How to Fix File Conversion Encoding on Microsoft Word?

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2024 by

Have you ever encountered a problem with file conversion encoding on Microsoft Word? It can be frustrating when you open a document and find that the text is jumbled or unreadable due to incorrect encoding. But don’t worry, this is a common issue that can be easily fixed. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes file conversion encoding problems on Microsoft Word and how to fix them.

Understanding File Conversion Encoding

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s first understand what file conversion encoding is. Encoding is the process of converting data from one format to another. In the case of Microsoft Word, it refers to the conversion of a document from one character set to another.

Different languages and operating systems use different character sets to display text. For example, English uses the ASCII character set, while Japanese uses the Shift-JIS character set. When a document is created in one character set and opened in another, the characters may not be displayed correctly, resulting in a file conversion encoding problem.

Causes of File Conversion Encoding Problems

There are several reasons why you may encounter file conversion encoding problems on Microsoft Word. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Opening a document created on a different operating system or device
  • Copying and pasting text from a different document or source
  • Using special characters or symbols that are not supported by the current character set
  • Saving a document in a different file format

How to Fix File Conversion Encoding Problems on Microsoft Word

Now that we understand the causes of file conversion encoding problems, let’s look at some solutions to fix them.

Solution 1: Change the Encoding Setting

The first solution is to change the encoding setting in Microsoft Word. Here’s how:

  1. Open the document with the encoding problem in Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the File tab and select Options.
  3. In the Word Options window, click on Advanced.
  4. Scroll down to the General section and locate the Web Options button.
  5. In the Web Options window, click on the Encoding tab.
  6. Under Save this document as, select the encoding that matches the language of your document.
  7. Click OK to save the changes.

Solution 2: Use the Open and Repair Feature

If changing the encoding setting doesn’t fix the problem, you can try using the Open and Repair feature in Microsoft Word. This feature attempts to repair any issues with the document, including file conversion encoding problems. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open Microsoft Word and click on the File tab.
  2. Click on Open and select the document with the encoding problem.
  3. Instead of clicking Open, click on the arrow next to it and select Open and Repair.
  4. Microsoft Word will attempt to repair the document and open it with the correct encoding.

Solution 3: Convert the Document to a Different File Format

If the above solutions don’t work, you can try converting the document to a different file format. This will change the encoding of the document and may fix the problem. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the document with the encoding problem in Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the File tab and select Save As.
  3. In the Save As window, click on the Save as type dropdown menu and select a different file format, such as Rich Text Format (.rtf).
  4. Click Save to save the document in the new file format.

Solution 4: Use a Third-Party Conversion Tool

If none of the above solutions work, you can try using a third-party conversion tool to convert the document to a different file format. There are many free and paid tools available online that can convert documents to different formats while preserving the correct encoding. Some popular options include Zamzar, FileZigZag, and Online-Convert.

Tips to Avoid File Conversion Encoding Problems

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to avoid file conversion encoding problems in the future:

  • Use the same operating system and device to create and open documents.
  • Avoid copying and pasting text from different sources.
  • Stick to standard characters and symbols that are supported by most character sets.
  • Save documents in the same file format to avoid conversion issues.


File conversion encoding problems on Microsoft Word can be frustrating, but they can be easily fixed with the solutions mentioned in this article. By understanding the causes of these problems and following the tips to avoid them, you can ensure that your documents are always displayed correctly. If you encounter any issues, try the solutions mentioned above, and you’ll be able to fix the problem in no time. Happy writing!

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.