How to Convert MS Publisher Files to MS Word Files

Written by enrica jang
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There is no direct way to convert a Publisher file directly into Word. It is still possible, though, to copy a Publisher page into Word. The foremost concern in moving page elements from a Publisher document into a Word is the ability to preserve text, placement, fonts and various other formatting. The best way to achieve this is to use "Paste Special" to paste from Publisher directly into a blank Word file. Note that these directions are for documents in Microsoft Publisher 2003 and Word 2003.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Microsoft Publisher 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2003

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  1. 1

    In Publisher, select the page in your document that you wish to convert. Microsoft recommends that you convert one page at a time (see references 1).

  2. 2

    Pull down the "Edit" menu and click "Select All." Every element on the current page should be highlighted.

  3. 3

    Pull down the "Arrange" menu and select "Group."

  4. 4

    Pull down the "Edit" menu and select "Copy."

  5. 5

    In Word, pull down the "Edit" menu and select "Paste Special." A pop-up window will open.

  6. 6

    In the list, select "HTML Format" and then click "OK." The Publisher page will then be pasted into your Word document as an object. You may move or resize the object as you wish. Note that objects are still grouped and everything will move or resize together. Keep items grouped to fit them to your Word page.

  7. 7

    To move or resize individual elements once they are converted in Word, select an object within the group and right-click its edge. Select "Grouping" and then "Ungroup" in the pop-up menu. You may then move or resize the individual object as you wish.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to extract text only from a Publisher file without the formatting, simply save a copy of your Publisher file as a rich text file (RTF) and open it in Word. Publisher will warn you that only your text will be saved. Click "OK."
  • For greater ease in transferring objects from Publisher to Word, Microsoft recommends that you adjust the page settings in Word to match those in the Publisher document.
  • Text within linked text boxes in Publisher is set once you convert to Word. That means text will not autoflow as it does in Publisher if you resize the text box in Word. Also, text that flows onto a different page in Publisher will not convert to Word automatically and must be converted page by page.
  • Microsoft suggests that, to preserve their formatting, tables should be converted from Publisher separately and inserted as individual objects within your new Word file (see reference 3). Simply right click your table in Publisher and select "Save As Picture" (JPEG format is recommended). In Word, insert the new picture file just as you would any other graphic.

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