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That was the sound of a defibrillator you just read. Because my heart stopped beating there for a bit. So, I had an old computer that was XP with Corel WordPerfect on it, and I wrote my hopefully-one-day-published memoir on it. Saved it six different ways, on different computers, because I was being s-m-r-t. Tried to open it on my new computer (Vista/Microsoft Works) and got 976 pages of gibberish.


Emailed my sister to see if her computer could read it, since she's on XP. Nope, all gibberish. Same thing with my husband's laptop: nada y pues nada. All. Six. Copies.

Turns out you can't save something in Corel and have it open in Microsoft's word processors, because Bill Gates hates people. So... I was pulling my hair out, rocking and moaning because Oh. My. God. My book!!

I went to my old computer, opened it, could read it (THANK THE HEAVENS), saved it as a txt file, rtf, doc, ASCII, you name it. Moved it over to the new computer. Only the .txt file will open. BUT IT OPENS. No formatting, none of the footnotes, endnotes, no page breaks are there. BUT THE WORDS ARE. Holy crap, you guys, my hands are just now starting to stop shaking.

So, instead of swimming, BBQing and lounging like I planned this extended weekend, I will be reformatting the book I thought was lost forever. I'm not complaining, mind, just... holy crap. (Err, and if anyone knows of a 1337 way to convert a .wpd to a .doc, that would be SUPER FANTASTIC.)

[ETA] Oh, how much do I love jgracio and dwivian? SO MUCH. Open Office was the key. It's all there. ALL THE FORMATTING, EVERYTHING. I'm so thankful, you guys. So much love for you both.



( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)

I have to deal with this all the time (because my father refuses to use anything but Word Perfect, and guess what THE REST OF THE WORLD (as in his webmaster, his students, his colleagues, his editor...) uses? NOT WORD PERFECT, that's right). But we've *usually* had decent luck with .rtf files. (I say "usually" because sometimes they are gibberish and we can't figure out why.)

I am glad you have managed to save the text, though!
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
I really disliked Word Perfect, so I don't miss that, just... oh, the formatting! The footnotes on EVERY PAGE (almost) gone!

The rtf's just didn't transfer. But at least the basic notepad txt files did.
Aug. 31st, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Have you tried it on OpenOffice?

They might have better WordPerfect support.
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)

I don't know! I'm downloading Open Office right now to find out. Holy... THANK YOU. (I'll let you know if it's the answer.)
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
I want you to know that I have tears literally running down my face. In conclusion: IT WORKED.

I cannot thank you enough, I seriously mean that.

Hand over my mouth, crying. Thank you.
Aug. 31st, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Gosh, shucks, nuthin' to it ma'm. :)

OO's a fine tool, and being Open Source, well, less commercial issues to stand in the way of the tools.

I'm glad it worked.
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Thankgod. I'm looking forward to purchasing your fine, fine book.
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)

Hopefully there WILL be a book! I might have an answer to the problem *points up*
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
You could try converting it to .pdf and seeing what happens? That won't give you the ability to edit it, but it should give you a complete copy with all the formatting that you can copy over.

If you need help converting to .pdf, just drop me a line--it's actually REALLY simple, just involves some downloading. :-)
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
i tried - didn't work. Neither did creating an XML file, a doc, an rtf...

Microsoft just haaaaaaaates Word Perfect. I mean, I do, too, but GOOD HELL.
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
I'm told that Open Office can read Corel and write Word with a little formatting loss, but not nearly all of it will go away. And, OO is free!
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
It absolutely worked, and I just let JGracio, who first pointed that out to me, how grateful I am.

Thank you so much - it's all there.
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
I am so relieved for you! *hugs*
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Lynne, I looked like my icon.

Now that I can see it all??? i'm all fluttery in my stomach. Oh my GOD. *leans*
Aug. 31st, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I am so glad Open Office worked. That's what Aaron uses and he loves it.
Aug. 31st, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
I am so on board with this software...

Saved my hair from going white today, it did.
Aug. 31st, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Open Office is wonderful and infinitely easier to use than Microsoft Word in Vista. (HAAAAAAAAAAAAATES Vista. HAAAAAAAAAAAAATES it.)
Aug. 31st, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
If Vista had eyes, I would gouge them out.
Aug. 31st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
OMG I'm so glad your book was saved before I read your post, because I would have been throwing up on your behalf if it wasn't!!!!!!!!!!!

Forget Stephen King, that was the scariest thing I've read in forever. I can't even begin to think about reformatting the entire book. ::faints::

Now...go BBQ, missy.

PS It's 5 degrees here and raining. AM GETTING IN THE CAR TO YOUR HOUSE NOW.
Aug. 31st, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Poshy, it was AWFUL. Awful awful thinking all that work was corrupted/gone. And I thought I was being so smart, saving it in so many formats, moving them to other machines!!

Why is it cold and awful there? It is SO HOT here today. We went to Six Flaggs yesterday and it sucked sitting in the rollercoasters, waiting for them to start with the sun baking down on us. Augh.
Aug. 31st, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
*reads the ETA* Man, am I glad it worked out for you.... o.O
Aug. 31st, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, you and me both. STUPID COREL!!! Open Office: it looks like it can convert ANYTHING. And? FREE!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 31st, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)

I was going to see if it was just Vista. I got my sister on the phone, and thought - at that point - that surely she would be able to open it. Nope. So awful.

And it wasn't a Vista problem, it was a problem with Corel's Word Perfect and Microsoft word processors. Apparently, Corel is Bad and no one likes using it because of it's limitations. That would have been good to know before hand!

It looks like Open Office can convert a huge host of file types to anything you could need, so it's a good resource, regardless.
Sep. 1st, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Oh, I have done that before. It sucks, but I am so glad you could recover it!
Sep. 1st, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, losing the book I've been working on for over a yeaer would have been beyond suckage. That would have been sackcloth and ashes and me wandering the desert!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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