Q: I have always used Windows XP with Microsoft Works 9 for light home business and personal applications. Recently I have become the recipient of a new HP computer which has Windows 7 with Microsoft Office Home & Student already loaded on it. I have several files which I ran in Works which will not run in Microsoft Office, which I presume is a compatibility issue. Is there anyway I can get the Works files to open with Microsoft Office? Thanks for any help you can be.
A: In order to open MS Works word processor files in Office you need to download the free Works 6-9 Converter from the Microsoft site, close Office before installing it. Once you have the converter installed you’ll be able to open Works (.wps) files in Word. You can’t save them in Works format though so you’ll need to use the Save As function to convert them to .doc files.
If you still have access to the old machine with Works installed it’s better to use its Save As function to save the files in and Office compatible format such as .rtf or .doc as you’ll introduce fewer errors.
You should be able to open Works spreadsheet files with the .xlr extension in Excel without conversion. Microsoft doesn’t provide a conversion tool for Works database files but there is a third-party conversion tool at www.codealchemists.com/worksdatabaseconverter.
Originally featured in PCU140