Bulk Convert DOC to DOCX

Microsoft has a bulk conversion utility that can convert multiple DOC files to DOCX files.  This blog post presents very basic information on its use.  This utility has been around for a while, but a fair number of people don’t know of its existence.  Because it’s a powerful tool designed to convert all files on a server (or even a bunch of servers), its use is a little cryptic.  This is fine for IT professionals, but if all you want to do is bulk convert a single directory of DOC files, this post shows what you need to do.

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Blog TOCBefore you can use this tool, you need to install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack.  While the compatibility pack is primarily used with Office 2003 to allow it to load and save Open XML files, in essence, the compatibility pack is comprised of file format converters, which the Office File Converter (OFC) uses.  To use OFC, you need to install the compatibility pack even if you only have Office 2007 installed.  Download the compatibility pack here.

Next, you need to download and install the Microsoft Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM).  This contains a bunch of stuff, but for bulk file conversion, we are primarily interested in just one tool, OFC.EXE.  Download the Microsoft Office Migration Planning Manager here.

When installing, as usual, you will select the installation directory.  OFC.EXE is in the Tools directory under the installation directory.  In addition, in that directory, there is a sample OFC.INI file.  To run OFC.EXE, you need to create an OFC.INI, and place it in the directory where you run OFC.EXE from.

For my simple example, I want to convert all DOC files found in the C:UsersericwhitDocuments and place the converted DOCX files in C:UsersericwhitDocuments Here is the OFC.INI file for this scenario:

TimeOut = 3

; FullUpgradeOnOpen: if set to 1, Word documents will be fully converted to the OpenXML format
; if set to 0 (default), Word documents will be saved in the OpenXML format in compatibility mode





The SourcePathTemplate and DestinationPathTemplate provide extremely flexible configuration for bulk conversion of a large number of directories.  They allow an IT professional to, say, convert files from one entire server, place the converted files on a different server, and use various sub-paths of the path of the source document to form the path where the DOCX will be placed.  Fully configuring SourcePathTemplate and DestinationPathTemplate is beyond the scope of this blog post.  The configuration above basically specifies to just take all of the DOC files in the specified fldr directory, and place them in the specified DestinationPathTemplate directory.

So, place a modified version of the above INI file in some directory, and run OFC.EXE from that directory.  You will see something like this:

 Your newly created DOCX files will be in the directory you specified in DestinationPathTemplate.