MS Word is more powerful than you think. The popular text editor is used for a wide variety of tasks. Not everyone knows this, but it can also be used to open HTML web pages.
In this post, you will learn how to open HTML files in Word and save them in one of the supported file formats.
Save web pages in Word
The easiest way, but usually with the worst results, is to simply save the webpage to your computer and then try to open it in Word.
First, open your browser and go to the webpage you want to save. In the example below, we are using Google Chrome, but this process should work with any web browser.
Right-click anywhere on the page and select Save As.
This will bring up the Save As pop-up window. Edit the file name to your liking. Under Save as type, select Web Page, HTML Only. Click Save.
Start MS Word, then open the HTML file you want to edit.
The HTML file will open in Word. However, the document itself will not display as it does on the web. For starters, the formatting will get corrupted. For example, the navigation bar will be split and the menus will be displayed on separate lines.
You will have to manually edit the document to make the page more consistent.
Removing useless links and web elements will make the articles easier to read. Using Word Web Layout View greatly simplifies the cleanup process.
After some changes, your document should somewhat resemble the original text.
When you’re happy with your changes, choose File> Save As. Select .docx as the file format.
You should now be able to open the file in Microsoft Word.
Use alternative solutions
If you’re not happy with the first solution, be aware that there are other ways to save web pages and open them in Word.
There are Google Chrome extensions, such as Save Web Page as Word Document, that let you load an HTML file as a Word document. I also mention the online conversion tool below.
Although the final product looks exactly the same, this tool saves you the hassle of loading your web page as an HTML file. Install the extension and activate it. Go to the page you want to convert. Click the extension and select Full Page.
The tool will then download the entire webpage as a Word document.
Tip: You can also highlight a section of the page and click Current Selection. This will allow you to download a specific section rather than the entire page.
You can also try copying the entire webpage and pasting it into Word.
But instead of just pasting the file, you’ll have to use Paste Special. Right click Word. The “Insert” section should have several options. Select “Keep Source Formatting”.
This paste option allows you to copy the HTML while keeping most of the formatting.
However, please note that there is no perfect solution. When the document is in Word, you may have to make a couple of edits to make the document look like the original.
When you’re done making all the necessary changes, go to the files menu and save the document as a .docx.
Online conversion tools
The last method, which can sometimes give better results than the two above, is using an online tool. Convertio brought me the best results.
You can select the downloaded HTML file or click the link icon on the right to simply paste the URL of any website. A window will appear where you can enter more than one URL if you like. Click Submit and it will parse the URLs you entered.
When finished, make sure Document is selected for the file type, and then click the large Convert button.
It will take a little time to complete the conversion, depending on the size of the web page. In my case, it took over a minute because I wanted to convert the Mona Lisa Wikipedia page to Word.
As you can see, it does look like a web page in Word, but in this case, it just converted the web page to images and put them in Word. No text can be edited or anything like that.
I tested a smaller webpage and it does display text as editable. So it really depends on how complex and large the web page is.
You can also try several other tools to see if the results are better:
Hopefully one of the above methods gave you the desired result. It’s not a very pretty process, and unfortunately there aren’t really many good tools to do it, as people rarely use it.