Opening or Converting WordPerfect Files

Some faculty and staff members of the law school use Corel WordPerfect as their word processing software. This practice is rooted in the pervasiveness of WordPerfect 5.1 in legal and academic settings before Microsoft Windows became the default desktop operating system in most schools and offices. Subsequent versions of WordPefect preserved the most useful features of WordPerfect 5.1: the reveal codes feature, which lets one easily determine formatting codes and change them when needed; easy insertion of symbols in the text; and an easy-to-program macro language.

Nearly all law students here at Duke use Microsoft Word as their word processing software. Indeed, Word commands nearly all the market for this software. Students may find that their Word will not convert a WordPefect document that they need to read. (First try to open the document; you will need to select "All File Types" in the Open File dialog window.) Academic Technologies suggests these solutions to the problem.

Windows Users: Add the Word Converter Pack

If you are using Microsoft Office, it includes the ability to convert WordPerfect files. Follow our instructions to install the converter pack.

Windows Users: Install OpenOffice

OpenOffice is an open source suite that can read Word documents and converts WordPerfect documents more accurately than does MS Word. Download it from the OpenOffice web site.

Macintosh Users: Install NeoOffice

There is no version of WordPerfect currently made for Mac. NeoOffice is a version of OpenOffice for Macs, and it can open WordPerfect documents. Download it from the NeoOffice web site.

Mac users may also wish to note also that there is an inexpensive Mac application called WPD Wizard, available through the Macintosh App Store, that can open WordPerfect files. One caveat is that footnotes are recognized and visible, but may not be kept in footnote format.