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Microsoft KB Archive/256060

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 256060

Article Last Modified on 6/17/2005


  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q256060


When you open a text file in Microsoft Word, the File Conversion Encoding dialog box may appear.


This functionality is by design. Word may automatically detect the encoding standard that is used in a text file. When the file's encoding standard matches the default encoding standard that is used to save files as plain text in the version of Windows that you are running, Word opens the file directly. However, when Word cannot determine the encoding standard of the text file that you are opening, Word displays the File Conversion Encoding dialog box to allow you to select the encoding standard that you want to use to open the file.


To work around this problem, use either of the following methods.

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.
For more information about how to use the sample code in this article, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

212536 OFF2000: How to Run Sample Code from Knowledge Base Articles

Method 1: Use a Macro

To prevent Word from showing the File Conversion Encoding dialog box, create a macro similar to the following, which opens the text file with the encoding scheme that you specify:

Sub MyOpenDocumentMacro()

   ' Replace the FileName example with the path to your text file.
   Documents.Open FileName:="C:\My documents\Address.txt", _
      Format:=wdOpenFormatText, Encoding:=msoEncodingUSASCII

End Sub

For more information about the Encoding property, in the Visual Basic Editor, click Microsoft Visual Basic Help on the Help menu, type encoding in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

Method 2: Use the Text Only Converter

  1. On the Tools menu in Word, click Options.
  2. On the General tab, select the Confirm conversion at Open check box, and then click OK.
  3. Open the text file that is causing the File Conversion Encoding dialog box to appear.
  4. When the Convert File dialog box appears, select Text Only and then click OK.


When a text file is encoded, it is saved according to an encoding standard, which is a set of rules that assigns a numeric value to each text character in the file. Many different encoding standards exist to represent the character sets that are used in different languages, and some encoding standards support the characters that are used only in a particular language. For example, a text file written in Simplified Chinese might use the GB2312-80 encoding standard, and a text file written in Traditional Chinese might use Big5.

Because Word is based on the Unicode encoding standard, you can use Word to open and save files in encoding standards for many different languages. For example, you can use Word to open a text file that is encoded in a Greek or Japanese encoding standard on an English-language system.

For more information about encoded text files, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type about encoded text files in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

Keywords: kbmacroexample kbprb KB256060