How to Convert a Word Document to HTML

Three options for turning a Word doc into HTML

A business manager working at office.

Kohei Hara / Digital Vision / Getty Images

When you have a Microsoft Word document that you want to use on a web page, you can use Word to create HTML documents and web pages. Or, use other tools to convert Word documents into a format that is suitable for the web. Learn when to use Word to create HTML documents and when other options are a better course of action.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

Use Word to Save Documents as HTML

When you want to convert Word DOC files to HTML, start with Microsoft Word. Word is not an ideal way to author HTML documents and create web pages from scratch. It doesn't include the helpful features and coding environment found in HTML editor programs.

Notepad++ is a simple text editor that offers some HTML features that make authoring website pages easier than converting documents to HTML in Word.

How to Save a Word Document as a Web Page

To quickly convert a Word document to HTML or web page format:

  1. Open the Word document you want to convert to HTML. Or, open a new, blank document and enter the text you want to convert to an HTML file.

  2. Go to the File tab and choose Save As or Save a Copy to save the document.

    Word with the Save and Save As options highlighted
  3. Select the location where you want to save the HMTL file.

  4. In the Enter file name here text box, enter a name for the document.

    Save As dialogue box in Word with the name field highlighted
  5. Select the Save as Type drop-down arrow and choose Web Page (*.htm; *.html).

    Save As menu in Word with the File Type menu highlighted
  6. Select Save.

    Save As box in Word with the Save button highlighted

Limitations to Converting Word Documents to HTML

Word is a convenient way to convert pages when you need them up on a website quickly, but it's not the best long-term solution for online publishing. When used as a web page editor, Word adds strange styles and tags to the HTML code. These tags impact how cleanly coded your site is, how it works for mobile devices, and how quickly it downloads.

Another option is to create the document in Word, save the file with the DOC or DOCX extension, upload the DOC file to your website, and set up a download link on a web page so visitors can download the file.

Use a Web Editor to Convert DOC Files to HTML

Most web editors have the ability to convert Word documents to HTML. For example, Dreamweaver converts DOC files to HTML in a few steps. And, Dreamweaver removes the strange styles that Word-generated HTML adds.

When using a web editor to convert Word documents to HTML, the pages don't look like the Word document. The Word document looks like a web page.

Convert the Word Document to a PDF

If converting the Word document to HTML didn't produce the desired result, convert the document to a PDF. A PDF file appears exactly like the Word document, and it can be displayed inline in a web browser.

The downside to using PDF files is that to search engines, a PDF is a flat file. Search engines don't search PDF files for content and don't rank PDFs for keywords and phrases that potential site visitors may be looking for, which might or might not be an issue for you. If you simply want a document you created in Word to display on a website, a PDF file is a good option to consider.