How to Fix a Corrupt Publisher File

By Nick Davis

From loading with odd characters to crashing your computer, Microsoft Publisher files are not immune to problems and corruption. The publication files, like other computer files, can become corrupt if you don't properly close Publisher when you are finished editing the file or your computer shuts down while working in the Publisher file. Windows and Publisher includes a variety of tools for troubleshooting and fixing corrupt Publisher files. Once the file is repaired, you need to save a second version of the Publisher file in the event a problem or error arises again.

Fixing Within “Safe Mode”

Step 1

Close Microsoft Publisher, if it is open, and any other open programs and files.

Step 2

Click “Start,” “Turn Off Computer” and “Restart,” if using Windows XP.If using Windows Vista or 7, click “Start,” the right arrow icon next to “Turn Off Computer” then “Restart.”

Step 3

Press the “F8” key on computer's keyboard repeatedly when your computer's main logo appears on the screen. Release the key once the “Windows Advanced Options” menu pops up.

Step 4

Press the down arrow key on your computer's keyboard to scroll down and select “Safe Mode.” Press “Enter” or “Return” to start the Safe Mode boot process.If you have a multi-boot or dual-boot system, select the Windows operating system you want to start then press “Enter” or “Return” to confirm your selection.

Step 5

Click “Start,” “All Programs” and “Microsoft Publisher” once your computer's “Desktop” appears.

Step 6

Click “File” and “Open.” Navigate to and double click the corrupt Publisher file you want to open. If the file opens, proceed to the next step. If the file is presenting an error or won't open, click “OK” or “Cancel” to close the error message dialog box then click “File” and “Exit” to close Publisher. Complete the steps in the “Opening the Corrupt Publisher File via Windows Explorer” section. Note, do not restart your computer—this will take you out of Safe Mode and you need to stay in Safe Mode to complete the next section.

Step 7

Scroll through publication and look for any unusual coding, graphic boxes and other issues. If any are found, right click on the coding, boxes and select “Delete Object.”

Step 8

Click “File” and “Save As.” Enter a new name for the Publisher file in the box next to “File name.” Click “Save” to save the file. If desired, click “File” and “Open.” Right click on the corrupt Publisher file's name and select “Delete.” Click “Yes” to confirm the deletion. This is to keep you from having both the corrupt and repaired file on your system.

Step 9

Click “Start,” “Turn Off Computer” and “Restart,” if using Windows XP.If using Windows Vista or 7, click “Start,” the right arrow icon next to “Turn Off Computer” then “Restart” to restart your computer and exit Safe Mode.

Opening the Corrupt Publisher File via Windows Explorer

Step 1

Click “Start” and “Computer” or “My Computer” to open Windows Explorer.

Step 2

Navigate to and double click the corrupt Publisher file's name to open it. Scroll through the publication and look for any unusual coding, graphic boxes and other issues. If any are found, right click on the coding, boxes and select “Delete Object.”

Step 3

Click “File” and “Save As.” Enter a new name for the Publisher file in the box next to “File name” Click “Save” to save the file. If the file is presenting an error or won't open, click “OK” or “Cancel” to close the error message dialog box then click “File” and “Exit” to close Publisher. Complete the steps in the “Disabling Pictures” section. Note, do not restart your computer—this will take you out of Safe Mode and you need to stay in Safe Mode to complete the next section.

Step 4

Click “Start,” “Turn Off Computer” and “Restart,” if using Windows XP.If using Windows Vista or 7, click “Start,” the right arrow icon next to “Turn Off Computer” then “Restart” to restart your computer and exit Safe Mode.

Disabling Pictures

Step 1

Click “Start,” “All Programs” and “Microsoft Publisher,” if Publisher is closed. Click “File” and “New Publication.” Select any blank publication.

Step 2

Click “View” and “Picture Display” or “Pictures.” Select “Hide pictures.” Click “OK.”

Step 3

Navigate to and double click the corrupt Publisher file's name to open it. Scroll through the publication and look for any unusual coding, graphic boxes and other issues. If any are found, right click on the coding, boxes and select “Delete Object.”

Step 4

Click “File” and “Save As.” Enter a new name for the Publisher file in the box next to “File name.” Click “Save” to save the file.