Restore faulty Documents

Here are some tricks that might help to restore a document refused by StarOffice. The most important hint is. Copy your faulty document and try to bring it back to live just with this copy. It's quite simple to destroy a minor defect document by playing around. Perhaps you find a Backup of this document. StarOffice stores them in the folder \Office51\backup or \Office52\user\backup. Every backup document gets the suffix “BAK”. By default StarOffice will not create backup copies. You have to switch (automatic) backup on choosing Tools|Options|General|Save.

  1. The first attempt restoring a document should be loading this document "without layout" by pressing <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<L> (or <Alt Gr>+<L>) in File|Open-Dialog. Without Layout means StarOffice will parse this document again and will ignore faulty formatting. The contents and the unobjected formatting will be preserved.

  2. If StarOffice Writer is able to load the document, but freezes or crashes by displaying it, install the newest StarOffice Version you can get and try to load your document here. This helps in most of the cases I know. If you can't get the newest version or if the newest version has the same problem, try the following macro "Try to rescue faulty documents". I think the StarOffice Support team will be interested in such a faulty document.

  3. A next try is to import the faulty document into an empty one. Use Insert|File in StarOffice Writer, StarOffice Draw and StarOffice Impress. In StarOffice Calc you have to choose Insert|Sheet then “From file”.

  4. If you can load the document but StarOffice crashes after a few keystrokes. Try to copy & paste the contents into an empty file using the clipboard.
    Create a new document, open the faulty one, select all (Edit|Select All), copy to the clipboard (Edit|Copy), wait unhurried because this action can last up to half an hour or more (due to the amount of text, the problem and your memory).
    Now switch to the empty document and paste the contents of the clipboard (Edit|Paste).
    Beware that some of the elements in your documents will not be transferred Such as objects anchored to pages, headers and footers and the document properties. Copy them seperatly.

  5. The last way to restore the document without any losses is to include the file by a link into an empty document. Use Insert|Section in StarOffice Writer to do so. In StarOffice Draw and StarOffice Impress those links will be created choosing Insert|File and in StarOffice Calc Insert|Sheet then “From file” activating the checkbox “Link”.

  6. If the above hints didn't work and you deal with a defective StarOffice Writer document you can pump plain text out of the SDW-file. Not a perfect solution, but it could help you to save some of the work to recreate your document. Load your document "mydoc.sdw" into a plain text editor and you will see a lot of mazy characters (this is the header), scroll down and suddely you will see your text. Now you are able to copy the plain text into an empty StarOffice Writer document. Formatting and embedded Objects are gone. This is one of the causes why you should work with linked objects.
    In order to follow this hint you need a plain text editor that is able to open huge files.
    If you are a Windows-User:
    You can't use Notepad for this. Like many other programmers editors NoteTab Light can do this job. If you don't have a chance to get another editor you could use DOS-Editor that comes with Windows. Open a DOS-Shell and invoke
    "EDIT /60 mydoc.sdw"

  7. You could ask Sun Support if they like to give your document a chance.

Author: Werner Roth Original page

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