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:


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.

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