How Do I Remove Junk Characters from A Word Document?

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 you 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 Character?

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.

Download Word File Repair tool for free

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, it works in read-only mode. This means, 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.

How Do I Remove Junk Characters from A Word Document? was last modified: March 3rd, 2021 by Molly Owen

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