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How to Open a Text File in HTML

written by: Ossy Uche•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 4/1/2010

Opening a text document as an HTML file may sound simple, but it can be troublesome if you've never done so before. In this guide, we look at different ways of achieving this and why you may want to do it.

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    Converting Text Files

    There are a lot of reasons why you may want to open a text document as an HTML file. Maybe you are a web designer, and a very quick way of designing your web page could be to start out with a text file using Notepad or Wordpad and then saving it as an HTML file when you have finished the page.

    In an organization, sharing office files in HTML format across the Internet or the company intranet is always easier than sharing them as Microsoft Word documents or text files. To do this involves converting the documents to HTML which requires the removal of the word syntax and replacing them with HTML codes. However this functionality is already built into most versions of Microsoft Word. Most times the converted document will contain the data from the original Word document, but it may lack some of the cosmetic formatting. These issues must be at the back of your mind as you plan to open your text files as HTML.

    As we already pointed out, if you wish to maintain the formatting and cosmetic beauty of your text document when you open it in HTML, then you may consider using a web editor like Dreamweaver. This will easily remove unneeded tags and change the font and size attributes to HTML code retaining the original beauty and style as it was in text format. Indeed the choice is largely yours as regards to what you will use to open your text files in HTML. But if you want something quick and automatic (and most likely you already have it installed in your computer), then Microsoft Word is the option because it usually comes bundled with your PC when you buy it while Dreamweaver is a separate application that is very pricey.

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    Using Microsoft Word

    Step 1: Open Microsoft Word. Then open the file you wish to open in HTML by clicking the "Microsoft Office" button. Click "Open." Select the file and click "Open" again.

    Step 2: Click the "Microsoft Office" button. In the list of menu options that appear choose and click "Save As" , this will open a new dialog box.

    Step 3: In the "Save a copy of the document" dialog box, click other formats. This will open the “save type” Save As box then in the save type field, select "Web page" to save the file as HTML. Click "Save."

    Step 4: Now you have converted your text file to an HTML file go ahead and open it in any browser of your choice, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

    No matter what your reason is for wanting to open a text document as an HTML file, you can see that it’s actually a very easy process with different options at your disposal, leaving you room to choose what suits your particular scenario. You can use Microsoft Word if you want speed and don't mind losing the aesthetics of the file or Dreamweaver if you are looking at maintaining the cosmetic appeal of the original document.