Troubleshooting: Squished text in Microsoft Word documents

On computers running Windows, Word may occassionally leave behind corrupt temporary files.  This may cause documents to open with all of their text looking squished to one side, the characters printed on top of each other.  The corrupt document would look something like that shown in the picture.


Deleting the corrupt files eliminates the problem, at least until more files get left behind.  If squished fonts happen, avoid saving the document with the squished fonts back to the original file name, so that you don't overwrite your original.  After all, the first rule of Tech Support is "do no harm".  Make backups of your files and make sure they are good.

*Note* Proceed at your own risk.  If you have any recoverable documents due to a crash, you'll want to recover them before continuing. You may not be able to get them back if you proceed with these steps.

1. Close Word (and to be safe, any other Office applications).

2. Download and run this batch file: remove-temp-files.bat (you may have to right-click this link and select "Save Link As" or, if you're using Google Chrome, it will automatically download when you click on th elink).  A console window will appear and let you know when it is finished.  Press any key to close it.  Note that if you are running Vista or Windows 7 you need to have appropriate rights to a command prompt and you may need to allow UAC (Windows User Access Control) to execute the batch.

3. Open up the problematic document in Word and it should be fine.

If this does not work for you, there may be another issue related to your installation or configuration of Word.  Feel free to contact support using the form at the bottom of this page if the above does not work for you.