How to convert an HTML document to a text document

Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope
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A web page is made up of plain text and HTML programming code, along with possibly some pictures and formatting of text (e.g., bold, italics, and color). To preserve the spacing and formatting on a web page, it is most often saved with a .HTM or .HTML file extension. However, there may be a need to save the text on the web page as a text document or file. Below are several options for converting, or saving, an HTML web page as a text document, along with steps on how to do so.

Copy and paste the web page text

If you want to save the text on a web page as a text document, follow the steps below.

  1. Access the web page containing the text you want to save as a text document.
  2. Highlight the text on the web page that you want to save in a text document.
  3. Copy the highlighted text.
  4. Open a text-based application, like Notepad.
  5. In the text application, paste the text you copied.
  6. Save the file, creating the text document.

Save HTML web page as a text document (losing HTML code)

If you want to save the text, as well as any formatting of the text, as a text document, follow the steps below.

Note

You will need Microsoft Word installed on your computer to utilize the steps below.

  1. Access the web page you want to save as a text document.
  2. Save the web page as a web page file (.HTM or .HTML file extension). See the details below on how to save the file in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

Internet Explorer

  • Press the Alt key to make the File/Edit/View menu visible. Click the File menu and select Save as.
  • Select the location where you want to save the web page file and make sure the Webpage, complete option is selected in the Save as type drop-down list.
  • Click the Save button.

Save as type option

Google Chrome

  • Right-click on the web page and select the Save as option.
  • Select the location where you want to save the web page file and make sure the Webpage, complete option is selected in the Save as type drop-down list.
  • Click the Save button.

Mozilla Firefox

  • Right-click on the web page and select the Save Page As option.
  • Select the location where you want to save the web page file and make sure the Webpage, complete option is selected in the Save as type drop-down list.
  • Click the Save button.
Note

In Firefox, instead of selecting the "Webpage, complete" Save as type option, you can also select the Text Files Save as type option to save the web page directly to a text document.

  1. Open the Microsoft Word application.
  2. Click on the File tab, then click the Open option.
  3. Next to the File name field, in the file type drop-down list, select the All Web Pages option.
  4. Browse to find the web page file you saved from above. Select the file and click the Open button.

Microsoft Word - open file

  1. Click on the File tab again, then click the Save as option.
  2. In the Save as type drop-down list, select the Plain Text (*.txt) option. You may also need to change the file extension in the File name field to be txt, if it does not automatically change.
  3. Click the Save button to save as a text document.

Microsoft Word - Save as type

Convert HTML file to a text file (preserving HTML code and text)

If you want to save a web page as a text document, and also preserve the HTML code that provides formatting of the text, follow the steps below.

Note

While the resulting file will be a text file, it will contain HTML programming code along with the text.

  1. Access the web page you want to save as a text document.
  2. Save the web page as a web page file (.HTM or .HTML file extension). See the details below on how to save the file in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

Internet Explorer

  • Press the Alt key to make the File/Edit/View menu visible. Click the File menu and select Save as.
  • Select the location where you want to save the web page file and make sure the Webpage, complete option is selected in the Save as type drop-down list.
  • Click the Save button.

Internet Explorer Save as type option

Google Chrome

  • Right-click on the web page and select the Save as option.
  • Select the location where you want to save the web page file and make sure the Webpage, complete option is selected in the Save as type drop-down list.
  • Click the Save button.

Mozilla Firefox

  • Right-click on the web page and select the Save Page As option.
  • Select the location where you want to save the web page file and make sure the Webpage, complete option is selected in the Save as type drop-down list.
  • Click the Save button.
Note

In Firefox, do not select the Text Files Save as type option, as it will only save the text on the web page and not preserve the HTML code.

  1. Right-click on the saved web page file and select the Open with option.
  2. In the Open with menu that appears, select the Choose another app option.
  3. Find and select the Notepad program in the list of applications, then click the OK button.
  4. Once Notepad is open with the HTML code and text click File, then Save as, choose the location where you want to save the file, then click the Save button to save as a text document.

Additional information