(Read the SaveAs article - this
is an important safeguard in avoiding Damaged Files.)
. Aside from an imported or
placed file that is damaged, it is also possible that the
file itself is damaged. Meaning the file structure &endash;
the individual framework of the file is broken. Sometimes,
- Allocate more memory to the program.
- . Sometimes a complex
document will grow large enough to outstrip the size of
the default memory partition assigned to the program
(these are often quite small). Giving the application
more memory allows it to open and work on an abnormally
large file. With the application closed, highlight it,
choose Get Info from the File Menu, increase the bottom
memory entry to 20% larger. Try to open, if not
successful, go back and double the memory. Remember to
set the memory back. You would expect the program to tell
you it needs more memory &endash; this is not always the
- Delete the damaged component.
- . If you know what the
problem piece is, you can sometimes delete just that text
or graphic causing the problem.
- Save the file with a different name.
- . If the file can be
opened, save it under a different name. Then try to open
the new copy. This works occasionally.
- . This will sometimes
"fix" the file - select the file in the finder and use
the Duplicate Command under the Edit Menu.
. If this allows the file to
be opened, immediately save it under a different name. Do
not trash the damaged version until you are satisfied
that the copy is completely functional. This solution
will sometimes indicate that the source of the corruption
was a damaged hard drive structure - the directory, most
commonly - after recovering the file, run your disk fix
utility (DiskWarrior is recommended)
- . Copying the contents
into a new file will sometimes work, if the file can be
opened and worked with. Open the file, create a new file,
select all items in the damaged document, and paste into
the newly created one. Immediately save the new file with
a different name.Do not trash the damaged version until
you are satisfied that the copy is completely functional.
Sometimes there is just one component that is damaged,
with some trial and error you may be able to select
everything except the damaged component and copy into a
- Import the file into a new document
- . - if the program
allows it, or using a different program for the import
will allow you to retrieve the contents for transfer into
a new document.
- Open the document in a different program.
- . Occasionally, a
program will be able to open a damaged file created in
another program when the creating application can not.
The translator used to open a foreign file may ignore the
- . A damaged font can
produce symptoms that mimic a damaged file.
- . Text can be extracted
from a damaged document with some utilities. CanOpener is
one. A last ditch option.
- .Some appplications have
a recover option in the menu. FileMaker Pro has such an
option under the File Menu. Other applications will
rebuild their structure with a modifier key when opened.
(Option when opening Outlook Express)
- Pay to have the file recovered.
- . Some companies, such
as Claris and many accounting software publishers, have a
service available to recover damaged files. It can be
Some Miscellaneous Tips
. When you have put more
time into a file than you are willing to lose right now,
save it under a different name. If a project is going to
take five days to create, you may have 10 or 20 incremental
copies of it - MyFile01, MyFile02...etc. This will guard
against losing all your work if a file becomes
. This assumes you are
backing up your files nightly, using Retrospect or other
backup software. If you don't make progressive copies of the
file, at least you will be able to open the previous day's
copy of the file from your backup.
. If you have a tremendously
complex file, consider closing it, opening it, and printing
it at the end of each day. This will partially ensure that
the document is sound at the end of the day.