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  1. #1
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    I am running a fully updated version of Windows Vista with Office 2003 installed. I have documents that go back to Windows 3.1 era, and created in Word 2.0 format. When I try to open them I get this message (attached image), and have been unable to figure out how to change the policy settings that prevent me from opening my old documents.

    What do I need to do?

    Don
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thanks, I think that answers the question.
    Don

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    1. you can either:
    - find an old copy of Word (Excel, PowerPoint) 2003 without Service Pack 3
    - find an Office 2000 setup.
    - use Google Docs (online) - or one of the other Office type suites online..
    - use OpenOffice.org - you can download this for free.
    2. open the old document in your chosen alternative to Word 2003.
    3. do a 'Save As' and drop the 'Save Files of type' list (or equvilent).
    4. select in the most up-tdate format available (anything post-1995).
    5. do the save.
    6. open in Word 2003 sp3 (or above) - see document.
    7. save in Word 2003 format - job done.

    Dave
    ---
    Dave Bleasdale
    Lancaster
    England

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dougan View Post
    Thanks, I think that answers the question.
    Did you notice that there are downloads available on the Information about certain file types that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3 page to re-enable various file types?

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
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    RE: "...to re-enable various file types"

    Yes, thanks Joe. And Dave too -- though I do have an old version of Word97 I ran the download program to except Word documents only from the new sp3 filter, and have started opening them in Word 2003 and resaving the ones that had not turned to garbage formatting as a Word 2003 format file. I had some of the old 2.0 files turn to garbage back when I was running Windows95 and using Office97, so though I don't like it some of them are just gone for good I'm afraid.

    Whenever I get all the 2.0 documents re-saved in the new format I'll re-enable the filters for security -- but they are all old archived documents -- like my thesis and old invoices, letters, and such -- so I don't know that they would ever be a security risk as they never leave the hard-drive.

    Thanks all,
    Don


  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dougan View Post
    ...
    Whenever I get all the 2.0 documents re-saved in the new format I'll re-enable the filters for security -- but they are all old archived documents -- like my thesis and old invoices, letters, and such -- so I don't know that they would ever be a security risk as they never leave the hard-drive.
    If you leave that security filter disabled then there is nothing to stop someone sending you a convincing looking DOC file that could potentially take over your computer, unless you never open Word documents that other people send you.

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    If you leave that security filter disabled then there is nothing to stop someone sending you a convincing looking DOC file that could potentially take over your computer, unless you never open Word documents that other people send you.
    Is that so even if you scan your email attachments with an anti-virus program? (I ask out of curiosity, not because I know any different?)

    Ian



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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dougan View Post
    .... though I don't like it some of them are just gone for good I'm afraid....
    That should not be *completely* gone for good.

    You should be able to open the files in any Text Editor (or Notepad - if you don't have anything fancier). You'll find that you'll be able to locate the raw text -and use it for making a new document. Nagturally, you may well have some "adventures" in trying to reinstate the old formatting.

    It may help you to make duplicates of that target documents from your archive and - presuming that you have "hide file extensions" *dis*abled in Control Panel|Folder Options - rename the extension(s) from .doc to .txt.

    HTH
    Grьяe

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanWilson View Post
    Is that so even if you scan your email attachments with an anti-virus program? (I ask out of curiosity, not because I know any different?)

    Ian
    That depends on how effective your anti-virus program is. They can't scan for any conceivable use of the particular mechanism, so you would have to rely on your anti-virus software knowing about every existing virus that exploits the particular loophole. It is much safer to simply filter out any document that is capable of hosting these nasties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dougan View Post
    I am running a fully updated version of Windows Vista with Office 2003 installed. I have documents that go back to Windows 3.1 era, and created in Word 2.0 format. When I try to open them I get this message (attached image), and have been unable to figure out how to change the policy settings that prevent me from opening my old documents.

    What do I need to do?

    Don
    I'm surprised that nobody has given you the absolutely simplest solution, which is to open those files in WordPad, and save them as Rich Text Format. You should be able to open Rich Text Format documents with any version of Microsoft Word.

    The thinking behind this recommendation is that the native format used by WordPad is actually Word 2.0. Since the .DOC format is registered to WinWord, you will have to start WordPad from the desktop or start menu, and use its File Open dialog box to open the old documents. You will also need to change the filter, which defaults to Rich Text Format, to Word for Windows. Once you have the document open, File, Save As, and backspace over the extension, to avoid overwriting the old document with the RTF conversion. Then, open the RTF documents in Microsoft Word, allow them to be converted, and save as DOC (for Word 2003 and prior) or DOCX (for Word 2007).
    David Gray, Chief Wizard
    WizardWrx
    Irving, Texas, USA

    WizardWrx Web - Technical Articles and Free Software
    You are more important than any technology we may employ.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Gray View Post
    I'm surprised that nobody has given you the absolutely simplest solution, which is to open those files in WordPad, and save them as Rich Text Format. You should be able to open Rich Text Format documents with any version of Microsoft Word.

    The thinking behind this recommendation is that the native format used by WordPad is actually Word 2.0
    Hi David,

    I don't think the claim about the WordPad file format correct. And, if it's not, the proposed solution won't work. According to the copy of WordPad on my system (Vista), its native format is RTF. That's not the format Word 2.0 used. The only other option Wordpad gives is to save in one of the plain text formats.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  13. #13
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    "That should not be *completely* gone for good. You should be able to open the files in any Text Editor (or Notepad - if you don't have anything fancier). You'll find that you'll be able to locate the raw text -and use it for making a new document."

    Thanks for the all info, but while I can now open all the files some of the files simply give gibberish throughout the entire document. Even reading line by line there are no recognizable words. For instance, what was originally a one-page document is now 16 pages long and filled with strings of characters like this: €€*ЯњЯњЯ€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€СЯ€€€П€€€€ЩЩ When I see that 'Я' with the umlaut repeated paragraph after paragraph it invariably means there is no readable text anywhere in the file. These files all read virtually the same whether opened with Word with the filter turned-off, Wordpad, Notepad, or as simple .txt documents.

    But some of the documents do contain readable text sandwiched in-between pages of translated formatting, and I have retrieved perhaps 75% of the files successfully. Thanks to all for the suggestions and help.
    Don

  14. #14
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dougan View Post
    "That should not be *completely* gone for good. You should be able to open the files in any Text Editor (or Notepad - if you don't have anything fancier). You'll find that you'll be able to locate the raw text -and use it for making a new document."

    Thanks for the all info, but while I can now open all the files some of the files simply give gibberish throughout the entire document. Even reading line by line there are no recognizable words. For instance, what was originally a one-page document is now 16 pages long and filled with strings of characters like this: €€*ŸњŸњŸ€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€'Ÿ€€€�€€€€™™ When I see that 'Ÿ' with the umlaut repeated paragraph after paragraph it invariably means there is no readable text anywhere in the file. These files all read virtually the same whether opened with Word with the filter turned-off, Wordpad, Notepad, or as simple .txt documents.

    But some of the documents do contain readable text sandwiched in-between pages of translated formatting, and I have retrieved perhaps 75% of the files successfully. Thanks to all for the suggestions and help.
    Don
    Don
    Did you actually try re-enabling access to the blocked file types as suggested by Joe in his post on 21 December. The link he gave pointed here

    http://support.micro....com/kb/938810/

    I have gone that route because I have quite a few files from old versions of Word that I need to open from time to time, and it works for me. (I used method 3 on the MS page, directly editing the registry. The usual warnings about being careful if you edit the registry apply. If you are not confident with that you could try one of the other methods.)

    Ian

    PS - reading it all again, it looks as though you have tried this, sorry. You don't I suppose have the original files from before you used Office 97 on them? (An ancient back-up or something?)



  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    Ian,

    Thanks, yes I did, and no ancient back-ups Ч I threw all those 5Љ-inch floppies away in the 1990s. <grin>

    At some point you just have to be fatalistic and let go. <bigger grin>

    Don

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