How to Solve File Conversion Problems

by Nina Nixon

Common file-conversion problems include illegible characters, wrong layouts, and the computer stalling upon trying to open a file. Also, error messages and misguided page breaks can occur if a file did not convert properly. Some file converters may solve issues with certain file types, but since each is different you may not get the results you need in every case.

Start Word and then click "File" on the Ribbon.

Click "Open," click the document you cannot convert, then click "Save as."

Click "Rich Text Format (*.rtf)" in the "Save as file type" list, then click "Save."

Click "File" on the Ribbon and then click "Close."

Click "File" on the Ribbon, then click "Open."

Click the converted document in the .RTF format, then click "Open."

Click "File" on the Ribbon, then click "Save as."

Click "Word Document" in the "Save As" type list, then type in a name for the file.

Click "Save." If you still experience file conversion problems, repeat Steps 1 through 9 and try saving the file in different formats until it is converted successfully. Alternately, copy and paste the file into a desired format and then save it.


  • check Although these instructions apply to Microsoft Word 2010, conversion steps are similar to other software programs.


  • close Plain text (.txt) formatted files do not convert graphics, macros or document format elements when converted. Add these in again later after you convert the file. Although taking this route may be a little time consuming, at least you will have saved a majority of the file's text content and, therefore, will not have to start from scratch.

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About the Author

Nina Nixon has more than 30 years of professional writing experience. She enjoys writing about business and technology. Her articles have appeared on Chron, eHow Business & Personal Finance, Techwalla, and other digital content publishing websites.

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