Converting FrameMaker documents and books to Microsoft Word files

FrameMakerTechnical Communication Suite

There is no direct option available within the File menu of FrameMaker (FM) to save a document or a book as a Word file. Microsoft Word doesn’t detect FrameMaker documents and books, but it can read the Rich Text Format. Converting from FrameMaker to RTF is easy and straight forward:

  1. Open the FM document: select FileOpen.

  2. Select FileSave as. The Save Document dialog appears.

  3. Specify a name for the file, select Microsoft RTF1.6 from the Save as type pull-down menu, and then click Save.

  4. Open the RTF file in Word and save it as a .doc or .docx file.

Note: Some of the stuff on the master pages gets goofed up in the header/footer of the MS Word doc and you may have to clean up those manually.

Submitted by: Anit Kumar Panda, Tech Support Consultant

FrameMaker, Technical Communication Suite

Posted on 10-26-2012


  • By Jay - 2:23 PM on November 7, 2019   Reply

    OK, so, a few minutes later, I saw someone suggest using Acrobat to convert from PDF to DOCX, which works much better than the save as RTF option.

    When my employer first purchased FrameMaker (2017 release), it – surprisingly – did not include Distiller and therefore could not natively save as full-function Adobe PDF. To get Distiller, we needed to purchase Adobe Acrobat Standard DC, which then allowed FM to save as a full-function Adobe PDF.

    • By Byron LaRue - 8:42 PM on March 27, 2020   Reply

      With due respect to others’ experience converting from PDF to Word, I find that our layouts are turned virtually into garbage in this process. I had much better success with the RTF route.

  • By Jay - 2:13 PM on November 7, 2019   Reply

    Also, when I tried to save one of the chapters of the book in RTF 1.9, FrameMaker stopped responding for a couple of minutes, and a progress indicator did not appear. After it successfully saved, the chapter is about 20 pages long and is 64 MB.

    • By Stefan Gentz - 11:15 AM on November 16, 2019   Reply

      RTF is a tagged text open file format and not a binary file format like FrameMaker Document Format (.fm). Therefore the .rtf file size is usually much bigger than the .fm file size. When you open the RTF in Word and save as DOCX, it should become much smaller again. 64 MB is heavy – might be because of (embedded) graphics.

  • By Jay - 2:07 PM on November 7, 2019   Reply

    In FrameMaker (2019 release), when I have a book selected and click Save Book As…, I don’t see an RTF option.
    Please advise.
    Thank you.

    • By Stefan Gentz - 11:11 AM on November 16, 2019   Reply

      Yes, “Save as RTF” is only available for a single document, not for a whole book.

  • By Stefan Gentz - 10:09 AM on August 21, 2019   Reply

    Update: In FrameMaker (2019 release), we have updated the RTF filter framework to support the latest RTF version (RTF 1.9).
    Check here to see what is new in FrameMaker (2019 release).

  • By Ken Weatherford - 4:45 PM on August 12, 2019   Reply

    If you have a Word template from a previous document already built with Word styles, it will be much easier to covert the RTF save in Word and apply the styles such as headings, lists, etc. All you have to do is import the template styles into the new RTF Word file and then apply the styles, accordingly.

  • By Blurf - 7:54 PM on July 22, 2013   Reply

    Agreed on MIF2Go. Used it many times.

  • By craigede - 1:36 PM on November 1, 2012   Reply

    Better to use Mif2Go from The results will be much more useful.. The results will be much more useful.

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