Batch Convert .txt to .docx
February 11, 2010 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Batch convert .doc and .txt files to .docx

I have about 200 files in .txt and Word .doc format that I want to convert to Word .docx format. Simply renaming them doesn't work. For the .txt files, renaming them as .doc means I have to click past three error messages to load them into Word. Renaming them as .docx is even worse, since Word won't load them at all.

Of course I can load and save each one individually, but I need a batch method. Also, for the .txt files I stupidly renamed to .doc, is there a way to automate the process of skipping the error messages?
posted by KRS to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)

Note that these should help with .doc-->.docx
Not so sure about .txt-->.docx

posted by jckll at 11:35 AM on February 11, 2010

Friend of mine saw this question and suggests Convert Doc if you're a Windows user.
posted by jessamyn at 11:45 AM on February 11, 2010

Renaming [.txt files] as .docx is even worse, since Word won't load them at all.

Not sure what you mean here. In the file open dialog, just change the "filetype" dropdown to be "Text files" and it should open them with no problem.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:12 PM on February 11, 2010

Are you in Mac or Windows?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:21 PM on February 11, 2010

If you're on a Mac, Office 2008 installs a "Convert Format of Word Documents" Automator action.

Automator is a graphical tool for stringing together actions — like those installed with Office 2008 — into a script that you can apply to one or more files.

Automator works with both the operating system and with applications. Here's a brief tutorial.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 PM on February 11, 2010

Let me get this straight, .docx is Microsoft's latest 'Word' format which can not be opened by older versions of the software. However, the programs that default to saving .docx files can also open the earlier .doc and the completely open, simple plain ASCII .txt files, and can be configured to save to these wider used formats.

For some reason, you want to take your documents saved in either open or at least more accessible formats, and lock them in to a less accessible proprietary format?

Renaming file extensions doesn't work because it doesn't alter the content of the file from one format to another e.g. plain text in to a binary encoded Word file (.doc or .docx) -- It's a bit like putting salt in a pepper pot, and then expecting pepper to come out.

I expect you could use your new Word to open each file (perhaps not by simply double-clicking, but at least from the File > Open menu) and then choose Save As and choose .docx. On a Mac you can almost certainly create an AppleScript or Automator to step through each file and do this - on Windows I'm not so sure.
posted by dirm at 2:09 PM on February 11, 2010

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