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I would like to open an HTML file in MS Word 2007 directly so I can use some of its search and replace features. I don't care about the file's encoding and will not actually use the final thing as HTML (I'm going to be extracting interesting parts). I want to see raw HTML. When I open the document, instead Word renders everything.

I am hoping someone knows how to do this from within Word without having to resort to copying and pasting or modifying the file to change the html tags to no longer look like html (such as {html> or something). I have been hit by this multiple times over the years and wish that I could fix the problem instead of always be forced to find a workaround.

Is there some option or setting, or something in the Open dialog that can change Word's behavior?

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Why not use something like Notepad++, it has comparable search and replace (if not better)? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 29 '12 at 1:08
I will look into it, @techie007. – ErikE Dec 29 '12 at 1:09
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can turn off automatic file-type conversions in Word, and instead it will ask you what type of file you're trying to open, at which point you can pick Text.

To turn it off (or rather turn on Confirmation of conversion):

  1. Open the Word Options. (Word 2007: click the Office button and then click Word Options. Word 2010: display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the options until you see the General section.
  4. Make sure the Confirm File Format Conversion On Open check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

If you never want to open rendered HTML in Word again, you can also uninstall the HTML Filter by running Office Setup and de-selecting it form the installed options.

Alternatively and probably easiest: Use something else for the task, like a good Plain Text editor. I personally use and suggest Notepad++.

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Thanks for the detailed and helpful answer! – ErikE Dec 29 '12 at 1:21

Go to your html file and right click on it open with it in word do the editing and click on save...(note file format conversion should be disabled)

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How is this different from the accepted answer? – ErikE Oct 31 '15 at 4:57
This duplicates another answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute. – DavidPostill Oct 31 '15 at 9:46

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