Tech Tip: Bulk Convert Old Office Documents To New Office Format

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If you’re a Microsoft Office user, you may have noticed how they changed the file extensions between Office 2003 and Office 2007. The 2007, 2010, and 2013 versions of Office all use the newer four character extensions, like xlsx, docx, etc. The old version was just xls and doc, etc. If you’re like me, you might have quite a few files with the older file extension. The new version offers better compression to save on file sizes and allows you to save files with some of the newer Office features.

One way you can convert these files is by opening them one at a time, doing File > Save As and changing the File Type. Then going back to your folder and deleting the file with the old extension.

There’s actually an easier way with some tools provided by Microsoft.

First, you’ll need to download two files. The first is the Office Migration Manager, available here. The second is the Office Compatibility Pack, available here. You’ll still need this even if you have a newer version of Office installed.

After running both of those files, you’ll need to browse to where you extracted the Migration Manager. Assuming that you extracted the Office Manager files in c:office directory, go c:officetools, open ofc.ini using notepad and add the following line:

fldr=c:usersrobertdocuments

This refers to the folder location that holds your office files. I am pointing this to my Documents folder but it could be different on your machine.

Open command prompt and go to c:officetools. There you’ll see a utility called ofc.exe – this is the Office File Converter that will convert all old Office files to the new 2007 Office document format in bulk. Run.

Immediately all old Office files in that folder (and sub-folders) will get converted to the new format and are saved in a new folder.

This utility works with Word (doc to docx), Access databases, PowerPoint (ppt to pptx), Visio diagrams, Excel (xls to xlsx) and Microsoft Project files. The conversion may however fail for password protected documents.

By | 2016-10-16T15:59:07+00:00 January 23rd, 2013|Categories: Tech Tips|Tags: , , |12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Eric M. Stone June 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Thank you!

  2. […] Many thanks to Robert Russell for his excellent conversion tip! […]

  3. Alex Lee December 7, 2013 at 2:37 am - Reply

    Hello everyone, if you want to convert old ms office files into 2007 and 2010 file format or not getting any solution still then try Office upgrade software to convert older doc, ppt and xls files into docx, pptx and xlsx format.

  4. Mark January 13, 2015 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    I have to convert Office 2007 files to Office 2013. Does this process work or is there an updated one?

    Cheers,
    Mark

    • Mark January 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      sorry, my mistake. It’s Office 2003 to Office 2013

  5. bryan gee December 18, 2016 at 4:44 am - Reply

    No matter how I try, i just cannot get this toi work, keeps telling me that

    Error: Invalid or missing ‘SourcePathTemplate’ value in OFC.INI
    Error: Error(s) validating OFC.ini file

    I just dont know what i’m supposed to be putting as the source and target options, the help is so vague in the ini file.

  6. bryan gee December 18, 2016 at 4:51 am - Reply

    Ignore my last comment, sorted it, thanks for the info tho, all converted.

    • Robert Russell December 19, 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

      What was your issue? I could add it to the article to help anyone else that might run into the same problem. Glad you got it working!

  7. Edward Lombardi March 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    I upgraded to Windows 7 pro on my computer. I also upgraded to office 2016 and need to migrate or convert all my 2003 documents over. Will this process work for this; and can i do it in mass?

  8. Wednesdaytgw July 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Trying to not lose years of important records in Office Pro 2003 (financial files, business publisher items, various important records, will spend days on this….. have to open each one? OMG….. ), faced with them not opening well in 2010, I waited too long for fixes of those problems, now told Office 2016 will not open them…
    sadly, no help at all from MS

    thank you for something to try
    not a pro, I’m sure I’ll be back with questions….
    and I am so unhappy with MS right now, nice to find better information on other sites…
    weeks of being blocked from “communities” total run around, for not being able to give them my cell number…
    so… no help with this, no help with windows photo gallery live hijacking “My pictures” … sigh…

    Q the links on the left of the screen, FB, twitter, google… etc….
    block the text on the left side of your article and block the left side of posts… is there a way to make it go away?

  9. Wednesdaytgw July 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Q… will my “contacts” be lost from 2003 outlook?
    the thought of having to set that up again…..

    I don’t care about the calendar….

  10. E Rat August 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Does this work with documents on 365 SP sites?

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