The ubiquity of PDF files is in part due to the ability of almost every PC, Mac, smartphone and tablet to be able to open and view the content. With certain software on various devices you can also complete forms and save the result. However, when a PDF file becomes corrupt it can become seemingly impossible to retrieve the content, causing frustration and harming productivity.
There are various reasons why a PDF may be corrupt but the most common reason is that the file has been created on a substandard PDF editor or PDF creator. Fortunately, there are ways that you can retrieve the situation and fix a corrupt file, without spending hours recreating the lost content or chasing the original source of the file.
The most reliable, but expensive, way to fix the corrupt file is to invest in Adobe Acrobat X Suite; even if the file cannot be opened with a PDF reader, the Acrobat X Suite should be able to open the file, albeit with some loss of form and formatting. However, at close to £1,000 for one licence, the outlay can be prohibitive.
At a fraction of the cost, some top of the range PDF editors do much of the same work as the Adobe software and so you have a very good chance of being able to retrieve the content by opening the PDF file with your editor. Once it is open, tidy up any formatting that has been lost and re-save the file as a new PDF which will be free from corruption.
If you use a PC, you can use software you already have on your computer to retrieve some of the content. Right-click on the corrupt file and choose ‘Open With’ and select the Notepad program that comes bundled with every copy of Windows. The resulting file will contain a lot of coding but within that coding you will see the content. This is perhaps a only really viable with text-only PDFs as when you are dealing with images and forms, Notepad will be swamped with coding and finding the text can be the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Unfortunately, although Microsoft Office can create PDFs, there is no way to retrieve PDF content using Word, Excel or any of the programs that are normally so useful, but with the right software, be it the Abode products, a dedicated PDF editor or, as a last resort, Notepad, there is hope in a corrupt PDF.