Convert Word 2007 and OpenOffice files (DOCX, DOTX, SXW, and ODT) to rich text files (RTF) with Docx2Rtf


Docx2Rtf is a free program that can convert .DOCX and .DOTX (Word 2007 MS Word formats) as well as SXW and .ODT (OpenOffice) into the universal .RTF format that can be read and edited by any Word Processor. It also offers the ability to convert documents to .PDF and can open, view, and print all the above mentioned formats as well as PalmOS Database Documents (*.PDF) and Aportis (*.PRC) files.

The recent release of MS Office 2007 brought in a number of file formats that do not open with older versions of MS Office or other word processing programs such as the OpenOffice Writer. Most of the time users of Office 2007 send out these files to colleagues and collaborators who only afterwards discover the incompatibility. It is possible to go around this simply by saving using the old .DOC format or, if you have an older version of Office, by using the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack that Microsoft released. A program like Docx2Rtf , however, gives you the ability to free a Word 2007 document from Office and convert it altogether to .RTF, which will allow you to use any word processor program to edit and/or work with the document. You may, however, lose some formatting and or functionality in the process.

To test this program I created a .DOCX document that included tables, special characters, some bolded, italicized, and underlined text, a formatted image, an embedded Excel sheet, a numbered list, and a URL linked to a text lable. For the results (and more notes on this program) see below:

  • Converted elements: transfers text, (most) special characters and images (without any effects). Bolded text transferred as such but italicized and underlined text did not. Tables (and Excel sheets) as well as numbered lists lost their formatting and their contents were simply listed in rows of text. Linked URLs not transferred. (Note: most of this loss of fidelity is due to the limitations of the RTF format itself rather than Docx2Rtf).
  • Contingencies: you do not need Word 2007, OpenOffice or any other program to perform the conversions.
  • The user interface: of this program is very nice. Converted pages are displayed as thumbnails on the left pane and the various settings on the main interface area.
  • Settings: include which pages to print (specify a range, odd, even, or all), convert to grayscale, save, and create a PDF.
  • PDF creation: works fairly well, but I prefer a virtual PDF printer to do this (such as PDFCreator, SWF Printer Pro, etc.)
  • No install program: just unzip and run.

The verdict: a handy tool that will liberate you from these fancy new formats if that is what you seek, but you will likely need to do some manual reformatting and re-working of the resulting .RTF file.

Version Tested: 2.4

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 1.72 megs).