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  1. #1
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    Convering WP documents to Word

    My wife is faced with converting a rather large policies and procedures manual from WordPerfect. There are likely to be some extensive revisions after the conversion. The goal is to convert to *.doc formats and preserve the existing formatting . After that, formatting improvements might evolve. Would VBA be an appropriate solution for the conversion, or would templates be a better solution? Due to tight deadline constraints that can't be changed, anything that would improve efficiency over direct formatting manually or , Heaven forbid, having to type them and format them anew, would be extremely helpful.

    Surely some of you mavens have done this and can tell us what variety of sharks are in the water and where they are most likely to be encountered.

    All suggestions greatly appreciated and gratefully accepted.

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Response from semi-experienced user:

    Oh no.... no, no, no, no, no!!!! Never re-type. Never, never, never! At absolute worst case, save W/P documents as (ASCII) text files, then open them in Word. You lose formatting, but would save all the content, of course. But that is a last ditch solution.... if all else fails.

    Much better solution:

    Donno about templates, but I did it with VBA. I found that Word added some extraneous codes (apparently strange field codes, such as {PRIVATE}). After converting (opening each W/P doc and saving as a Word doc - which I also did with a macro), I looked and identified the common extraneous codes and other awkward things, and then wrote a VBA macro to open each document and globally make the necessary changes, then save it.

    May not be the most sophisticated way to do it, but it sure worked well for little, old me. Clean and efficient.

    BTW - Just to cover yourself, make a copy of the W/P documents first, in case something really, really bad happens.... not that it ever would, of course.

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Can you elaborate a little more on how you set up the macros? Did you you use the macro wizard or use something else?

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    I suppose you could use the macro wizard... though I absolutely hate software wizards.

    I have been a programmer for years and years.... I wrote a ton of macros for W/P 5.1 (I loved it!) and the old Word 95. Word VBA is a bit more complicated, and frankly, a real pain... unless you want to make a career out of it. I have yet to make that leap.

    So, no... I did not use a wizard. I piddled around, used Woody's book on Office 2000, and wrote my own.

    I imagine I could dig up one of the ones I used for you.... but it might be a bit embarrassing.

    Not sure if that helps you, but if you have never written VBA macros, you might want to farm it out to someone who has.... unless you want to start a new career.

    But clearly the way to go is with some type of automated process.


    On the other hand, if, after you convert the docs to Word, you find that the necessary changes are not too extensive, you could open any document and record, as a macro, the keystrokes necessary to make the changes to the document. (Pick a document that likely has all things you might need to change.) You could activate this macro with an icon which you could place on the toolbar... that's easy to do. Then, every time you open a converted document, you could click and execute the macro. You'd have to do this once for each document you converted. Not as sophisticated, but it would work, except for a few possible oddball things, which you would have to handle manually as they came up.

    (Yes, I know you could execute the macro automatically when you open the document, but come on.... let's be easy here.)

    When you have cleaned all of them, delete the macro and the icon on the toolbar.

    Bingo.

    So. maybe the thing to do is convert the docs to Word first. Then see how much of a mess you have. It may be less than you think.

    Or not.

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Thanks, hmc!

    I've been writing code since '68, off and on. It's been a while since I was up to my armpits, but with today's tools, some things are much easier, some more obscure.

    Your advice to do to the conversions to Word and then worry about macros is well taken. That's what I had intended to do. About 7 years ago, I downloaded large files of letter text from a mainframe to a PC then used Word and VB allowing users to reformat the text to ensure alignment of address variables and barcodes for USPS specifications. That was fairly easy compared to what I expect we will encounter in the upcoming task. We are doing this pro bono; so farming it out is not an option.

    Would you mind if I posted to you with specific questions as they arise? I will be happy to do so off list or on.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    You might ask someone with WP to convert one to Word from their end to compare the quality of the conversions. Might be a good investment if it works. You could then use Insert|File to get those conversions into a document based on a template with the desired styles.

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Why not use the WordPerfect converter, available from Microsoft as part of the supplemental converters pack. It's a free download and is available for Word 97 & 2000, at least, and converts WP 4.0 (DOS), 5-6.x (DOS & Win) files.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Thanks for the response. Can you give me a little more info on how to find this on the MS site? I went to Download/Word-2002 and didn't see anything that resembles what you describe.

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Should not need a W/P converter. Word 2000 should automatically recognize the document as a W/P doc and convert it for you. Though that might depend on the options you chose when you installed it.

    You can e-mail it/them to me (zipped might be best) and I'll convert it/them for you. Nothing to it.

    Sure... you can contact me if you have questions... here or directly at hchicowitz@aol.com

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    I too have been down this path with several users swearing that WP was the best thing since sliced bread!

    Some time ago Woody developed as small macro that changed the Ctrl V insert in Word to insert copied text unformatted. Foe me it worked just great.

    You have to develop the following macro attached to the Normal.dot;

    Sub PasteUnformatted()
    '
    ' PasteUnformatted Macro
    ' Macro recorded 20/11/2001 by Phil Carter
    '
    Selection.PasteSpecial DataType:=wdPasteText
    End Sub

    The next step is to to reassign the Ctrl V key sequence to this macro.

    Hope this this works OK.

    Good luck
    cheers

    Phil Carter

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Thanks for the offer. We're going to give it a try first. If we run in to problems, we'll ping you.

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    Edited: <!t><!/t> and <!t><!/t> tags added around the URL to make the link live. -Mod.

    I don't have Word 2002, so I don't know for sure what the story is there.

    Taking hmc's point re Word 2000, the first step would be to make sure you've installed the Office Converter Pack. According to MS:
    "The WordPerfect 6. x converter is included with Word and is part of the Run from My Computer installation."
    You might also want to check:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;EN-US;q236051
    which tells you about the converters that come with word,
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;en-us;Q212265
    which tells you about what's in the converter pack, and
    http://office.microsoft.com/Assistan.../ofconpak.aspx and/or http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/a...ox.htm#convpack
    for the Office Converter Pack itself.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  13. #13
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    The following comes from my Word Perfect rant ...

    As for converting documents from Word Perfect to use in Word... In a word, don't plan on it. Documents converted from Word Perfect to Word are likely to be "poison," in that they will cause innumerable headaches down the road when anyone copies text from them into another document (or worse, bases a new document on them). With your converted documents, you may want to consider saving them in Word protected for forms (without any form fields) using a password -- and lose the password. Create a second copy of converted documents that have been converted to text files and then imported as text files into Word, use those as the basis for any copying.

    Weighing in late to this discussion...
    The P&P manual is likely to be replete with automatic numbering which is a real weak point in Word. Take a look at the manual template that you can download from the MVP site page on How to Create a Template - Part II. Use this or another well-constructed Word template as the basis for a new document. Paste from your old document into this one as unformatted text. Then go through and apply styles throughout to format the thing. Otherwise that "extensive revision" is going to be a nightmare.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Convering WP documents to Word

    I want to support what Charles has said. I have converted many WordPerfect documents to Word. When Word converts (by itself) it often leaves "things" in the document which you won't actually be able to see. These can affect paragraph numbering (for instance I had a doc that numbered 1, 1.1, 1.2 ... 1.7, 2, 1.8 - even deleting and retyping the offending paragraphs didn't fix this one. There were no visible codes left.
    Opening the document in Word, selecting the text and pasting it as unformatted into a new document with the appropriate styles and then reformatting is the only safe way to go.
    We even have a site that had to get MS involved to look at a document that had originally been a WP doc - from memory this doc would cause all sorts of hassles printing. Eventually they found a frame at the very top edge of one of the pages. They also recommended taking back to text only and reformatting.

    If your WP document had merge fields in it, when you open the doc in Word these will be converted (depending on the type of code often to Fillin) - you can write a macro to convert these to text with some form of identifying brackets around them to show they were a field, convert the document to text using paste special as unformatted text into a new document, and then running a macro to reformat what were fields, back into fields (if you want to use fields).

    It's not a quick job but if you have set up styles and shortcut keys the reformatting shouldn't be too bad. You will then be left with a document that can easily be amended.

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