Can't open document

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Can't open document

Postby laurenejf » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:31 pm

Hi, wondering if anyone can help! Cant open a document that I could open fine yesterday, tried to open it with notepad, word pad, on my phone, another computer, i've tried everything!

When I try to open the document it comes up with a box giving me options,
the title of the box is "ASCII Filter Options''
My options are Character set, Default fonts, Language and Paragraph break. Once I click ok, it gives me an option to open read-me document, when clicked it comes up with about 60 pages of "#####". Can anyone help me on how to open my document or recover it? Its important university work that needs to be handed in today!

Many thanks
Open Office 4.1.2. Windows 8
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Re: Can't open document

Postby RoryOF » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:03 pm

Usually such file loss occurs with a program crash or with over hasty shut down of the computer after using OpenOffice. The OO file structure is complex and takes longer to build than other formats, so it is best to be leisurely in powering down the computer; this gives time for hardware/software write buffers to flush. I suggest closing the file, then close OpenOffice. Gather your papers and pens, then power off computer. Don't just close the file and immediately snap power switch off or close the laptop lid. The computer has housekeeping to do!

To try and recover your file, you should look in the backup and temporary directories pointed to by /Tools /Options /OpenOffice : Paths. Rename any files in those to type .odt (or whatever file type you were using) and see if they contain your data. Download Recuva or PhotoRec (only one needed) and let it do an indepth recovery of deleted files on your computer. You may get a file containing some or all of your data (or not).
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.8 on Xubuntu 20.04.1 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
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Re: Can't open document

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:49 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum!

Sadly, quite nothing to do I fear, see: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs.

Check the temporary folder of the system (see in OO Tools>Options>OO>Paths). If there are folders like sgmlf.tmp with a file having the same name inside, make a copy of that file, rename it in .odt and cross your fingers.

If you want to help fix this problem, you can also do this survey created for this very problem: Document Recovery Survey.
LO 6.4.6 on Xubuntu 20.04 and Windows 10.
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Re: Can't open document

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:44 pm

If you are lucky, you might be able to un-delete some of the temporary files which Writer wrote while you were editing the .odt file, and then deleted when you closed Writer. Act quickly - they risk being overwritten the longer you leave it. Note that this only works if you were editing a .odt file - it does not work if you were editing a .doc file. The following is based on Windows - Apple should be similar.

 Edit: See Using Recuva to un-delete Writer temporary files for help recovering the temporary files which Writer wrote while you were editing the document, and then deleted when Writer was closed.

The post has been extensively updated [June 2016] to show how AutoRecovery files can be un-deleted for .odt files; for files which have never been saved; and for .doc files.

Using RECUVA to un-delete Writer .odt temporary files which are now deleted
Another on RECUVA

These may also be helpful.

Using 7-ZIP
Inside an odt file
Hints on how to prevent it happening

Always set AutoRecovery to ON - this saves a copy of the file every few minutes while you are working on it - it protects you against things like power cuts, OS freezes etc. Do so by: Tools > Options > Load/Save > General ...

Always?? set Create A Backup copy to ON - this keeps the previously saved version of the file fred.odt as fred.bak in the Backup folder. Do so by: Tools > Options > Load/Save > General ... The Backup folder location is shown by Tools > Options > OpenOffice > Paths ... You may need to switch on Show hidden files (Control Panel > Folder Options > View ...) to be able to see the folder and its contents.

Why the ?? ? Because you should remember that highly_personal.bak will still be in the Backup folder long after you have deleted highly_personal.odt.
LO, Windows 10 Home 64 bit

See the Writer Guide, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and Writer for students.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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