Convert .DOCX files to .RTF files with Docx2Rtf

Recently I posted about how to get Ashampoo Office 2008 for free. For all its good, the only problem with Ashampoo Office is it cannot read the new Microsoft Office 2007 formats (.DOCX, .PPTX, and .XLSX). So to help out those dotTechies who are using Ashampoo Office, I went looking for .DOCX, .PPTX, and .XLSX converters. During my search I came across Docx2Rtf, a portable (requires no installation) program that converts DOCX files to RTF:

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Using Docx2Rtf is very easy. You simply load the DOCX file (either go to “File” -> “Open” or click on the “Select File…” button), and save it as an RTF (either go to “File” -> “Save As…” or click on the “Save As…” button). In addition to what I just mentioned, you also have the option to print the DOCX, or turn it into a PDF.

If you like, before you convert your DOCX to an RTF or PDF, you can rearrange delete the pages:

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Furthermore, to make it easier on users who need to convert DOCX, Docx2Rtf has a feature where you can make Doxc2Rtf the default program to open DOCX files:

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On the same note, if you are an OpenOffice user, Docx2Rtf has the ability to turn ODT files to RTF also.

Now as much as I would love to call Docx2Rtf the savior for people who don’t have Microsoft Office yet still need to open .DOCX files, it really isn’t. I say it isn’t because while the conversion accuracy is “good enough” it is not “great”; check it out for yourself:

  • Docx2Rtf comes with a sample DOCX file you can use to test out how well the program works. I used it, and this is the result:

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As you can see, while neither the text nor image are perfect on the RTF, the text is “good enough”. The image, on the other hand, is pretty much useless.

  • I created my own DOCX file to measure the accuracy of Docx2Rtf conversion. Here is what I got:

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Ignoring the fact that the second page is cut off in both screenshots (the problem is with my screenshot program not Docx2Rtf), again the text conversion accuracy is “good enough”. The middle image also is “good enough” considering one can easily resize it if needed. However the problem is the top image is missing. After doing a little bit of exploring, research, and testing, it turns out Docx2Rtf has trouble converting JPEG image files (the top image that is missing is a JPEG while the one that was converted is a PNG).

A couple of more things I believe could improve Docx2Rtf:

  • Adding the ability to batch convert. It is highly likely many people may want to convert¬† many DOCX files to RTF. Doing it one by one will be tedious. Batch converting is supported via command line, but honestly, the average user cannot be expected to use command line.
  • Add the ability to drag + drop.

In the end, however, with the lack of any other free software (that I know of – I know of some online based solutions though) to do the same job, Docx2Rtf is a handy tool for anyone that uses an office suite that does not support .DOCX files. You can download Docx2Rtf from the following link:

Version Reviewed: v3.8

Supported OS: Windows All

Docx2Rtf homepage [direct download]

***If you are want Docx2Rtf in a language besides English, the homepage contains language files for 10+ other languages.***

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8 comments

  1. Duane Moore

    @Bob Mason – Thanks for reminding me that Open Office will read Office 2007 documents.

    I find that Open Office works better under Vista and Windows 7 than Office 2003 or 2010 does. I still use Office because of VBA and the integration of Word with Outlook. But Open Office is highly recommended.

  2. Bob Mason

    Is there a reason to use anything other than Open Office? It opens .docx files–just did it to be sure. From Openoffice you can save it as an earlier version of Word. I use Word 2000 in Win7; no ribbon, simple to use and fast. With the Microsoft patch, it opens .docx files as well. Seems like a solution looking for a problem?

  3. Schollii

    @Ashraf:

    You don’t need ashampoo office. I just installed the two MS components and I get perfect rendering of DOCX documents. Only minus is portability.

    But I doubt that viewing DOCX documents on a whole bunch of different desktops, that neither give you root access NOR have Office 2007, would be a big demand. Most people have a laptop, and if they don’t have admin, the sysadmin would not have a problem with install free MS components to save themselves from installing MS Office.

    For the person managing 100 machines and who never knows *what* machine they’ll be on when they *absolutely* have to view a DOCX file from the machine they are on, that person can install the free MS components on ONE machine (say, their own desktop), together with free VNC utility like UltraVNC or RealVNC (or just use MS Remote Desktop) and just remote desktop to it when you need to view the DOCX file (UltraVNC has a very handy built-in file transfer feature… or put the doc on a shared drive that all machines share, including the “master” that has the DOCX viewer).

  4. Ozzie

    Greetings all! This might sound a little simplistic, so call me on it if I’m off base here, but why not open the .docx file in MS Office and then save it as a Word 97-2003 document. Then won’t you be able to open it in Ashampoo Office 2008? It might be a bit of a hassle, but I do that with .rtf docs from time to time (although not in relation to Ashampoo’s Office 2008).

  5. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Adrian: No, it is not that simple.

    You see the advantage of most of these smaller office suites, the ones that tend to not support the new Office 07 formats such as Ashampoo Office 2008, is they are small in terms of file size and portable. If someone did what you are suggesting, that will more than double the file size of Ashampoo Office and take away a big aspect of it: portability. At that point, if a person opts in to download the stuff provided by Microsoft, there is no reason for someone to use Ashampoo Office because they will be able to get a portable version of OpenOffice which can open the new Office 07 formats at a smaller file size.

    So to conclude, the appeal to Ashampoo Office, and other similar suites, is the small size and portability. Downloading Microsoft’s compatibility stuff destroys both advantages and therefore there is no reason to use Ashampoo Office, or similar suites, anymore over OpenOffice.

  6. Adrian

    This program does not support batch convert, also it’s just such a simple task and it still does not convert properly, so I would have rejected it. Anyways, You can have an alternative if you don’t require batch converting.

    Download the following in order to open docx

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3657ce88-7cfa-457a-9aec-f4f827f20cac&displaylang=en

    These two are the Microsoft Word Viewer and Compatibility Pack for Office 07 formats.

    And copy the whole file to a new document in Ashampoo Office. It’s that simple.

    Adrian