I’ve been trying to sort out an enormous (100+GB) or teaching resources that I’ve built-up over the years. After the obvious steps (deleting empty, temp and duplicated files) and sorting the big files (e.g. videos, application installers) I was left with a large number of office documents. I am slowly working through these, but many of them are 2003 or even older format documents — some as old as Word 6! Every time I open one of these files I am prompted with various security warnings. Whist these can be turned off (see below) it is more secure to leave them on, and I wanted to convert all the files to office 2007 (docx, xlsx etc) formats. Batch conversion was definitely the way to go.
There are several advantages to conversion beyond the problems with security warnings. Documents saved in the newer formats are significantly smaller, and as they are based on open formats, are much more compatible, e.g. with google docs and open office. This may prove very advantageous in the future. I discovered that the size reduction alone makes going to the trouble worthwhile — first 220 word documents i converted were reduced from 63Mb to 25Mb. You may think saving 175k per file isn’t worthwhile, but if you have 110,000 files (as I did) you will save around 18Gb — a big saving if you’re using a a USB Thumbdrive, older external HDD or SSD systemdrive.
Microsoft offer a utility called OFC to batch convert office documents so this seemed the obvious way to proceed. OFC is part of the Microsoft Office Migration Planning Manager. To utilise it fully you will also need to download the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack, which includes lots of file-format converters. Install the compatibility pack first, then run the installer for the migration planning manager. You will be prompted to pick a location to extract to — I’d put it in your documents or downloads folder as it makes file editing easier.
To run the converter you simply open the extracted path, open the tools directory and run ofc.exe. However, You wont achieve much this way as OFC doesn’t have a GUI — it uses ini files. There will be an OFC.ini file included in the tools folder as an example. You will need to edit it — you can use notepad or any text editor to do so.
There are actually lots of options for configuring ofc.ini, but I’m just interested in converting all the files in a particular folder (and subfolders) into newer file formats. To do this make the following edits. This will owrk with path-depths up to 9 subfolders deep — there seems to be a bug that prevents it working beyond that.
Note — If you just want to disable security warnings (e.g. in word) then please refer to the helpful instructions provided by Microsoft.
Thanks to Eric White for the initial links and clues
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