Converting from MS Works 95

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Converting from MS Works 95

Postby Daryl » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:06 pm

Welcome beginner. Please answer all of the questions below which may provide information necessary to answer your question.
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Which version of OpenOffice.org are you using? 2.4
What Operating System (version) are you using? Vista
What is your question or comment?

I have been unable to convert my old Works 95 files to any newer programs. I thought I would try to on OpenOffice but the same thing happens - it's just giberish. The reason for this is because XP and now Vista don't seem to like such an old program like Works 95. Any suggestions what I'm doing wrong.
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Re: Converting from MS Works 95

Postby foxcole » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:29 pm

It's not anything you're doing right or wrong. It's the fact that Works in general is not compatible with other programs and Works 95 is so old that no newer technologies are likely to support it, as you've discovered. Works 95, even if you had the original program, is unlikely to be able to run on a newer OS.

When Windows XP first came out, a tool was made available that would set XP to be able to run older programs. I don't think that's possible directly with Vista, but maybe you could try installing an older OS version alongside Vista. I know that's possible for running old DOS programs, and I know it's possible to emulate an Apple IIe OS to run on Winows, so it surely must be possible with Win95. Once that's in place, it's possible you might find a copy of Works 95 somewhere. At least half a dozen websites exist that offer old software versions. I think oldversion.com might be one.

If I had more time right now I'd go look and see what I could dig up, but I'll be leaving here shortly so will trust that to you or someone else for now, with my apologies.

Good luck! It might turn out to be kind of fun, if you run across any old games or other bits of nostalgia.

On the other hand, if what I'm suggesting turns out to be too much work or is not something you want to do, you might need to turn to a hex editor that will open any file, and see if you can extract the text that way. It won't bring across formatting or images, but you might at least salvage some content.
Cheers!
---Fox

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Re: Converting from MS Works 95

Postby squenson » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:37 pm

Nothing wrong. During the last century, each software was saving its files in a proprietary format which was not published anywhere, to lock the Users in buying again and again the new releases.

OOo developers have certainly estimated that it is not worth the effort developing a program to transform Works 95 files into Calc format. For Excel, which has a huge installed base, they proceeded by trial and error to de-assemble the structure of the file.

I hope you will be able to open all these files with Works 95, then save them in an old Excel format, then open this Excel file with OOo. Painful, slow, not 100% perfect but this is the only approach I can recommend.
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Re: Converting from MS Works 95

Postby AndrewZ » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:39 am

If you just need text (word processor) documents (ending in extension .wps), OxygenOffice is one program that includes my libwps Microsoft Works .wps importer which imports text and very basic formatting.
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