Microsoft Word Converter Tool

If you upgraded to Word 2007 from a previous version, use the Microsoft Word converter tool to convert your files to the new format.

Cartoon of files going into a converter machineThis article explains how to use the docx converter utility and discusses issues to consider before converting business documents.

By using the Microsoft Word converter, you can convert files created in all previous versions of Microsoft Word. Additionally, you can convert Microsoft Works (.wps, version 4.0 or newer), or WordPerfect files (.wpd, versions 5.x or 6.x) to Word 2007.

Tech Note: Before opening or converting files, install the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. To install it, follow the instructions under, Opening docx files with a previous version of Word (opens in new window).

Converting documents to Word 2007

If you want to convert a file to the new docx format and eliminate the old file, follow these steps (To keep a copy of both the old file and the docx file, do not use the convert utility. Follow steps 1-2, then click Save As > Word Document):

  1. Open the document in Word 2007.
  2. Click the Office Button.
  3. Click the Microsoft Word Converter command button.
    convert command button
  4. Click OK to verify the conversion.
    conversion warning message
  5. (Optional) If you are converting a file that is older than Word 97, you are presented with an additional warning that asks if you want the file converted to the new format. Click Yes to proceed with the conversion, or click No to save the file in the original format.
    Word 6.0 conversion warning message
  6. Save the file.

To convert or not?

If you are a home user and you don’t share files, then you should convert them.

If you are part of a workgroup and you are required to share files in the .doc format, you can work with and save files as docx, then save as doc to share.

However, this can cause problems if everyone in the workgroup edits the documents. If that is the case, it is best to not convert and work in compatibility mode.

Migrating large volumes of company data

If you have large volumes of data to convert, you need a migration plan.

Microsoft offers helpful guides for planning document migration to Office 2007:

Alternatively, a data migration consultant can create a plan for you.

Migrating documents containing macros

Documents with the doc extension that contain macros can also be converted using the Microsoft Word converter tool. However, you must save the file as a docm file to keep the macro.

There can be compatibility problems when converting macros. I recommend you seek the advice of a data migration consultant if you need to convert a large number of documents that contain macros.