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
- In the Word Options, dialogue box select the display option
- In the display option, you will find Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen
- 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.
So download Remo Repair Word and follow the mentioned steps to recover the corrupted Word file.
- Launch the Remo Repair Word application
- Click on browse and select the Word document with junk characters
- Click on repair
- 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.
Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise on video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users.
As a technical specialist she also believes in learning and spreading knowledge about the current and trending aspects of various media formats, Adobe Photoshop and macOS troubleshooting. A full-fledged learner, caffeine-lover and a firm-believer that technology would make the world a better place.