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Bulk Convert DOC to DOCX

Bulk Convert DOC to DOCX

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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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Before 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:\Users\ericwhit\Documents\08-09-19-Doc, and place the converted DOCX files in C:\Users\ericwhit\Documents\08-09-19-Docx.  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.

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  • Hi Guys,

    Same problem here... this really sucks!

    We have a 900GB user drive, and using this tool means I have to almost duplicate the drive capacity to have the same amount of free space.  Wonder why they didn't just put the option in there for the "business" to decide..


  • I have been struggling with this issue forsome time now. I have several hundred documents created in MSOffice 98 for Mac, and I want some way to convert them in bulk. I have tried this conversion program, and it only converts a handful of documents-I'm assuming just the ones that were written in a more recent version of office. Is there any way anyone can helpme figure out how to convert these files, other than loading each one up on the mac and going through the steps to savethem in a different format? Thanks.

    Davey.vee AT Gmail DOT com

  • it is taking all the files and put them all in one folder it is not creating the subfolders!

    could u tell me how can i make the INI creat the subfolders ?

    it will take long time to creat the subfolders and arrange the files again.

  • I have try this tool, but when i open the converted docx, it seems that these stay in compatibility modus. I think the compatibility pack is only for office2007?

    I have also tried FullUpgradeOnOpen=1, but the compatibility modus on the document stay.

  • You shouldn't need twice the storage space as the new files should be significantly smaller.  However, I have found that files with inserted images do not compress much.

    Re: removing orginal files...If you feel confident that the file conversion was successful, just do a search for .doc, select all, hit Delete.

  • I did a bulk convert on a folder, one of the main reasons was to reduce the overall size of the word documents.  But I found that using the ofc utility treats the file differently than converting it using Word.  There were 452 files and 128MB in the .doc format, after converting to .docx format, the folder size grew to 141MB and 434 files, as not all the files in the original folder ended up being word documents.  I checked one of the files that got larger 30MB to 46MB and opened the original in Word 2007, saved as a 2007 document and the resulting file size was 27MB.

    Any thoughts on what may be causing this? I have compatibility on in both scenarios, there are no macros... We have about 5 Gigs of .doc files and I was hoping to reduce that, not grow it.  Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  • Very helpful, especially since the ofc.exe will crash, providing no feedback at all, if you type the SourcePathTemplate and DestinationPathTemplate incorrectly--which on my machine, included leaving them in their original format.

  • It might be helpful if you also posted a link, where we could log bugs against ofc.exe....  When I converted from source = "c:\Stuff\Old" to "c:\Stuff", the directories directly underenath "old" vanished, leaving me with hundreds of directories splattered into the "stuff" directory, and trying to figure out which ones went where.

  • I am trying to convert word files (Office 97-2003) that open up and you must select RTF (Rich Text Formatting) before using the file as they were all converted from PDFs.  Is there a way to change the script to account for this and if so what is it?  I tried a test file for a normal word 2003 doc and it worked fine.  Just need to change the scrpit around a bit to account for this extra step. Please contact me at if you can be of any help.

  • Hi Riaan and Robert, please tell if you found the solution. I would like to do the same in my company, but I can't duplicate the files and require the users to clean the drives! I guess you are asking for the same as I do. I would be very grateful if you help me.

    My email address is

  • i have a quick questiion... i have 30,000 files to do and have 100's of nested folders, how can i leave them in the folders or moved them in to new location and keep the same folder names with new file.

  • also allows you to convert .doc file to .docx formats and to many other formats.

  • @billy sherlock

    Use the following for source and destination at the end of the ini file. Also make sure you have ConvertSubFolders=1 under [FoldersToConvert] as well.



  • Hi, I', getting an error: Failed to get date-time attributes.

    What should I do in order to fix this?


    Emanuel Santos

  • I have office 2010 installed on my computer and ofc won't run because "Format converters are not installed on this machine"

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