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How to Recover a Microsoft Works Word Processor Document

written by: •edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/23/2009

Microsoft Works is an affordable alternative to MS Word. It provides many of the same features as Word and allows you to create documents compatible with the Office application. If you have a damaged MS Works word processor document, try these recovery steps.

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    Recovery If You Can Open the Document in Works Word Processor

    If the Microsoft Works word processor document is corrupt or damaged, yet you are able to open and view the document in the Works word processor program, recovery may be possible by converting the document into Rich Text Format and then saving the recovered document Save document as Rich Text again as the desired type of file format.

    To try this recovery process, open Microsoft Works word processor application and open the damaged document. Go to the File menu and click Save As. Change the option in the Files of Type drop-down list to RTF (*.rtf) and click Save. Close the document and reopen it. Attempt recovery by saving the RTF version of the document as a word processor document.

    If you still have problems with the document, repeat these steps, selecting Text File (*.txt; *.csv) in the Files of Type drop-down list. Close and reopen the document and then save it again as a word processor document. Saving it as a text file gives you the greatest chance of recovery, although doing so will mean losing the formatting you had applied to the document. When using this method you will need to reformat the document in Microsoft Works.

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    Recovery If You Cannot Open the Document in Works Word Processor

    Open the document in WordPad If you are unable to open the damaged document in Microsoft Works word processor application, there are still steps that may allow recovery. Try opening the document in Microsoft WordPad to recover the text of the document. Open the Start menu, point to All Programs, click on Accessories and then select WordPad. When WordPad opens, click the Open button and navigate to the corrupt document or type in the file path and name of the document. Click Open. If WordPad prompts you to convert the file, select No Conversion.

    If there is illegible text or characters at the beginning and end of the document, select and delete it all. Go to the File menu and select Save As. Enter a different name for the document and click OK. Close WordPad. Open Microsoft Works word processor application and open the file you saved with a different name. Go to the File menu, click Save As and select a word processor extension in the Files of Type list, such as Works WP. Name the file and click OK.

    If none of the previous methods allow you to recover the document, you may be able to recover it using the Windows Command Prompt. This Open the document in Command Prompt recovery method will cause you to lose all of the Microsoft Works document's formatting and should be used as a last ditch effort to recover the file.

    Click the Start button and click Run. Type cmd into the Open box and press Enter. Type copy con+document name.wps document name.txt, replacing document name with the name of the document you are trying to recover. Press Enter. You will see the prompt con appear in the command prompt window. Press the spacebar twelve times. Press the F6 key at the top of the keyboard and then press Enter. Type Exit and press Enter again. The command prompt window will close.

    Open Microsoft Works word processing application. Go to the File menu and click Open. Select Text (.txt) in the Files of Type box. Look for a text document with the same name as the damaged file and click Open. Delete any characters or gibberish and save the file in document format.

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      Related Article

      Check out other Microsoft Works Word Processor articles on Bright Hub, such as Is Microsoft Works Compatible with Excel and Word? and Microsoft Works Word Processor Beginner’s Guide.