Saving in MS-DOS Text Mode

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 24, 2018)

Gerald is using Office 2002, but he longs for the export filter for MS-DOS text that he used in Word 97. He wondered if there is a way that he can get the old filter. As Gerald has found out, over the years and in different versions of Word Microsoft has changed the import filters that it provides. There are several things that can be tried in this particular situation.

First, remember that the full functionality of the old MS-DOS export filter has been built into the new TXT file export filter. Assuming that the filter is installed on your system, choose Plain Text (*.txt) as the export file type when you choose to save a document. This starts the export filter and displays the File Conversion dialog box. Select the MS-DOS radio button, check the box for Insert Line Breaks, and be sure that you select CR/LF in the End Lines With drop-down list. When you click on OK, the file created should be the same as the file that was created with the old Word 97 MS-DOS export filter.

Another option is to simply copy the desired Word 97 file converter to Word 2002. It should work fine, provided you copy it to the right place and make sure it is registered with Word. The filters used by Word all end with the .CNV filename extension. If you search your Word 97 system you can locate the filters, and their filenames should give you an indication of which one you want. You need to copy this file to the same folder in which Word 2002 stores its filters. Normally this is C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\TextConv, but you can always search for .CNV files to be sure.

If the filter doesn't show up as a file type option when you use Save As, then it needs to be registered with Word 2002. Follow these two general steps:

  1. Choose Tools | Options | General tab and make sure the Confirm Conversion at Open is selected.
  2. Choose to import a .TXT file, and Word will examine the contents of the .CNV folder anew, automatically registering anything it finds there.

If none of these solutions work for you, there is another thing you can try: make a pass of your document through WordPad. Save the Word document in RTF format, then open it in WordPad. You'll find it has a "save as MS-DOS text" option which has been the same for several versions.

Finally, it may be worth your while to check out the Office File Converter Pack from the Microsoft site. It includes several filters not available in other places. You can find the download here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=cf196df0-70e5-4595-8a98-370278f40c57

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (237) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Conditional Formatting for Errant Phone Numbers

Conditional formatting can be used to draw attention to all sorts of data based upon the criteria you specify. Here's how ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Hyperlinks in Footnotes

When you add hyperlinks to a document, Word makes them active, meaning you can click them to open the target of the ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

Hidden text is a great boon if you want to make sure something doesn't show up on the screen or on a printout. If you ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Saving Your Work Automatically

Word can be configured to save your work periodically, on any time schedule you desire. This tip explains this feature ...

Discover More

Specifying a Location To Save Automatic Backup Files

When Word creates automatic backups of your documents, you may not like where Word stores them. This naturally leads to ...

Discover More

Document Size Changes

When you last upgraded Word, did you notice a change in the size of your document files?

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one minus 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.