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I can open a document if I open it directly from Windows Explorer. But if I open a Word document from an email or from a website; Word will open but will be blank (see screenshot).

enter image description here

Any ideas?

I am using Office 2007 with Windows 7 32 bit.

Thank you.

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What happens if you download the document file and then open it? – music2myear Oct 3 '11 at 17:46
what email server are you using – user100079 Oct 3 '11 at 18:18
Just as a test, do you see the same behavior in OpenOffice or LibreOffice? I'm curious to see if the problem is local to Word, or something else entirely (maybe directory permissions). – MaQleod Oct 3 '11 at 18:29

It looks like it could be a problem with DDE. Under XP you'd be able to check (and fix) your DDE related settings through the Windows Explorer Folder Options/File Types options. However I believe Vista did away with an easy way to get at the DDE settings.

Things to try:

Run Microsoft Office Diagnostics. You'll find it in your start menu under Microsoft Office -> Microsoft Office 2007 Tools, or type Diagnostics into the search bar.

Change the default programs for .DOC and .DOCX files to something other than Word and back again.

Repair your Office install. Open Programs and Features, click Office and choose "Change" then click repair.

Uninstall, then re-install Office.

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I've seen this happen as a result of virus scanners. If your virus scanner has a plug-in for Microsoft Office, or a setting to scan all documents on opening, or a setting to scan all attachments, try turning those features off and try again.

I know that AVG 8 had this issue.

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