Batch File Conversions

If you are upgrading your entire organization to Word 2003 at the same time, you may find it convenient to convert your collection of Word 6.0/95 files to Word 2003 format all at the same time. However, that's not the only time you may want to convert many files at once. For example:

  • You might be migrating from WordPerfect and want to convert your WordPerfect files for use in Word 2003.

  • You might be migrating from Macintosh to Windows and want to convert older Macintosh Word files for use in Word 2003.

  • You might be upgrading a set of documents created in an earlier version of Word.

Word 2003 provides a batch conversion utility, the Conversion Wizard, for purposes such as these. With the Conversion Wizard, you can create Word 2003 documents from files in the following formats:

Microsoft Works 6.0 & 7.0

Outlook Address Book

Personal Address Book (Outlook Express)

Rich Text Format (RTF)

Schedule+ Contacts


Windows Write


Encoded Text

Word 6.0/95 for Windows & Macintosh

WordPerfect 5.x

WordPerfect 6.x


In addition, Word can attempt to extract the valid text from any file, using the Recover Text from Any File option.

Similarly, you can convert documents from Word 2003 to the following formats:

MS-DOS Text or MS-DOS Text with Line Breaks

Rich Text Format (RTF)

Text or Text with Line Breaks

Word 97-2003 & 6.0/95 - RTF



Encoded Text

Works 6.0 and 7.0


The Conversion Wizard can convert all files in a specific folder. Before you use it, either place all the files you want to convert in the same folder or, if you want to convert files in their current folders, list the folders you want to convert and run the Conversion Wizard separately in each folder.


Test your file conversions on a few sample documents before performing them en masse and putting the resulting documents into production.

To run the Conversion Wizard, choose File, New; click On My Computer on the New Document task pane; select Batch Conversion Wizard from the Other Documents tab; and click OK.

After you've displayed the Conversion Wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Click Next. The From/To screen appears (see Figure 34.5).

    Figure 34.5. On the From/To screen of the Conversion Wizard, you specify to (or from) which format you want to convert your file.


  2. If you want to convert files stored in another format into Word 2003 files, click Convert from Another Format to Word; then choose the format from the highlighted drop-down box. If you want to convert Word 2003 files into another format, click Convert from Word to Another Format. A drop-down box becomes active under this button. From this drop-down box, select the format you want.

  3. Click Next to move to the next window.

  4. From the Folder Selection window (see Figure 34.6), click Browse (next to Source Folder) to specify the folder where your existing files are.

    Figure 34.6. From the Folder Selection dialog box, you can choose both a source and a destination folder.


  5. The Browse for Folder dialog box appears. Select a folder and click OK.

  6. Click the Browse button located next to Destination Folder.

  7. In the Browse to Folder dialog box, select a destination folder and click OK.

  8. Click Next to display the File Selection window. From here, you can select the specific files you want to convert.


    If you choose the same folder for input and output, and you've chosen a conversion in which the file extension does not change?such as converting Word 6.0/95 to Word 2003 files?the old files are overwritten in the new format. Be careful to make sure that this is what you want to happen before you run the conversion.

  9. To convert all the files in the folder you selected, click Select All. All the files now appear in the To Convert box.


    If no files appear in the Available box, click the arrow next to the Type drop-down box to choose a different file extension.

  10. To prevent a file from being converted, double-click it in the To Convert box.

  11. When you finish selecting files, click Next.

  12. Click Finish to perform the file conversions. A progress bar appears onscreen showing how far along in the conversion process the Conversion Wizard is. When the process finishes, the Conversion Wizard offers you an opportunity to run another conversion. If you click Yes, the wizard runs again.


Don't assume that the entire process will run unattended; check in every few minutes. The conversion process may occasionally stop to report an error message or, in some cases, to attempt to load a Web page included in a file being converted.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word