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How to Import WordPerfect Files into Microsoft Word


The problem: Open WP files in Word | Automated conversion scripts | A free on-line file converter for WPDOS 6 files | Open WPDOS files directly in Word | A replacement set of Word import filters | A solution to the problem of WP fonts in files imported into Word | VBA code to detect an imported WP file | Problems with Word 97 and 2000 | Problems with Word XP (Word 2002)Problems with Word 2003, 2007, and 2010 | A macro for cleaning imported files | Fix empty boxes or wrong symbols in imported files | Other conversion methods | Rewrite WPDOS 5.1 macros  for Word | Macros to convert WP labels to Word | Open WP files in Word for the Mac Home page


See a separate page for information on macros and scripts that convert WP documents to Word, RTF, or PDF format.

Note: This page is about converting WordPerfect files into Word format; see also the note on a separate page about WPDOS files that contain the euro symbol. See a separate page for information on importing Microsoft Word files into WordPerfect for DOS.

A warning on Word 2013: This page has not been updated for use with Word 2013. A few serious problems arise with Word 2013: for example, with many, perhaps most, WordPerfect 6.x documents, Word 2013 will falsely report that the WP document is corrupt and refuse to open it. The only solution I know of is to save the files from WPDOS 6.x into WPDOS 5.1 format and try again.


The problem: How to open WPDOS files in Microsoft Word

Documents created in one word processor can be used in other word processors, but the conversion is often imperfect. WordPerfect documents are based on an entirely different organizing principle from that used to organize Word files, and no attempt to use Microsoft Word for Windows as an editor for files created in WPDOS can be completely successful. WP files opened in Word will inevitably show large or small differences in fonts, layout, and many other features. You cannot expect perfect results, but this page offers ways to reduce the difficulty of transferring files from WordPerfect to Word.

When you attempt to open WordPerfect files in Word, recent versions of Word may display an error message saying "The file appears to be corrupted." You may solve this problem by installing the replacement set of Word import filters provided on this page.

Most of this page is about the ways in which Word itself converts WP files when importing them. The page also includes information about other conversion programs that convert WP files into Word format.

For a better understanding of the problems of converting WordPerfect to Word, see this excellent and unprejudiced article by a Microsoft support engineer.

If you regularly open WP files in Word XP (Word 2002), Word 2003, Word 2007, or Word 2010 please read the solution to problems with fonts when importing into Word and also see this site's macro for cleaning up typographical symbols in WP files imported into Word.

If (1) you use a Macintosh computer, and (2) you have WordPerfect for DOS files or WordPerfect for Windows files that you want to open in Microsoft Word for the Mac, see the separate section below.


Automated scripts for exporting or converting documents from WPDOS into Word (or PDF) format

A separate page on this site provides script files that use your existing copy of Microsoft Word for Windows or LibreOffice (Windows version) to convert WPDOS files into Word (or PDF) format. These scripts can be used while working on a document in WPDOS itself, or can be used to convert one or more existing WPDOS documents into Word or PDF format. See the linked page for details.


A free online file converter for WPDOS 6 files

The free online Zamzar.com site can convert files from WordPerfect 6/7/8 and later formats into Microsoft Word, OpenDocument, PostScript, PDF, text, and PostScript formats, as well as generating PNG and PCX bitmap images of the document. (I have only tested the Microsoft Word conversion, which works reasonably well.) The original WP document must have a .WPD file extension; you are sent an e-mail with a link to a page from which you can open the downloaded file.


Open WPDOS files directly inside Microsoft Word for Windows

Before you open a WP file in any version of Word, read the sections below on problems that can occur when WP files are opened in Word 97 or Word 2000, in Word XP (Word 2002), and in Word 2003, 2007, or 2010. See also the notes on third-party utility programs that convert WP files into Word format.

The simplest and generally the most effective way to transfer WPDOS files to Word is simply to open the WPDOS files inside Microsoft Word itself. Word's "conversion filters" for WPDOS files must be installed on your system. In many systems, these filters are already installed; if they are not installed, they can easily be added to an existing installation by following the instructions in this section.

Microsoft specified some details about the changes that Word makes in the conversion process on a page in Microsoft's knowledge base. Another page explains how you can control some minor aspects of the conversion process by using Word's Tools/Options dialog and going to the Compatibility tab. For further information on conversions from WordPerfect to Word, see the pages listed in this Google search.

How to open a WP file in Word: Begin by trying to open the WPDOS file in Word. Use Word's File/Open menu, and click on the "Files of type" or "Type" or similarly-named field near the bottom of the dialog box. Click on the down-arrow at the right end of the field, and scroll upward until you find "All files (*.*)," and select that option. Find your WPDOS file in the list of files; click on it to select it, and press Enter. If a message tells you that Word is converting the file (the message appears either in a pop-up box or on the status line at the lower left of the Word window), and if the text then appears in the Word window, then your system has Word's WP conversion filters installed, and you may open WP files directly inside Word.

How to add conversion filters: If Word produces an error message complaining about an unrecognized file format, or some similar message, or if the file opens but displays as nonsense characters, then your system may not have the WP filters installed. With recent versions of Word and Office, you can add the filters by going to the Windows Control Panel (use Start/Settings or some similar option), find Add/Remove Programs (or similar name), and select Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word or some similar name, and click on Add/Remove or Modify or some similar button. When the Setup menu appears, choose "Add or Remove Features" or "Modify" or some similar option. Click Next, and from the list of Office or Word components chose "Office Shared Features" or some similar name; select "Converters and Filters," then "Text Converters", and make sure that all available WordPerfect converters are selected. You may need to click on the icon next to the name of the converter and select "Run from my computer," or simply check a checkbox, depending on your version of Word. Continue the installation until the converters are installed.

If you have an older version of Word that does not let you use this method, or if you are unable to follow the instructions in the preceding paragraph, find your original Word or Office installation disk or disks and run the setup program again. If you are offered the option to Modify the existing installation, choose that option, and add the WP conversion filters, more or less as described in the preceding paragraph. If you have a very old version of Word, and must reinstall the program from the start, make sure to choose a Custom installation and manually select the conversion filters.

In general, the Microsoft conversion filters produce good results when opening a WPDOS in Word - but only if you do not have the WP TypographicSymbols and other WP fonts installed on your system, or if you have those fonts but also use this site's method for fixing font problems with WP documents imported into Word. You can temporarily remove these fonts when opening WP files in Word, and then reinstall them if necessary.

If Word fails to convert equations in WPDOS 5.1 files: Recent versions of Word's import filter for WPDOS 5.1 cannot convert equations in WPDOS 5.1 documents. If (and only if) your copy of Word will not convert WPDOS 5.1 equations, download this WPEQU532.ZIP archive file; extract the file WPEQU532.DLL and copy it to your "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\TextConv" directory; replace any file that may be in that directory with the same name. (Be certain to back up the WPEQU532.DLL file that may be in the directory before you copy the downloaded file over it.)

How to place endnotes where you want them: If you find that Word does not place the endnotes in your imported WordPerfect document where they belong, please study this highly detailed solution to the problem, posted at WordPerfect Universe.

Warning: If your WP files include equations or cross-references to footnotes: When you try to print your document, your equations will be numbered, or you will see "Error! Bookmark not defined." where the cross-reference should be. To avoid this problem, immediately after importing your WP document into Word - and before trying to print - select the entire document (Ctrl-A) and unlink fields (Ctrl-Shift-F9). Then click inside a footnote (or choose Show Footnotes from the ribbon or menu), select all footnotes (Ctrl-A) and unlink fields (Ctrl-Shift-F9). Experts should be able to record these steps in a Word macro, but the macro may require editing before it works reliably.

Note: If Word displays empty boxes, or the wrong symbols, in place of the symbol and typographic characters that you expect to see in your imported files, see another section of this page.


A replacement set of conversion filters for use by Microsoft Word

The simplest method of adding conversion filters for WordPerfect and old versions of Word is to install a set of filters especially gathered for this site. These filters include the most effective versions of the Word conversion filters for WPDOS 5.1, WPDOS 5.1 equations, and WPDOS 6.x and later.

Bulletin (August 2013): This set of filters now includes an updated export filter that makes it possible to export Word documents from Word to WordPerfect 5.1 format. In Word's Save As... dialog, this filter includes the word "(Updated)" at the start of its name.

If you want to install these filters, you must be willing and able to follow the written instructions below. Do not even attempt to use these filters if you are unwilling or unable to follow instructions! If you refuse to follow the instructions, I will not help you sort out any problems!

Before you install these files, read the paragraph below headed "A note on files that Microsoft refers to as 'security risks.'"

The installation instructions, which you must follow, are these. Read the instructions before you begin. If you do not know how to perform any step, find someone who can perform all the steps for you. Do not attempt to follow these instructions unless you understand them - unless you really and truly understand them.

Note that the archive contains two versions of the WP filters with "newer" in their names. Experts may want to experiment by renaming these files to WPFT532.CNV and WPFT632.CNV (after making backup copies of the original versions!) to see if they produce better results. But you probably should not bother with this.

Note: If you don't want to install the special set of filters, and you use Office 2003, note that it includes a WordPerfect 6.x conversion filter on its installation CD, but the filter is not installed in a default installation. Look for a file named WPFT632.CNV in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\TextConv directory; if it is not there, use the procedure described above to install the WordPerfect 6.x filter, or simply copy the file from another computer and put it into the TextConv directory.

A note on files that Microsoft refers to as "security risks": Microsoft no longer distributes the files in this set of filters because it has designated them as possible "security risks." This does not mean that they in fact are security risks; they probably present no risk at all. However, Microsoft now requires that any software that it distributes must be written in a way that lets Microsoft certify it as not presenting a security risk. In order to certify older software in this way, Microsoft spent enormous amounts of time and money rewriting existing programs. But Microsoft decided that it was not worth the money to rewrite certain little-used software (for example, the WPDOS 5.1 equation conversion filter) merely in order that it could be certified according to Microsoft's current standards. So Microsoft simply declared the little-used older software to be potential security risks, and stopped distributing it. It is of course possible that there is some actual danger in using these old conversion filters, but I have never heard of any such danger. The risk is entirely yours if decide to use these filters. If you use them, your computer may explode; your hair may turn green; your refrigerator may transform itself into a clothes-washing machine; any terrible thing may happen. So you must use these filters at your own risk. (But I use them all the time without any problem at all.)


A solution to the problem of WP fonts in files imported into Word

The following information seems to be publicly undocumented, but it derives from a reliable source inside Microsoft and is accurate.

Much of this page details the problems caused by importing WordPerfect for DOS files into Microsoft Word on systems that have the WordPerfect for Windows fonts installed; Word typically uses the WPWin fonts to display typographic characters such as quotation marks, which then do not match the surrounding text and cannot be searched. To prevent Word from using the WPWin fonts, if present, copy and paste the following text into Notepad or another text editor, and save it to your Desktop or some other convenient location under the filename "NoWPFonts.vbs":

Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.RegWrite "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WordPerfect6x\Options\NoWPFonts", "Yes", "REG_SZ"
objShell.RegWrite "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WrdPrfctDos\Options\NoWPFonts", "Yes", "REG_SZ"
wScript.echo "Word will not use WP fonts when importing WPDOS files."

Note that this file consists of four lines, and that lines 2 and 3 are very long. Double click on this file to add a setting to the Windows registry that prevents Word from using WPWin fonts when importing WPDOS files.

To reverse this change, copy and paste the following text into Notepad or another text editor, and save it to your desktop or some other convenient location under the filename "UseWPFonts.vbs":

Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.RegWrite "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WordPerfect6x\Options\NoWPFonts", "No", "REG_SZ"
objShell.RegDelete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WordPerfect6x\Options\NoWPFonts"
objShell.RegWrite "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WrdPrfctDos\Options\NoWPFonts", "No", "REG_SZ"
objShell.RegDelete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WrdPrfctDos\Options\NoWPFonts"
wScript.echo "Word will use WP fonts, if present, when importing WPDOS files."

Note that this file consists of six lines, and that lines 2 through 5 are very long. Double-click on this file to remove the setting in the Windows registry that was added by the first file.

These files have been tested under Windows XP and Office 2003 and 2007; they may or may not work with other versions, but they can do no harm. Users of earlier Windows versions may need to install the "Windows Scripting Host"; search the web for further information.

Technical note for experts only: These scripts modify the Windows registry. Read the rest of this paragraph only if you fully understand registry editing; I cannot help you restore your system if you try to edit the registry without knowing what you are doing and you demolish your Windows system in the process. Instead of running the scripts shown above, you can perform the same functions by hand by modifying HKLM\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WrdPrfctDos\Options. To prevent Word from using WP fonts when importing WP5.1 files, add a new String Value named "NoWPFonts" (no quotation marks) and set the value as Yes or 1. Then, for the same result when importing WP6.x files, add the same String Value to HKLM\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\WordPerfect6x\Options. To force Word to use the WP fonts again, delete these string values. You should probably restart Word after performing either change, but it may not be necessary to do so.


Word VBA code to detect an imported WordPerfect document

Expert Word users may want to write a macro that will automatically perform certain operations on WordPerfect documents that are opened in Word. For example, you may want to remove or modify font or other formatting in the imported document.

The following VBA code can be adapted to detect whether a newly-opened file was created by WordPerfect; it should work in Word 2003, 2007, and 2010, but it is entirely undocumented, and it may not work in future versions. This code may be incorporated in an AutoOpen or other macro.

Sub ifWordPerfect()
wpVer = 0
wpString = "not a WordPerfect document."
fVer = Application.WordBasic.FileVersion
	If InStr(UCase(fVer), UCase("WordPerfect")) Then
		If InStr(fVer, "6.x") Then
			wpVer = 6
			wpString = "created by WordPerfect 6.x or later."
			' Call myWP6SubRoutine
		Else
			wpVer = 5
			wpString = "created by WordPerfect 5.x."
			' Call myWP5SubRoutine
		End If
	End If
MsgBox ("This file was " & wpString)
End Sub

Problems with WP files opened in Word 97 and Word 2000

If Word displays empty boxes, or the wrong symbols, in place of the symbol and typographic characters that you expect to see in your imported files, see another section of this page.

For a general description of features that Word can and cannot import in WordPerfect 5.x files, see these Microsoft articles on the WP Converter in Word 97 and in Word 2000.

WordPerfect for Windows installs special fonts that it uses to display special typographic symbols; among these fonts are ones named "WP TypographicSymbols" (WPHV04N_.TTF) and "WP MathA" (WPHV06NA.TTF). 

If you open a WP file in Word 97 or Word 2000 on a Windows system that has these two WP fonts installed, Word will attempt to use the symbols in those two fonts to display WP characters such as typographic quotation marks, em dashes, etc. You may experience problems when you try to change the font or size of the text in the imported WP document, because some characters will be the WP fonts, while everything else is in standard Windows fonts. You can avoid this problem by using the method described elsewhere on this page.

If these two WP fonts are not installed in the Windows system, Word will use its own fonts to display these characters, and you will not experience these problems.

Other problems occur on some systems that do have these two fonts installed, but in which Word displays empty boxes instead of the correct symbols in the WP fonts. If this problem occurs on your system, you almost certainly have the second version of the two WP fonts installed on your system; Word 97 and Word 2000 do not understand the second version of these fonts, and display the empty boxes.

You can solve this problem by replacing the second version of the fonts with the older versions, as found in this self-extracting archive OldWPWinFonts.exe. First backup your existing versions of the two fonts!!! Then run this self-extracting archive, and specify a directory in which to extract the fonts. Copy the extracted fonts into your Windows fonts directory (use Start/Run and "Fonts" without the quotation marks, to open that directory). However, if you use WordPerfect for Windows more than you use Word 97 or 2000, you may prefer to retain the second versions, which can be embedded in PDF files, include the euro symbol, and may have other advantages. But if you are very annoyed by those square boxes in Word, replace the fonts with the first versions.

Note: The file size of the first version of WPHPV04N_.TTF is 27,160 bytes; any other size (typically 29,092) is the second version. The file size of the first version of WPHV06NA.TTF is 51,988 bytes; any other size (typically 52,140) is the second version.


Problems with WP files opened in Word XP (Word 2002)

If Word displays empty boxes, or the wrong symbols, in place of the symbol and typographic characters that you expect to see in your imported files, see another section of this page.

For a general description of features that Word can and cannot import in WordPerfect 5.x files, see this Microsoft article on the WP Converter in Word 2002.

Word XP (Word 2002) converts WP files in one of two different ways, depending on whether or not your system includes the special WP Windows fonts (for example, WP TypographicSymbols) that are installed by all versions of WordPerfect for Windows.

If the WP fonts are not present on your system when you open a WP file in Word XP (Word 2002), then Word smoothly converts most typographic symbols, such as curly quotation marks, dashes, section marks, etc., into the equivalent native Windows symbols. However, many non-English characters (such as the oe and IJ digraphs) are converted into a complex Word feature called "fields" (described below) instead of simply being converted into the equivalent symbols in Windows' built-in fonts.

Note: Word also uses its "field" feature (described below) to convert almost all multinational characters and typographic symbols if you have installed one of Microsoft's additional text converter packs for Word, and if the converter installer added the five special fonts described elsewhere on this page to your Windows system.

If the WP fonts are present on your system when you open a WP file in Word XP (Word 2002), then Word converts many non-English characters (as described in the paragraph above) and many typographic symbols (such as curly quotation marks, em dashes, en dashes, section marks, and others) into the complex Word "fields." You can avoid this problem by using the method described elsewhere on this page.

Fields are Word's way of storing almost all data that it does not process as ordinary text; when you see the current date and time in a Word document, the underlying code is a field; the current page number in a header or a footer is actually a field, not simply a number. When Word uses a field to represent a symbol (like the curly quotation marks in an imported WP document), you see a quotation mark on screen and the page; but if you try to use Word's Find dialog to search for the oe digraph or a quotation mark, Word won't find the symbol, because the oe digraph and the quotation mark aren't actually present in the file - instead, Word uses a field comprised of arcane name and number codes to tell it which font and character to use when displaying the character that is represented by a field.

The worst problem with Word's use of fields in imported WordPerfect files is that Word doesn't let you manipulate these fields in the way it lets you manipulate other fields. Most of Word's fields can be displayed by toggling Alt-F9, but the fields that Word uses when converting symbols from WP files are special invisible fields that cannot be displayed. This means that you can't even search for the fields that contain the WP symbols, although you can search for almost all other fields. If you want to replace the unsearchable field with an ordinary Word-style quotation mark, you will have to look very closely at your document on screen in order to find the symbols that don't look quite right (the WP quotation mark is small and narrow, while an ordinary Windows-style quotation mark looks more spacious). For further details, see this article on Word 2002's handling of WP formats.

Another section of this page offers a way to convert these fields into ordinary characters, but the only way I have found to make these hidden fields easily visible is to tell Word to save the imported WP file in Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0 format (this requires the conversion filters described elsewhere on this page); then close the file; and then reopen the converted Word 2.0 file in Word XP. The fields are now easily visible, and can be replaced by hand without much effort - unless, of course, you have an enormous number of them in your file. The visible codes, when displayed by toggling Alt-F9, look something like this: "{symbol 65\f "WP Typographic Symbols"\s 12}" You can search for this codes in Word's Find dialog by searching for: ^19symbol 65 \f "WP Typ (the ^19 character is the code used in Word's Find dialog to represent the opening curly brace of a field code).

How to avoid these problems: To avoid these problems, do one of the following:

(a) Prevent Word from using the WordPerfect fonts in imported WP files; this can be done by running a script program found elsewhere on this page.

or (b) don't open a WP file with typographic symbols or multinational characters directly in Word XP (Word 2002). Instead, use WP's Convert.exe or CV.exe program to convert the WP file into RTF (Rich Text Format) before opening the converted file in Word, or, if you have WPDOS 6.x, save the file directly into Rich-Text Format from WP's Save As... dialog box. (See the section immediately below for details.) Files converted by this method will show the correct, searchable characters that Word normally uses for quotation marks and dashes and other symbols.

How to fix these problems in files opened in Word XP (Word 2002): The simplest way to fix these problems (if you have not avoided them) is to install and use the special Word macro described elsewhere on this page.


Problems with WP files opened in Word 2003, 2007, or 2010

If Word displays empty boxes, or the wrong symbols, in place of the symbol and typographic characters that you expect to see in your imported files, see another section of this page.

For a general description of the capabilities of the Word 2003, 2007, and 2010 import filters for WordPerfect 5.x and 6.x, see this Microsoft page on using WP and Word 2003.

Word 2003, 2007, and 2010, like Word XP (Word 2002), convert WP files in one of two different ways, depending on whether or not your system includes the special WP Windows fonts (for example, WP TypographicSymbols) that are installed by all versions of WordPerfect for Windows.

If the WP fonts are not present on your system when you open a WP file in Word 2003 or Word 2997, then Word smoothly converts almost all WP symbols into the corresponding characters in native Windows fonts. Any characters that Word does not know how to convert are replaced with the underscore character (_).

If the WP fonts are present on your system when you open a WP file in Word 2003, 2007, or 2010, then Word converts many typographic symbols (such as curly quotation marks, em dashes, en dashes, section marks, and others) into complex codes called fields. The problems caused by this behavior are described in the following paragraphs (but note that you can avoid these problems by using the method described elsewhere on this page):

Fields are Word's way of storing almost all data that it does not process as ordinary text; when you see the current date and time in a Word document, the underlying code is a field; the current page number in a header or a footer is actually a field, not simply a number. When Word uses a field to represent a symbol (like the curly quotation marks in an imported WP document), you see a quotation mark on screen and the page; but if you try to use Word's Find dialog to search for the oe digraph or a quotation mark, Word won't find the symbol, because the oe digraph and the quotation mark aren't actually present in the file - instead, Word uses a field comprised of arcane name and number codes to tell it which font and character to use when displaying the character that is represented by a field.

The worst problem with Word's use of fields in imported WordPerfect files is that Word doesn't let you manipulate these fields in the way it lets you manipulate other fields. Most of Word's fields can be displayed by toggling Alt-F9, but the fields that Word uses when converting symbols from WP files are special invisible fields that cannot be displayed. This means that you can't even search for the fields that contain the WP symbols, although you can search for almost all other fields. If you want to replace the unsearchable field with an ordinary Word-style quotation mark, you will have to look very closely at your document on screen in order to find the symbols that don't look quite right (the WP quotation mark is small and narrow, while an ordinary Windows-style quotation mark looks more spacious). For further details, see this article on Word 2002's handling of WP formats.

Another section of this page offers a way to convert these fields into ordinary characters, but the only way I have found to make these hidden fields easily visible is to tell Word to save the imported WP file in Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0 format (this requires the conversion filters described elsewhere on this page); then close the file; and then reopen the converted Word 2.0 file in Word XP. The fields are now easily visible, and can be replaced by hand without much effort - unless, of course, you have an enormous number of them in your file. The visible codes, when displayed by toggling Alt-F9, look something like this: "{symbol 65\f "WP Typographic Symbols"\s 12}" You can search for this codes in Word's Find dialog by searching for: ^19symbol 65 \f "WP Typ (the ^19 character is the code used in Word's Find dialog to represent the opening curly brace of a field code).

How to avoid these problems: To avoid these problems, do one of the following:

(a) Prevent Word from using the WordPerfect fonts in imported WP files; this can be done by running a script program found elsewhere on this page.

or (b) don't open a WP file with typographic symbols or multinational characters directly in Word 2003, 2007, or 2010. Instead, use WP's Convert.exe or CV.exe program to convert the WP file into RTF (Rich Text Format) before opening the converted file in Word, or, if you have WPDOS 6.x, save the file directly into Rich-Text Format from WP's Save As... dialog box. (See the section immediately below for details.) Files converted by this method will show the correct, searchable characters that Word normally uses for quotation marks and dashes and other symbols.

How to fix these problems in files opened in Word 2003, 2007 or 2010: The simplest way to fix these problems (if you have not avoided them) is to install and use the special Word macro described elsewhere on this page.


A Word XP (Word 2002), Word 2003, Word 2007, and Word 2010 macro for cleaning up imported WP files

Note: The original macro (briefly posted on 16 August 2004) has been replaced with a corrected version. If you downloaded the original version, please delete it from your system, because it may replace some characters incorrectly. Further revisions have been made to the macro since the corrected version was posted on 19 August 2004; the current version (20 January 2008) identifies itself in the code as 1.35 and supports additional characters.

You can avoid most problems with fonts in WP files imported into Word if you use the method described elsewhere on this page. However, if you have already opened and saved your WP files in Word, then that method will not fix the problem with existing files.

How to fix the problems described above when you have already opened your WP files into Word: With the help of many people more expert than I am (notably Helmut Weber, who deserves most of the credit), I have written a Word 2007 and Word 1010 macro (when you click the link, the text of the file WPSymbolConv2007.bas opens in a new window) that solves the problems of unsearchable WP characters in Word files. (For Word XP/2002 or 2003, see the next paragraph.) The macro solves the problem by tricking Word into displaying any unsearchable fields in imported WP files and then replaces those fields with native Windows characters; these replacement characters can be searched and replaced. You may install the macro in Word XP (Word 2002), Word 2003, Word 2007, or Word 2010 by following these instructions.

Note for Word XP/2002 and Word 2003 users: Please use this alternative version of the macro for Word XP, 2002, and 2003, but otherwise follow the same instructions shown below (the downloaded file will be named WPSymbolConv.bas). This version of the symbol-converter macro is faster than the version for Word 2007 or later, but does not work reliably in Word 2007 or later. (Note: A revised version was uploaded 30 May 2007, with increased reliability.)

Important: If you fail (or refuse) to read all the instructions below and if you fail (or refuse) to follow the instructions exactly and in every detail, the macro will not work! Please do not write me an e-mail complaining that the macro does not compile or does not work unless you have read all the instructions and followed them exactly.

Read all the following instructions with great care! Yes, all! Before you download the file, make sure that you have Windows set up to display all file extensions in Windows Explorer, as described elsewhere on this site.

This macro will only work if the special WordPerfect TrueType symbol fonts are installed on your system! However, the macro only requires the specific WordPerfect font or fonts that your Word document expects to find, and typically the only one it needs is the one named WP Typographic Symbols. If you do not have the fonts on your system, you can download the full set of WP symbol fonts from Corel's web site, and install some or all of them before trying to run the macro.

To install and run the macro, first right-click on either this link to the Word XP/2002/2003 macro file or this link to the Word 2007/2010/2013 macro file. (Select the one that matches your version of Microsoft Word!) From the menu that appears when you right-click on the link, choose Save Target As... and download the file to any convenient directory on your disk; the file is named (depending on the version) WPSymbolConv.bas or WPSymbolConv2007.bas (if your browser renames it to something like WPSymbolConv.bas.txt, rename it again to WPSymbolConv.bas or WPSymbolConv2007.bas). (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?)

Then, start Microsoft Word, but use Ctrl-F4 (or File/Close) to close all documents, including the blank document that normally opens when Word is started, so that the Microsoft Word window is a plain background in which you cannot enter any text. When you are certain that Word has no document open, press Alt-F11 to bring up the Microsoft Visual Basic editor in which Word macros can be edited. Press Ctrl-R to go to the Project panel near the upper left of the window. Use the arrow keys or mouse to navigate to the bold-faced name "Normal" near the top of the panel; if your default template is named something other than "Normal" (i.e., Normal.dot), click on its name instead. Now, on the top-line menu, use Insert, UserForm; ignore the "form" that opens on screen; press Ctrl-F4 to close the form that you have now inserted. A UserForm must be present in your copy of Word before the macro can be installed, but you should not do anything with the form; simply let it exist.

Next, still in the Microsoft Visual Basic editor, go to the File menu, then choose Import file... and, in the Import File dialog, navigate to the directory in which you saved the WPSymbolConv.bas (or WPSymbolConv2007.bas) file. Click on that filename and make sure the name appears in the Filename field near the bottom of the dialog. Click Open to import the file. On the File menu, choose Save Normal (or whatever is the name of your default template) in order to save the imported files with your default template. Now press Alt-F4 to close the Microsoft Visual Basic editor.

Now, open a WP document in Word XP (Word 2002), Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010, or Word 2013. Do not modify or save the file; when you run the macro, it will make a backup copy for you! For safety reasons, the macro will not run on a file that has been saved in Word! (However, if you know what you are doing, and need the use the macro on files that have been saved in Word, see the note immediately below.) Use Tools, then Macros (or press Alt-F8), select WPSymbolConverter from the list of macros, and press Enter or click Run. The macro will tell you that it has made a backup of your file, and after you click OK on one or more warning messages, the macro will start.

Note: If the macro pops up an error message saying "This macro only runs on a document that has not been edited or saved" and you are certain that you have neither edited nor saved the document, then something in your Word setup is misreporting the state of the document. (This may be caused by add-in software.) If this occurs, then use Tools | Macros, select WPSymbolConverter, and click Edit. Search through the macro code until you find a line that begins "' Don't run if document has been changed since last saved". Deactivate the next nine lines (up to and including "End if" by adding a comment mark (a single quotation mark) at the start of each of those nine lines, as in the other commented-out lines that you will see elsewhere in the file. Press Alt-F4 to close the Visual Basic editor. Note that this procedure will also allow you to override the safety feature that prevents this macro from running on files that have already been saved; you may prefer to use the macro without this safety feature, but be certain that you know what you are doing.

Important troubleshooting message! Read this! If the macro crashes with an error message, and if you are using Word 2007, 2010, or 2013, then close your document without saving it; re-open the same document, and immediately use File/Save As..., find the "Save as type ..." field, select "Word 97-2003 document (*.doc)" from the dropdown menu, and save the file as a .doc file. Now run the macro on the saved .doc version of the file. After the macro does its work and you are satisfied with the results, you may of course save the file again in Word 2007/2010/2013 format, overwriting the original copy of the file.

(The following instructions apply to the Word 2007, 2010, and 2013 version of the macro; see the note below for the Word XP/2002 or Word 2003 version.) When the macro starts working, you will be prompted to press Enter when Word's Insert Symbol dialog appears. When the dialog appears, press Enter once only! Then do nothing while the macro works; you will see the Insert Symbol dialog repeatedly pop up and then disappear again. Wait for it to disappear each time after the first time! The screen may look extremely busy or distorted while the macro runs, and you may see the vertical scroll bar move up and down many times. Ignore all unexpected visual effects! At the end, most of the WP symbols should be converted into Windows symbols. If you do not like the result, simply close the file without saving it, and no harm will be done. If some symbols are not properly converted, see see another paragraph.

Note on the Word XP/2002 and Word 2003 version of the macro: Ignore the preceding paragraph; instead read this: When the macro starts up, you may see Word's Insert Symbol dialog open and wait for a response. If this happens, press Enter or Insert once only, and then do nothing while the macro works, and the Insert Symbol dialog repeatedly opens. Wait for it to disappear each time after the first time! The screen may look extremely busy or distorted while the macro runs, and you may see the vertical scroll bar move up and down many times. Ignore all unexpected visual effects! At the end, most of the WP symbols should be converted into Windows symbols. If you do not like the result, simply close the file without saving it, and no harm will be done. If some symbols are not properly converted, see another paragraph.

Important! Read this now! The macro is set initially for safe but relatively slow operation; it can be speeded up (especially on large documents) by making a small change in the code. Make this change only if either or both of the following two statements are true: (1) none of your WP documents includes the inverted Spanish exclamation mark (); or (2) all of your WP documents were created in version 6.0 or higher, and were never opened or saved in 5.1 or any earlier format. If either or both of these statements are true, then change the line near the top of the code that reads toggleOK=false so that it reads toggleOK=true and keep in mind that you should make this change if you work on large documents with many parentheses in them (but no inverted Spanish exclamation marks), because the macro may run out of memory on large files that include many parenthesis characters.

How to convert unconverted symbols: The macro as written converts only the most commonly used symbols, but is easily modified to convert any symbol you choose. A glance at the code will show how the macro works (see, for example, the section headed "Private Sub WPTypoSymSearch..."), and you can use either of the two included additional macros to find the information you need to add characters to the conversion list. One of the two additional included macros is FindUnconvertedWPSymbols. This displays the symbol and character number information for all the symbols in a document that were not transformed by the main WPSymbolCharacter macro. Using real-world documents (not one of the lists of WP characters that come with WPDOS), please send me feedback that will let me know of any characters that ought to be included in the macro. Even if you are expert enough to modify the macro by yourself, please let me know which characters should be added so that other users may benefit.

Another included macro, SingleCharacterFontAndSymbol, displays the font and symbol information for any single character that you select, or any single character that is to the right of the insertion point (cursor).

Note: Word converts WordPerfect's "hard hyphen" character (Home-hyphen) into Word's "Nonbreaking Hyphen" character; to find the converted character in Word, use Word's Find/More/Special menu and choose Nonbreaking Hyphen. Word converts the ordinary WP hyphen into Ascii character 45, and the WP "soft hyphen" into Word's "Optional Hyphen" (the latter is visible only when you choose Show Formatting Marks in Word; in Word use Shift-Alt-F3 to toggle Show/Hide Formatting Marks).

If you find that these macros save you time and effort, please consider making a voluntary contribution to this site.

Frequently-asked question:

Q. The "smart quotes" in my original WP document have been replaced by ugly-looking characters in a font called "WP Typographic Symbols." Did your cruel, evil, horrible macro do this mean, awful, terrible thing to my sweet, precious, innocent document?
   A. No. It was Microsoft Word and only Microsoft Word that replaced the smart quotes in your WP document with characters in the "WP Typographic Symbols" font. The whole purpose of my macro is to repair precisely that problem, and to give you a Word document that uses smart quotation marks in the same font used by the rest of the text. Take a deep breath, and then read the rest of this page so that you understand this crucial, central, and absolutely essential point. You have got the whole idea backwards.


WP files with empty boxes or the wrong symbol characters when opened in Word

If your WordPerfect files display empty boxes instead of symbols when opened in Word, or if you see typographic "dingbats" instead of multinational or other symbol characters, then you are probably using an older version of Word, and Word's import filters probably expected to find some special fonts on your system, but those fonts were not installed.

To solve this problem, download this self-extracting archive of five Microsoft fonts that shipped with older versions of Microsoft Office but are no longer widely available. Download the archive program to a convenient folder (such as your Desktop), run the program, and extract the five font files to a convenient temporary directory. Then install them into your Windows fonts folder by using the Fonts applet in the Windows Control Panel. If Word is running, close it and restart it.

The names of the five fonts are: Multinational Ext, Typographic Ext, Iconic Symbols Ext, Greek Symbols, and Math Ext.


Other methods of converting WPDOS files to Microsoft Word format

The most effective software for converting WP files (all versions) into Word format is CrossWords from Levit & James, Inc., a very expensive product for the corporate market.

A visitor to this site reports that the (discontinued) commercial software ConversionsPlus from DataViz effectively converts WP5 documents with endnotes into Word format, and does so more effectively than Word. (I have not tested this.) You may be able to find this program on eBay or used-software sites.

A highly effective shareware program for converting WPDOS 5.1 files into the RTF format used by Word (or directly into Word format instead of through RTF) the is the US$49 Wp2Rtf from LionScribe Software. This program produces much better results when converting international (non-English) characters than Word's own import filter, and is the only program I know of that effectively converts Arabic and Hebrew WordPerfect files into a format usable by Word.

If you have a copy of WordPerfect for DOS 6.x on your system, you may choose to save or convert documents from WPDOS into some older Word formats that all later Word versions can open. (The computer with the Word system may, however, need to have the full set of Word conversion filters installed; not all Word systems include the WPDOS 6.x filter by default.) Open the document that you want to convert to Word format; use F7-Save As..., and choose Rich-Text Format. Do not choose any of the "Microsoft Word" formats unless you are certain that all the Word conversion filters are installed in the copy of Microsoft Word that will be used to open the converted file.

Note: You should not save files from WPDOS 6.x into any "MS Word for Windows 2.0" format, because some versions of Word will not open the resulting file unless you (or the recipient) makes some changes to the Windows registry. If you absolutely insist on saving files from WP into any variety of the Microsoft Word for Windows format, and you then cannot open the files in Microsoft Word 2003, you may download this Visual Basic Script file, which will enable Word 2003 to open such files; download the EnableWinWord20Import.vbs file and double-click it to make the change in the registry (you may read the file in any text editor if you want to be certain that it is safe to run).

See also the note on LibreOffice elsewhere on this page.


How to convert WPDOS 5.1 micros into Microsoft Office Visual Basic

Macros written in WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 cannot be converted directly into Microsoft Word's macro language, Visual Basic for Applications. If you want to automate Word in the same way that you now automate WPDOS 5.1, you will need to write new Word macros. This Microsoft document explains the basic concepts involved in rewriting WPDOS 5.1 macros in Word's Visual Basic for Applications. The document was written to work with Office 97, but expert users can adapt it to more-recent versions of Word.


Macros that convert WP labels to Word

Graham Mayor's unofficial Word support site includes sets of Word macros by Tonya Marshall that convert WordPerfect labels into Word format. Search the page for "Third party downloads". Detailed instructions are included with the macros. Follow the instructions carefully! Don't try to use these macros without studying the instructions!


Convert WPDOS or WPWin files for use in Microsoft Word for the Mac

If you have a Macintosh computer with Microsoft Word for the Mac installed on it, and you want to use Microsoft Word for the Mac to edit documents created in WordPerfect for DOS (or WordPerfect for Windows), read the following instructions. Before you continue, read the preceding sentence again and again, until you are you certain that you truly understand exactly what this section is about!

If you still have a Windows computer with Microsoft Word installed: For the very best possible results, use a Windows computer, and open your WordPerfect file in Microsoft Word for Windows, as described above. Choose Save As... from the File menu in Word for Windows, and from the "Save as type..." dropdown list, choose "Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)." Copy the resulting file to your Macintosh, and open it in Word for the Mac.

If you do not have access to a Windows computer: No recent versions of Microsoft Word for the Mac can open files created in any version of WordPerfect. For information on opening or converting WordPerfect files for use in OS X, see a separate page.


A note on LibreOffice, OpenOffice.org, etc.

The open-source application suite LibreOffice (derived from the older and less-capable OpenOffice.org) can open and convert WordPerfect files, and is the basis of some of the conversion software supplied by this site. If you routinely open WordPerfect files in LibreOffice, you can use this macro code to detect whether a newly-opened file was created in WordPerfect, and, if so, run other macros to make changes in the file. This is only an example of what might be done:

Sub ifWordPerfect
   if getFilter(ThisComponent) = "WordPerfect" then
      msgBox ("This is a WordPerfect document.")
      ' MyFancyMacro()
   else
      msgBox ("This is not a WordPerfect document.")
   endif
end Sub

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