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Opening Microsoft Works Files in Word

written by: J. Edward Casteele•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/22/2010

Converting a Microsoft Works file to a format that can be used by Microsoft Word isn't difficult. There are two different methods by which you can convert a file, depending on whether you have a copy of Works installed on your computer.

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    Microsoft Word vs. Microsoft Works

    Though Microsoft Word is one of the most popular word processing programs on the market, a number of people use Microsoft Works for their word processing simply because Works was generally distributed with new computers or laptops. Unfortunately, Microsoft Works was discontinued with the release of Office 2010; basic versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel now ship with new computers instead. This can lead to individuals having documents which were originally saved in Works, but which they need to open in Word due to a new computer not having Works installed. There are two different methods by which a Works document can be converted to work on Word, with one method taking place in Works itself while the other uses Word exclusively.

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    Converting a File with Microsoft Works

    If you wish to open a Microsoft Works file in Microsoft Word and have Works installed on your computer, the conversion process is a simple one. Microsoft Works is able to open and save files in the Microsoft Word format, so all that you will need to do in order to complete the conversion is to use Works to change the file's format.

    Open the file in question using Microsoft Works. Once the file has been opened, click on the "File" option on the Menu Bar and select the "Save As..." option. This will cause the "Save As..." dialog box to open. Locate the "Save As Type" box beneath the text input box for the file name and select the "Word 97-2003 (*.doc)" option. Click the "Save" button in order to save a copy of the file as a .doc file which can be opened by Microsoft Word.

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    Converting a File Without Microsoft Works

    If you wish to open a Microsoft Works document in Microsoft Word and don't have a copy of Works installed on your computer, it is still possible to convert the document to a format that Word can open. You will simply need to download an addon known as the Works 6-9 Converter for Microsoft Word from Microsoft which will allow Word to convert the document itself.

    Download the addon from the following location: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=bf41401e-70fa-465d-ae2e-cf44dbf05297&displayLang=en

    Once you have downloaded the addon, close Word if you have it running and double-click the addon to run it. You will be asked to accept the Microsoft licensing agreement for the addon, and then will be given the option to install it. Click the "Install" button and wait while the installer finishes.

    Open Word once again when the addon has finished installing. Click the "File" option in the menu bar if you are using Word 2003, click the Office button if you are using Word 2007, or click the "File" tab if you are using Word 2010. Select "Open...", then change the "Files of Type" option in the "Open..." dialog box to "All Files." Locate the Microsoft Works document and double-click it; Word will automatically convert it to a format that it can use, and you can save it as a Microsoft Word document when you have finished using it.