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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
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Page updated Sep 23, 2015

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Converting files between DOC and WPD formats


WordPerfect menu choices refer to the <WordPerfect> menu. (Right-click on WordPerfect's top menu bar for a choice of menus.)

If you use a <Microsoft Word> menu, the choices might be absent from your menu (but not from the program), or they might be found under another menu selection.

If the menu choices or toolbars discussed on this site seem to be missing from your program, see here.

Related pages -

Migrating from Microsoft Word® to WordPerfect®

Having problems converting a Microsoft Word document (.DOC) or other program document to a WordPerfect document (.WPD) or vice versa?

The following tips were gleaned from Corel newsgroups.

☼  First, if you did a "custom" WP installation rather than a standard installation make sure you installed the word processing conversion filters.

In WordPerfect 11+'s Custom Setup, conversion filters for Word (and others) are under WordPerfect Office 11 > Filters > Word Processors. In WordPerfect 10 they are on a separate screen when you click on Next during the custom install. No filters, no conversions. Similarly, if Word was set up without the WP document conversion options, you will need to install them in Word.

☼  Second, if you have a version of WordPerfect that was released before the Word program currently being used, then -- since Microsoft (unlike Corel) tends to change the document file structure with each new release -- you may not have the proper conversion filters anyway.

☼  Third, if the document does not contain complex formatting you might find that saving it as a Rich Text Format (.RTF) file will solve most transfer problems. Both WordPerfect and MS Word can open such a file without separate filters. (Test it to see if it works for you.) If you want to use bullets and other symbols, see the tips below.

Other tips

☼  Sharing documents. If you want to convert a WordPerfect document (.WPD) to a Word document (.DOC) so that it can be shared with someone who only has Microsoft Word, it may be better to simply rename the file (from My Computer or Windows Explorer) with a .DOC extension and let the recipient's Word program do the conversion when it loads the file than to try and save the file in WordPerfect (File, Save As, File Type...) as a MSWord file. (Try it both ways to see how well the file is converted.)

•  Converting bullets and other WordPerfect symbols in WordPerfect document to a Microsoft Word file can be problematic, since WordPerfect creates an Outline bullet style and other inserted bullets with one of its own WP symbol fonts (see your WordPerfect menu's Inset, Symbol, typographical Symbols).

Later versions of WordPerfect and later versions of MS Word might not have a problem with them, but you might want to ensure that the bullets in your WPD document are MS Word-compatible.

Here are a few ways to do it:

Method A. When you save the WordPerfect (WPD) document with File Save (or Save As) dialog, be sure to enable the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog, "Embed fonts...". Then close the file. Rename the file with a .DOC extension in My Computer or Windows Explorer before sending it to the recipient who uses MS Word. Their copy of Word should open the file and display (and print) the Outline bullets. (This worked in tests with WordPerfect X4 and MS Word 2003.)

Method B. Rather than using an Outline bullet style or WP bullet symbols, use the standard Windows font, Wingdings, to produce bullets, boxes, etc., directly in the WPD document. The letter "l" (lower case L) produces a round bullet (which can be resized), and the letters "w," "t," and "u" produce diamond-shaped bullets. Since this is a standard Windows font it will (or should be) on the recipient's computer, whereas WP Symbol fonts probably will not be on their computer.

Method C. Save the WordPerfect (WPD) document as a MS Word (DOC) file in File, Save As (use the drop list under the Filename field); this adds a .DOC filename extension. Then upload the file to the (free) Google Docs website at http://docs.google.com/; edit the document there and add bullets where needed (GoogleDocs uses the Windows Symbol font to create bullets); and then download the file back to your computer, where it can be forwarded.

•  Other conversion tips:

See this (consolidated) post from Joe Fox on WordPerfect Universe:
Conversions from WP to MSWord

•  WordPerfect 12 (and later version) users:

If you prefer saving the WPD document as a MSWord file (be sure to read about a potential issue with bullets and other WP symbols above), you can add a button to the toolbar to do it.

This feature - 'Save as Microsoft Word...' - is found under the 'File' feature category in the Toolbar Editor. [For instructions on adding a feature to the toolbar, menu, or a keystroke combination, see here.]

An alternative is to set up the computer that has just the MSWord program installed on it so that it will recognize a WPD filename extension as being associated with Word. Then Word will open the file when you double-click the filename in Windows Explorer (assuming Word has the WP filters installed). See your Windows Help file for how to do this; but generally, you can hold the Shift key down while you right-click the filename, then choose Open With, and then choose the MSWord program. Be sure to set Windows to "Always use the selected program to open this file.")

☼  Not Always Perfect. Even though WP12 (as of this writing) does a better job of converting files than earlier versions, it still does not always do a perfect job. "Chris D" posted this explanation in the Corel WP12 newsgroup:

"... They [Word and WordPerfect] are not just similar programs using different codes. The file structure is very different. WP uses a straight streaming file that starts at the beginning with the first page and ends with the last. Word uses 'objects,' primarily paragraphs as the foundation, then modifies them with other objects. The sequence of objects may or may not be what you see on your screen and printer output. Index pointers control the output from what may be a very tangled file.

WP's conversion program has to makes sense of the disorder and reorganize it to be a streaming file. Word's task at converting a WP file is much simpler as there is little to untangle. [WP does use objects for some tasks, such as headers, footnotes, etc., where the output is not in the main stream of text.]

Some users have found that letting Word convert the WP file is the better choice [than trying to save the WP document as a Word document in WP]. ...

The result [in WP12] is pretty decent portability for text-only documents with only minimal formatting. A heavily formatted or graphic-intensive document [might] not convert very well. ..."

☼  Unwanted format codes. After loading and converting a Word document in WP, you might find lots of unwanted format codes in the WPD document. You can remove many of them with a macro such as 'Word Cleanup' at http://www.macros.koenecke.us/.