How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

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Motti Shneor
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How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by Motti Shneor » 2015-04-20 21:16:27

Hi.

I re-joined the Nisus users club lately, after many years. In the long forgotten days of Mac OS 6,7 8 and 9 I heavily used, taught and promoted the wonderful Nisus Writer 4.

I have hundreds of old Nisus 4 documents. Most of them were converted along the years to other formats, but still many are just sitting there on my hard drive.

Now that I upgraded to NisusWriter Pro 2.1.2 I went to browse and open my old documents, and found that Nisus doesn't even recognize them.

What to do?

My documents are mainly Hebrew with some English in them. Many have embedded graphic elements and images.

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phspaelti
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Re: How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by phspaelti » 2015-04-21 17:55:29

You are talking about Nisus Classic documents, right? The last classic format was NW 4.1.6, I believe.
Mine open fine in NWP 2.1.1, but not on a double click. Control-click and choose NW 2.1 from the "Open With" submenu.

As for the Hebrew, I couldn't say. Especially if you used those infamous "reversed fonts", then you may need to find some method to fix them.
philip

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martin
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Re: How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by martin » 2015-04-21 20:24:45

The biggest problem users encounter when trying to open Classic Nisus Writer documents in Nisus Writer Pro (NWP) is that these old files have lost their "resource forks". These forks were responsible for storing all information beyond the basic text, eg: formatting, graphics, etc. Worse yet, some of these old files that employ non-standard fonts will open as gibberish text without their formatting intact. See the section "Classic Mac Fonts" in this FAQ entry.

If you find that your old Classic files have totally lost their formatting (and likely their resource fork) when you open them in NWP, you will need to go back to whatever archives you have for your Classic Mac OS files.

xiamenese
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Re: How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by xiamenese » 2015-04-22 01:33:05

martin wrote:If you find that your old Classic files have totally lost their formatting (and likely their resource fork) when you open them in NWP, you will need to go back to whatever archives you have for your Classic Mac OS files.
Or like me, make a duplicate before you try opening it in NWP —omething I always do before trying something new on an existing file of any type.

:)

Mark

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martin
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Re: How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by martin » 2015-04-22 10:48:51

xiamenese wrote:Or like me, make a duplicate before you try opening it in NWP —omething I always do before trying something new on an existing file of any type.
Always good advice when trying something new with important documents! However, in the case where Classic files lose their resource forks, the damage was most likely done a long time ago. Although resource forks are supported by OSX, they aren't supported by all software and devices. They can be lost when transferring files; for example: if the files are ever copied onto a non-Mac file system.

In the past we've seen customers whose Classic documents lost their resource forks years ago, most likely when the user was initially transferring files from an old Mac running Classic Mac OS 9 to a new Mac running OSX. In these situations the resource forks never made it successfully onto OSX, so the user has to go back to their old OS9 Mac (or backups) to retrieve the resource fork. The best solution is to archive/zip the files before transferring them off the computer running Classic Mac OS.

xiamenese
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Re: How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by xiamenese » 2015-04-22 12:24:02

True, I'm sure Martin, but when I'd transferred the zipped file and unzipped it, I'd make a duplicate before trying anything ... I'm a belt and braces (suspenders, US?) man and becoming that way in real life, as a belt no longer seems enough to keep my trousers (pants, US ... actually my trousers tend to fall down and take my pants with them :roll: ) up! :lol:

Mark

Motti Shneor
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Re: How can I open my ancient Nisus 4 documents?

Post by Motti Shneor » 2015-04-23 23:36:47

Thanks everyone for the kind and prompt answers!

I'll try to use the techniques described to open my old documents.

Now as long as one is using Apple's File-system (HFS Plus) there is no fear of losing resource-forks by merely updating to OS-X, or copying files over from OS Cassic to OS-X. Resource forks are maintained and supported even today (although not recommended to use, and largely considered "deprecated" part of the file system).

Secondly, I never used those "reversed fonts" in Hebrew. These were considered bad thing even in 1995. They were used mainly by BAD DOS/Windows users, for creating horrible web-pages. Not too many Nisus Users on the Mac ever used them.

Indeed my documents are all in the Nisus 4.1.6 format.

So… I'll try!

(I'm really curious what will happen with those huge, complicated documents with lots of embedded/external graphics and macros and everything…)

I'll report soon.

Thanks again!

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