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A generic scheme for return-to-zero (RZ) to nonreturn-to-zero (NRZ) format conversion of optical signals is analyzed. It relies on a simple delay interferometer with frequency periodicity twice as high as the input symbol rate and a subsequent optical band-pass filter. Simulation results at 40 Gbaud indicate the compatibility of the technique with a variety of advanced modulation formats. RZ-to-NRZ conversion of 40 Gb/s differential phase shift keying signals is experimentally demonstrated with 1.5 dB power penalty compared to the back-to-back measurement.