How to Repair a Corrupt PDF File

There are no overwhelming feelings as trying to open an important document and see that it is damaged or corrupted. If you have a PDF file that you want to recover, the first thing you have to do is think about the origin of the problem.

The PDF is damaged because it was sent to you by email and the file did not arrive complete, or it was downloaded incorrectly, or you had a problem with your PC’s hard drive. The PDF may be only partially damaged, or there is a problem with any XREF table.

In such cases, you can use command applications like PDF Toolkit and Ghostscript to recover it. Ghostscript takes care of regenerating XREF tables, and PDFTK tries to repair missing information blocks. The problem is that if there is a lot of damage to the document, neither of these two tools works.PDF fixer tool

Recovering corrupted PDF documents with PDF Fixer

PDF Fixer is a free Windows app that can do both, repair the content and also repair the XREF table. The program analyzes the available data and tries to put together all the recoverable parts so that the document is readable again.

Its operation is as simple as you can imagine:

  • Download PDF Fixer from its official website.
  • After the installation, open the program.
  • Mark the “Fix Content” and “Fix XREF Table” boxes.
  • Choose a destination folder to save the repaired file.
  • Drag the corrupted file into the red PDF Fixer symbol.
  • After repairing, you will also see a message on the screen. The message indicates that the file has already been corrected.

After doing a few tests, we can also confirm that the application works reasonably well with files corrupted “by mistake”. If you also try with a file damaged manually, the repair will not work.

Something quite logical is that it is almost impossible for a machine to know what information you have manipulated in the document. Its reconstruction is also very unlikely. In any case, it is an interesting application if you encounter problems opening a PDF file on your PC.

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