Word file corrupting after saving file via Save Target As more than once

Hi there

A Word (docx) file is opened in SDL Studio (2017 or 2019) and translated. The file is saved using "Save Target As" via F12. The output file writes over the original docx file and will open fine in Word.

If the file is saved via F12 again, with or without making changes to any segments, Studio reports the file as saved but Word says "The file xxxx cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents". Even saving via "Save Target As" using a different name results in a corrupt Word file.

This does not happen with all files. Indeed, some Word files will become corrupt just "Saving Target As" the first time (this appears to be a bookmarks problem, but not entirely sure), while others can be re-saved multiple times with no issue. Also, it happens with files (i) sent from clients, (ii) created locally with copy/pasted text or (iii) extracted from PDFs, however, once again, some files are affected regardless of how they were created and others are not, i.e. the source of the file is apparently not a root cause of the issue. 

When this happens it is highly annoying, especially if I have spent an hour or two adjusting the initial Word document (e.g. after a PDF extraction) prior to opening it in Studio, as the original file is overwritten and now corrupt, so has to be recreated from scratch (or re-downloaded, or whatever).

Would appreciate any help with this, it occurs quite often.

7 Replies Latest Replies: 6 Dec 2018 9:56 PM by Daniel Hug < 1   2  >
  • Hi Simon,
    I did not experience this problem with Studio yet, but Word files are known to be, well, corruptible.
    My four cents of wisdom:
    1) Create a backup file before you open the file in Studio, especially if you spent a lot of work on preparing it.
    2) Since corruption as you describe it does not happen systematically with all Word files, it might help to "save as" a legacy Word version (as legacy as you can, maybe Word 97-2003 or RTF), as this will simplify the formatting of the file. Open it again and save it as docx and it should be less prone to cause issues.
    3) Word files seem to corrupt more easily if you copy/past images with the clipboard. Inserting them with the "Insert-Image" function is more stable. This might be true for other clipboard-inserted content, too.
    4) If your Word file contains not much more than text, copy the text into a plain text editor like Notepad++. Either use the plain text file as translation source or copy the text back into a clean Word document.
    All the best!
  • In reply to Daniel Hug:

    Hi Daniel, many thanks for the response.
    I am hoping there is a definitive solution for this issue rather than a workaround.
    However, responding in order to your comments:
    1. Yes, it's yet another step in the process that I would like to avoid, but it's an alternative.However, and quite importantly, even if I have saved a file into Word and it has become corrupt, even if I "Save Target As" using a different file name (i.e. not overwriting the original), it still won't open and reports as corrupt.
    2. Yes, if I get a DOCX file from a client that corrupts after saving from Studio into DOCX first time round, then I download the original file again and save as RTF, which solves the problem.
    3. I haven't done this, if extracting a PDF, I do so without images, translate, and then insert the images into the final Word file after translation and export.
    4. Again, the saving as RTF seems to provide a similar solution.
  • In reply to simon foakes:

    Hi Simon,

    I know how frustrating it is when files corrupt. In this world, workarounds are sometimes the best thing available. But at least they are available!

    1) Yes, once it's corrupt there is little you can do. The docx->RTF->docx cleanup should be before that happens.

    If you can develop a standard process (create backup copy/save as rtf/save as docx), you might be able to record a macro to speed it up and make it automatic. Word (for all its problems) offers quite a few options in this respect, both macros and VB.


  • Hello ,

    Just a question. Have you had the same experience with the Word files if instead of 'Save target As' you choose the 'Export files' or 'Generate target translations' batch task?
    Because these other two tasks yield the same result, i.e. you receive a target Word file, but might not corrupt the file.

    Let me know if this was helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Greta Magyar - Customer Success Representative - SDL
  • In reply to Greta Magyar:

    Hi Greta
    I haven't tried these options, but I will next time I get a corrupt save and will let you know.
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