Turn off auto-conversion of Word files?

Is there any way to prevent DT from automatically converting imported MS Word files into RTF?

I know that a Word file can’t be indexed, which is why they’re converted. However, for some files (especially files I’m still working on) I want them to sit in my DT database as the original .doc file. I prefer to keep everything in my database, and not index it.

Jay P.

Jay, MS Word .doc files are a pesky exception. When Imported, they are not copied into the Files folder inside the database, but remain externally linked. All other file types, including ‘unknown’ file types if that option has been checked in Preferences > Import, are copied into the database when Import-captured.

DT will capture the text content of the .doc file, so that it can be searched and analyzed along with your other documents.

The .doc file will remain externally linked, and can be launched under MS Word (or other designated application) from your database by selecting it in the database and choosing the Launch Path or Open With option.

In a future version of DT Word files will be copied into the database and stored in a Finder and Spotlight visible manner, just like other file types when Imported.


Your description of the problem of Word docs and DT as ‘pesky’ makes it sound like it is some kind of minor nuisance but speaking for myself I can assure you it is not. It is in fact a royal PITA.

It really doesn’t help that at no point have Devon Technologies given even a hint of a reason for the inconsistency. I’m lucky in that I don’t often want to include Word docs in my database as I mostly use PDF but sometimes I need to.

Oh and ‘Open with’ does not open the original word document. It opens the rtf version from the database. I know because I added a word doc containing four MS equation objects and when I use Open with and select MS Word all I get is the text ’ EMBED Equation.3’ rather than the equations in my original doc.

We keeping hearing about this issue being solved in some future version but frankly I for one don’t really believe it.

Give us a meaningful way to handle this problem. My suggestion would be that DT capture three aspects of a Word doc., namely the text for indexing, a pdf version for display in the database and the original document whcih is stored in the Files folder along with everything else. Don’t tell me it can’t be done because DT already does all three of these tasks at the moment, just not all together for Word docs. Failing that I think it’s only fair that the developers give us some explanation as to why Word docs are so ‘pesky’.

As you can probably infer from the tone of my post I am quite frustrated by this issue and I suspect I am not alone…

I know I’m late to this conversation but I figured I’d search the Forums before creating a new post on the same subject.

As an academic I often get a lot of Word documents for review and wish to keep them all in DTP Office (a pseudo-means of revisioning). The Word documents I get have a lot of formatting and a lot of graphics and graphs within them and they get completely butchered when converted to RTF. I could convert them to PDF however part of the reason to keep the original Word documents has to do with the “Track Changes” feature in Word that I wish to preserve.

I agree that when I try the “Open With” command and select Word, it opens the RTF version instead of the original Word version.

Perhaps as a workaround for those of us that want to keep the original Word version is that DT use the OSX builtin zip compression and save the original Word document as well. Actually this is what I have resorted to doing with Word documents and do not even let DT convert them to RTF. Those that I do have DT covert I want searchable, but I still zip up the Word document and put it in the database.

DT Pro actually doesn’t convert a Word document. The .doc file is untouched, but DT Pro creates a rich text document that contains the text (only) of the original Word file.

In DT 1.x the .doc file remains external to the database, even if the Import capture method was used.

To open the original Word file under MS Word, use the Launch Path command.

I called the behavior of imported Word documents “pesky” because I find it irritating, requiring special care.

In version 2.0, imported Word files will be captured into the database. But not before then.

In version 1.x I usually recommend that users with lots of Word files use the Index capture method, as it is less confusing and there is one-way synchronization from the original .doc file to the rich text note in the database.

Thank you for the prompt reply. I do understand that the Word documents are kept in their native form in their original locations. I was just suggesting a way to put in the original Word files into the DT database itself.

I myself have started using DT as a centralized location for a lot of my files, so this is why I suggested the workaround.

That’s also my way of working with Word documents… and other documents the data of which are not preserved when importing in DTP -like NisusWriterProf RTF files with TOcs… (:smiley: Christian)

I also vote for the “zip on the fly” idea…
Here, at the office, in the PHP application developped for hotliners follow-up of our subsdiaries, we zip/unzip each file (except PDF and TXT) a hotliner stores/retrieves from the storage area.
For big files, there is a latency period during the zip process which is obviously balanced by the fact that no damage (conversion,…) touches the original file (Worldwide network of Windows/Unix/Linux and MacOsx machines)