Thanks for responding, very kind of you. My word documents were scattered all over the hard-drive and in different archives, the same with hundreds of family images, about 10 years or more of having been very disorganized. I wasn't looking for deleted files, I had this brainstorm of using Recuva to collect everything into one place where I can sort them out and delete the doubles. That worked great on my images but the word documents came back unreadable in a weird code like. Unfortunately I didn't think of backing up my files. When I do open one of those word files I get the window 'Archive Conversion' but no matter which codification I select the file does not appear in any language but in different numbers, letters and every strange symbol on the keyboard. I do get two readable phrases though: Next Page and Next Column. The actual text is in code, I believe that's what it's called. I am up in age, soon to be 78, so this has been a real challenge so far. I spent weeks on google, hoping someone had a similar problem but to no avail.
I couldn't find the original files anywhere after they went through the Recuva mil and since I had to reformat that particular hard-drive recently I imagine they are gone for good.