Word document is damaged. But that might not be true for most cases. So, why does your Word document have garbage characters? Well, you can find complete info with regards to this in the following sections.

Why does my Word document have weird symbols?

It is because, Word file has some special characters that indicate the end of the paragraphs (¶), spaces (…), etc. If you see such characters, it is completely normal and easy to fix.

However, in the Microsoft community, many users have encountered such issues when they try to open old MS Word docs on the latest Word application. Saying that all their old Word documents become unreadable. In this specific case, it is mostly due to incompatibility.

But the possibility of Word file corruption is not completely out of the picture, this error might also occur if your Word document is damaged. Does that mean a damaged Word file means your document is unusable? Word file corruption is frequent but also easily repairable. In this article you also find the instructions to fix a damaged Word document too.

 Remove Junk Characters in Word

Here is how to remove the special characters on Word.

  • Go to File and click on the Options button
using word to fix the garbage signs on word
  • In the Word Options, dialogue box select the display option
garbage signs in the word
  • In the display option, you will find Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen
unmarking the special characters on word
  • Now unmark all the special characters.

To be honest, these junk characters do no harm to the document. Also, they are non–printable, and they give you additional information on what kind of space is at any location. Which makes it much clearer when there is any extra space in the document. But not everyone is comfortable working on Word files that have Junk characters.

The above steps only address the junk characters generated due to formatting marks but what about old Word documents that have junk characters?

How to Fix Old Word Documents with Garbage Characters?

If you are trying to open any old Word document in the latest version, you will not face any errors. In fact, the latest MS Word application supports all older Word formats without any issues.

Nevertheless, some users have specifically mentioned in the forums about old documents with garbage characters. So, this is what we found with regards to junk characters in old Word docs.

If the Document is really old like 5 to 10 years old, there might be a situation where your Word document’s file structure is damaged.

So, in such cases, the only possible way to fix the error is with the help of a Word repair tool. Such as Remo Repair Word, a holistic tool that can fix any kind of errors on Word. Remo Word Repair is fully free, easy to use, and has a user-friendly interface. This advanced Word file repair tool works with a read-only mode interface to safely repair .doc & .docx files without altering the original content. Download this free tool now!

So download Remo Repair Word and follow the mentioned steps to recover the corrupted Word file.

  • Launch the Remo Repair Word application
repairing the word document with special characters
  • Click on browse and select the Word document with junk characters.
  • Click on repair.
repairing the word document with junk file error using remo repair word
  • Once the file is repaired select the desired location and save the fixed Word

The ingenuity of Remo is, that it works in read-only mode. This means, that during the repair process, Remo extracts the content from the damaged Word file and transfers that content to another Word document.

So no matter how complicated the error is Remo can easily fix it. Also, feel free to use the Word shortcuts to streamline your work pace.


We hope you found this article helped you clear the clutter in your Word file to achieve the desired output. if you rely on MS Word for documenting, then knowing shortcuts and deploying efficient techniques can increase your productivity.

In case of situations like these, a free tool like Remo Word Repair can come in handy to keep your workflow uninterrupted. Thank you for reading.

About the Author: Hamid Imtiaz

Hamid Imtiaz is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Remo Software, where he leads the charge in developing cutting-edge solutions in the fields of data recovery, data security, and data forensics. With a strong engineering background, Hamid has a keen eye for detail and a meticulous approach to his work. His expertise spans a wide…