Solved why does my file show only symbols

January 17, 2020 at 14:58:41
Specs: Windows 10
This file is in Open Office. I have never had this problem before. All other files so far are opening correctly, but this one is showing only the number symbol #. It's only about 4 pages and they are solid # symbols. I updated Open Office to the most recent version. It didn't help. Thank you for any help that doesn't involve a lot of tech stuff.

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#1
January 17, 2020 at 15:33:49
✔ Best Answer
If the file is not too sensitive, upload it here, so we can examine it.

File Convoy ( no time delays/Captcha-I'm not a Robot/account/registration needed ) Give us the links please.
http://www.fileconvoy.com/index.php
https://i.imgur.com/7UiiqWr.gif
https://i.imgur.com/6N1gfOj.gif


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#2
January 17, 2020 at 20:30:42
Most likely your file is a format the Open Office can't read.

What is the extension of the file, IE. .doc .xls .jpg ?

If it is a format the Open Office can read, what font are you using?

message edited by THX 1138


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#3
January 17, 2020 at 21:01:31
In general Open Office can open just about any office related files. I have used it many times to open old and new formats and resave them in formats that my then MS Office could handle. The file extension of course would confirm compatibility but it may just have been corrupted. You can see the extension easily if you right click on the file and select Properties. If a test document you an try notepad and wordpad. You can also right click on the file and select 'Open With' and see what programs are suggested.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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Related Solutions

#4
January 17, 2020 at 22:12:54
I used Open Office a fair amount about a year ago and am
just starting to use it again on another large project. I haven't
seen the particular problem you see. The fact that it is solid "#"
characters tells us something, but I don't know what. So I'll
just ask questions: Is there any other way in which this file is
different from your other files? Anything that you did to it that
you didn't do to the others?

Is the date and time stamp on the file exactly what you expect?
I'm speculating that it might have been created by an automatic
backup at a time you weren't intending to do a Save, or maybe
it is a result of the computer shutting down while the file was
open.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#5
January 18, 2020 at 09:13:19
Thank you for the responses here. To answer some of the questions I've used Open Office for quite a few years and have never had this happen. I don't think I've done anything different with this one than the others. After this problem, I did update to the current version of Open Office but it has not helped.

I get a pop up called ASCII Filter Options with a list that says Properties, then Character set, Default fonts, and Language. Also at the bottom, there are paragraph break options. This pop up doesn't show on any other files I have opened.

I wrote this piece in Open Office I didn't move it from somewhere else.

Maybe my computer shut down before it was properly saved, not sure on that one. Is there any way to fix this?

I could upload this for inspection, but not sure if the person asking me to do this wants me to upload to one of the links provided or what? Sorry, I'm not very techy here.

Again, thank you very much for all your help. Judy


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#6
January 18, 2020 at 11:26:19
Yes, Johnw wants you to upload the file to fileconvoy.com.
That website will then display a link for you to copy and paste here so
we can download it from that site. The file will be erased after ten days
or the time that you specify. The other two links John posted are helps
showing how to upload your file. It's very simple.

As John says, of course, only do this if you believe the file doesn't have
any sensitive info in it.

Either the file is nothing but "#" characters, or those characters are being
displayed in place of the actual characters in the file. We all hope it's the
latter.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#7
January 18, 2020 at 14:27:30
Hi again,
I successfully got that file downloaded as Johnw suggested. Yes, I hope the words are still there somewhere too. It was just the beginning of a possible story.

Thank you all again so much. I hope it can get figured out.


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#8
January 19, 2020 at 02:13:19
Tip for the future... anything important (to you) make two copies, stored on separate media and stored separately. Typically cd/dvd and a hard drive (preferably an external one as well as the one in the computer).

Check/verify copes when first created (and when updated) and at intervals thereafter.


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#9
January 19, 2020 at 09:01:29
Thank you trvlr. Great advice and I'm taking it.

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#10
January 22, 2020 at 20:22:26
judy-b,

What is the situation?
Are you waiting for us or are we waiting for you?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#11
January 23, 2020 at 08:46:37
Hi Jeff,
I downloaded the file about three days ago and am waiting for a response. Is there a problem with the download? It said it downloaded so I was just giving Johnw a chance to look it over and see if he could figure out what is going on. Thank you.
Judy

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#12
January 23, 2020 at 10:43:51
I believe that what you did was upload the file to fileconvoy.com.
After uploading it, the web page displayed a link to the file. You need
to copy that link and paste it into a post here.

If you no longer have or can't find the link, you will need to upload the
file again and copy the new link, then paste it here. That's happened
to me, too.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#13
January 23, 2020 at 12:50:20
Hi Jeff,
Okay, think I've got it right this time. Thank you so much for your help.

http://www.fileconvoy.com/dfl.php?i...


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#14
January 23, 2020 at 15:33:21
"think I've got it right this time"
You have.

Nothing I have tried so far, can repair the corrupted file

Here is a link for you to follow re the .odt file recovery on your comp.
https://forum.openoffice.org/en/for...


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#15
January 23, 2020 at 16:28:08
Looking at the file with a hex editor (it's a computer programming thing)
shows that it consists of two blocks of 10,000 # symbols followed by a
smaller block of a couple thousand # symbols, separated by line break
characters. So all of the text and all of the Open Office formatting data
has been replaced. The file has no value at all.

If there is any chance of recovering your text, it will have to be from
another file-- maybe an automatic backup which is still recognizeable,
or possibly one which has been deleted but which can still be recovered
with a program which recovers deleted files. Such a file would either be
in the same folder where you were saving your story, or in a sub-folder
of the folder named "AppData" which is inside your user folder. You can
find the path to this folder by looking in Open Office under:

Tools > Options > Open Office > Paths > Backups

Good luck!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#16
January 23, 2020 at 17:36:35
Hi Johnw and Jeff,

I looked at both helps and it just doesn't do anything. So I guess as you guys have said this is a lost story that I will have to re-write.

I just wonder why this happened and how to prevent it from happening again?

I think it has to do with the ASCll Filter Options. I've researched that a bit and it looks like there is no solution to that either.

I just want to thank you both for sticking with me and trying to help. It's much appreciated.


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#17
January 23, 2020 at 17:49:23
Judy, there was more than Tools > Options > Open Office > Paths > Backups in my link.
Did you try them all?

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#18
January 23, 2020 at 19:01:06
Hi Johnw,
I think I tried them all. I'm not very good at this tech stuff. I thank you again for working through this with me. I think I'll just rewrite the story. Some of the words will come back to me, maybe even better :)

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#19
January 23, 2020 at 19:41:31
"I think I'll just rewrite the story"
That's the way to go judy, yes some of the fixes were a bit technical.

Don't know why it got corrupted, could have been human error, power outage, lots of possibles.

Make sure you Save often & then double check to make sure all is Ok.

message edited by Johnw


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