Background: When a file is open for writing and a system or application event occurs that interrupts the reading, verification, or saving of a file, the internal file information can become damaged. This alert is one of several that indicate that a file has been damaged (other errors include “End of File error encountered” and “I/O error when reading/writing to disk”). Damage at this level is very difficult to overcome. The “Bad File Format [-70]” error means that the internal data of the file is either damaged or part of the file is missing. Usually, this kind of damage results when the file was incompletely saved or a system failure occurred while the file was being saved.

Any number of variables can cause file damage. Most damaged files are the result of an incomplete save. An incomplete save may occur if the application unexpectedly quits, the system fails while saving a project, or if the network goes down while saving a project to a network drive. Files can become damaged if you save a project to damaged media, or if the media becomes corrupted at a later point in time. Depending on the degree of damage, you may or may not be able to recover the project.

When a “Bad File Format ”error occurs, you may be able to recover it. Following are some suggestions for file recovery.

Attempting to Recover the Document

On Windows, check the file size of the document in the File Manager, in Windows Explorer, or by right-clicking the file and choosing Properties.

If you had the Auto Save option turned on in the Application preferences (Go to QuarkXPress > Preferences and select the Save pane), you can try opening the Auto Saved document in QuarkXPress. In Windows, you need to rename the “.asv“ file to “.qxp” and try to open it in the application.

Try opening the project in Microsoft® Word; using the “Open all Files” option. If the document opens in Microsoft Word, this may open and bring all the text in as raw text along with QuarkXPress project code. However, in most cases all formatting and style information will be lost.

On Mac OS X only, there is a utility that may be able to recover the document with the formatting and layout intact. Markztools, a file recovery tool specifically built by Markzware to recover undamaged parts of otherwise damaged QuarkXPress projects, can sometimes recover crucial project or layout components, depending on the nature of the damage. You can contact Markzware at 800.300.3532 or at:

Auto Backup - The use of Auto Backup is recommended so all work will not be lost. If you have a project that has become damaged, you can revert to a backup version of the project if you have Auto-Backup ON.

Note: For more information about Auto Backup, see 'How to Back Up your Projects Using Auto Backup'.

Computer Maintenance

One good way to combat file damage is to have a regular maintenance schedule for your computer. You can use a diagnostic utility on a regular basis, such as Norton Disk Doctor or Disk Tools for the Mac OS.

On Windows, it is a good idea to keep your hard drive free of Temp files and to run ScanDisk and Defrag on a weekly basis.

Look for recurring problems that are being fixed each time on either platform. In addition, check your hard drive and defragment, if necessary. Furthermore, while very effective QuarkXPress project workflows today often use projects and resources stored on server volumes, be aware that doing so can introduce network or server variables that can contribute to any file instability issues. In a case where you suspect network variables as a possible contributor to a problem, you may want to temporarily save to your local hard drive until you have resolved any network or server related problems you have identified.