Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Combining Documents.

Combining Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 22, 2011)

Stuart wrote about a need he had of consolidating many different text files into a single Word document. Using the Insert | File option proved to be tedious, particularly when there were 20 or 30 different text files to be combined.

Fortunately for Stuart, his file names were predictable: C1000.TXT, C1001.TXT, etc. This makes putting together a macro to do the consolidation rather easy. The following example will look for files C1000.TXT through C1030.TXT, all in the C:\ directory, and combine them into the current document:

Sub CombineFiles()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim sFile As String
    For J = 1000 To 1030
        sFile = "c:\c" & Trim(Str(J)) & ".txt"
        If (Dir(sFile) > "") Then
            Selection.InsertFile FileName:=sFile, ConfirmConversions:=False
            Selection.TypeParagraph
        End If
    Next
End Sub

If you want to change the range of files being inserted, just change the values at the beginning of the For ... Next loop. If the files are in a different directory, you can change the path used in the next code line, where sFile is set. If a file within the range is missing, it is automatically skipped.

There is an even easier way of combining files, however, that doesn't even involve the use of Word. You can use the following command at the DOS command line:

copy C1???.txt single.txt

This would combine up to 1000 files, C1000.TXT through C1999.TXT, into a single text file called SINGLE.TXT. The original files remain untouched. If you wanted to combine a smaller number of files, you could use this format:

copy C1020.txt+C1021.txt+C1022.txt+C1023.txt single.txt

This usage results in the four files, C1020.TXT through C1023.TXT, being combined into SINGLE.TXT. You can add as many files together in this manner as you desire.

There is one caveat to this technique, however. The copy command results in no extra characters being added to a file at all. In other words, the contents of C1021.TXT are placed immediately after C1020.TXT. For example if C1020.TXT contains "text 1020" and C1021.TXT contains "text 1021" then SINGLE.TXT will contain "text 1020text 1021". The only way around this to either edit each source file to make sure it ends with a carriage return, or to use the macro previously presented.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1607) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Combining Documents.

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. ...

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