I used ABBYY to scan some documents into a Word 2007 document. After doing dome clean-up on the formatting, I started noticing strange text artifacts like this that appear throughout my document:

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I have no idea what it is or where it is coming from. It doesn't appear to be anything I can select and delete. It's as if it's part of the background itself as it remains in place no matter what I do to object above it. I can type over it, add some carriage returns above it, backspace over it, etc. No matter what I do, this artifact stays.

They're even present when I save my document as a PDF. Oddly, some have since disappeared, but a few remain. They're definitely within the document itself. Is my document haunted?

  • 1
    "Is my document haunted?" - Yes, but you'll have to wait for Ghostbusters III before the problem can be addressed. – Karan Jul 9 '13 at 22:52
  • @Karan, The storyline for Ghostbusters seems to have gone down hill, fast. – Adam Jul 10 '13 at 14:37

Probably your document is corrupted in some way, shape or form. Try copying and pasting all of your content into a fresh document and see if the issue remains then.


The artifact may be in an alternate data stream. This would be a form of corruption. If so, try the "Prepare Document for Sharing" command from the file options. This will remove unwanted data and, with any luck, may remove your problem.


It may have been saved over the template that you used for this document during conversion. Perhaps create a new document - based on the usual Normal.doc/Normal.docx template - and paste the data (as plain text) into this document to see if the problem persists.

Further to this, open up a new text file - Notepad will be fine - and then copy the text from Word and paste into the new text file template. Next, copy from the text file and paste into a new Word document (again, based on the Normal.doc/Normal.docx template). What this does is ultimately "removes" all formatting (going into text format) and allows you to paste the "fresh"/unformatted text into a new Word document. This should eradicate any rogue elements of the document by effectively stripping it down to its bare bones form.

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