How come I have word documents that open in word as gibberish?

by on May 30, 2012

Q: I am on my office computer using Windows XP Professional 5.1 SP3; Word 2007 SP3.

I received several .doc attchments to an email (in Outlook), but they open as gibberish in Word. I can get the text in Wordpad, but don’t want to use the documents there, and I cannot save a WP doc to Word.

I have opened other docs from the same sender in the past week, in Word, without a problem.

I checked the file associations, and .doc is set to open with Word, as are all of the other .doc… options. WP is set to open with WordPad, but even when I tried switiching that to Word, I get the same result.

I’ve rebooted twice.

I can’t figure out anything else to do. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!


2 Responses to “How come I have word documents that open in word as gibberish?”
    Picked as best answer

    You’re probably fine, the issue is likely with the sender.

    You can ask the sender what program they used to save the doc files with. You can also just open the files in Wordpad, and then copy/paste the text from Wordpad into a blank Word Doc in MS Word.


    It appears you are correct, Mark. I contacted the sender, who said that the problem might have been related to the font used in the original documents. She converted the font to TimesRoman and saved it as a docx document, which opened just fine on my end.

    Thanks for your quick – and accurate – response!