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Converting Wordperfect 3.5 Files

Posted: 2005-11-25 23:59:06
by duck
I’m looking for a a good way to convert my old Mac WordPerfect 3.5 files to Nisus Writer Express. Here’s what I’ve tried:

1) Opening the WP document directly in Nisus. When I do this the tabs disappear, the font changes to Times New Roman, and page breaks and page numbers are gone.

2)In WP, Save As RTF Export. When I open the resulting RTF file in Nisus the document appears to have retained all the original formatting (except page numbers). Now here’s where it gets a little weird: if I just Save the document, when I reopen it in Nisus the font has changed to Helvetica and all the text is left-aligned (also, in the Finder the file becomes a “Nisus Writer Express Document”). But if in Nisus I had done a “Save As RTF” to WP’s RTF, when I reopen it the original formatting is retained.

Whew! I hope that makes sense. Basically I’m wondering if there’s a better way than doing a Save As in WP and then another Save As in Nisus to each file. Also, has anyone had any trouble with converted files becoming corrupt? Is Nisus pretty stable for importing text into other applications?

Thanks for any feedback!

Re: Converting Wordperfect 3.5 Files

Posted: 2008-11-10 12:52:16
by ah3
The problem is that Nisus uses a very old, buggy and obsolete version of libwpd, an open source translator for wordperfect. The current version is, I believe, libwpd 0.8.13. That version does a very impressive job of importing Wordperfect Mac files.

The version of libwpd that NWP 1.2 uses appears to be no newer than libwpd 0.8.4 (over three years old). This is apparent because the problem you describe (tabs being stripped out when Wordperfect Mac files are imported), was a known bug in libwpd that was fixed eons ago.

I provided this info to Nisus support quite a long time ago. Unfortunately, Although this bug is known, understood and capable of correction (i.e. use a newer version of libwpd), several updates to Pro and Express have come and gone without this problem being corrected.

Interestingly, the two guys who publish NeoOffice managed to fix the same problem a few weeks after I provided the same info.

Re: Converting Wordperfect 3.5 Files

Posted: 2008-11-16 20:14:28
by Jazzvibe
Thanks your post ah3, it's interesting that Nisus didn't pick up the ball on this.

I waited a very long time (after Nisus started advertised itself as being able to open/convert WordPerect files) before files actually opened (tech support kept saying please be patient) and even then I had to figure out the exact same problems and work arounds that Duck describes here. I for one know exactly what you're talking about.

I also wish there was a script or something that would do all this automatically. I'm still converting WP files (a little at a time) several years after getting Nisus.


Re: Converting Wordperfect 3.5 Files

Posted: 2008-11-16 21:41:55
by ah3
NeoOffice (which uses a more recent version of libwpd) does a very good import. It does not have the bug that strips out all of the tabs.

Also, jazzvibe, libwpd has a separate install you can do, that will do batch conversions using an applescript droplet. I think this is on sourceforge. Google libwpd.

Nisus should not claim that it imports Wordperfect mac files unless and until it fixes this problem. If it was within the ability of 2 guys publishing an open source office suite (neooffice) to fix it promptly, it is a shame nisus can't manage it, with a commercial product.