The Ultimate guide to converting Word documents to HTML

In this guide, we will explore all the various ways for you to convert Word documents to HTML. We are the experts at converting Microsoft Word documents to HTML with over 15 years of experience. We have several tools to help you convert your documents to clean web pages:

  1. Word To HTML – our Web App great for quick clean-ups (paste content and process), upload Word documents and convert it to HTML etc
  2. Doc Converter Pro Desktop – the perfect choice for batch converting on Windows Desktop
  3. Doc Converter Pro Web App – the best choice if you need to bulk convert and process documents online
  4. Doc Converter Pro API – for programmers looking to add document conversion to their Apps

Using MS Words built-in save as HTML option

If you have MS Word installed you can use the built-in save to HTML option. All you need to is:

  • Go to the file menu
  • Select Save as
  • In the drop-down file type box select, Web Page, Filtered
  • Click Save

Easy eh? Not so fast there are two significant issues with using Word to save your HTML, the file sizes are large and the quality of the HTML is not very good.

Large file sizes when using MS Word to convert documents to HTML

If you create a simple test document like the one shown below, then save it to HTML you will see that the resulting web page has more than 100 lines of code.

If we use Upload file and convert the same file with one of our tools like you will get around 40 lines of code when full page mode is enabled, , that is less than a half of the size of the Word version.  If you copy and paste content from MS Word document into Visual Editor you will get even 19 lines of code, that is less than one fourth of the size of the Word version. You can try this experiment yourself or view our test files:

This example is for a simple document, for complex files the file size difference can be even larger.

Why does it matter if my HTML code is large?

Apart from practical issues like server space web pages with lots of code that longer to download. Google penalises sites with slow download times, and more importantly, users are impatient. According to research nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that has not loaded within 3 seconds.  In the modern internet, speed is the most important factor.

Word generates messy non-standard HTML when converting from Word to HTML

The other big issue with using Word is it creates overly complex non-standard HTML. Now to be fair to Microsoft, I imagine that main reason they do this is to try to keep the layout of your files as similar as possible, but it does create issues. In our example file if we look at how Word handles the list items, this is the code it generates:

<p class=MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst style=’text-indent:-18.0pt’><span
style=’font-family:Symbol’>�<span style=’font:7.0pt “Times New Roman”‘>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;

A lot of code just to the display the word apple on a list. You will also notice that Word does not use the standard HTML Li and ul list tags. It uses CSS to format the lists, if you strip out this CSS the list becomes normal text. In comparison, this is the code generated with when you upload document and convert it.

<li style=”margin-left:28.06pt; line-height:108%; padding-left:7.94pt; font-family:serif; font-size:11pt”>
<span style=”font-family:Calibri”>Apples</span>

If paste content from MS Word test file into Visual Editor and choose to keep formatting you will be left with this very clean code:


So you can see if you want the cleanest HTML possible you need to use a proper tool like to convert your Word files to HTML.

What is the best way to convert Word to HTML?

Here are our recommendations based on your various needs.

I want an online tool that will quickly convert my text or single documents to clean HTML:

Our online tool lets you paste your text into the Visual Editor and your text gets converted to HTML instantly. It is super easy to use and free for basic features.

For users who need more, our Pro version is only $5 a month when paid yearly and gives you the ability to upload Word, PDF and other file types and have them converted to HTML. You also have the ability to save your files, create templates, and more cleanup tools. You can try the Pro version for free.

Try our converter tool.


I need a Windows application to convert lots of Word files to HTML:

We have a Windows desktop product called Doc Converter Pro. It is the easy way for you to convert your Word, PDF and other files formats to HTML. You can convert one file or batch convert hundreds of files in one go. You can also create your own custom templates to give you full control over your conversions.

The advantage of a desktop application is it will be faster if you are converting lots of files also it is a good option if your files are private as nothing will leave your system.

Find out more or Download your free trial for Windows…


I need a web app to batch convert my Word documents to HTML:

Our web app version of Doc Converter Pro Online gives you all the great features of our desktop version, but as it is web-based, you can work from any computer and any browser. You can also share accounts with your team.

How does Doc Converter Pro Web App differ from Doc Converter Pro is designed for batch converting lots of documents whereas is better for cleaning up pasted text or converting single documents.

Check out the free trial of our web app…


I am a programmer who needs an API solution to convert our Word files to HTML:

No problem. We have a Web API version of Doc Converter Pro Online. With a few lines of code, we take all the hard work out of converting your documents. Try our free trial here…


We are here to help…

If you need more advice, feel free to contact us anytime. We can advise you on the best strategy for your needs.