Word to WordPerfect Conversion: How to Strip Formatting

If you’re a Corel WordPerfect aficionado, chances are you’ve been frustrated by the “hidden” codes in Microsoft Word documents.

While there are various ways to see Word’s “hidden” formatting, sometimes it’s just easier to strip the formatting out.  Here’s how:

  • Start WordPad*
  • Select File, Open…
  • If you are converting a .doc file – change All WordPad Documents (*.rtf, *.docx, *.odt, *.txt) to All Documents (*.*).  If you are converting a .docx file, there is no need to change this setting.
  • Browse to locate the Word file.  Double-click to open it.
  • Select File, Save as.  Choose Plain Text Document.
  • This warning appears:2014-09-11_15-12-38
  • Click Yes.
  • Close WordPad.
  • Open the file in WordPerfect.  If you receive a prompt to convert file format, click OK.  Format your document as desired in WordPerfect.

*WordPad is a free text editor/basic word processor that ships with Windows.  Find it quickly by using Search all programs and files.

[All Rights Reserved 2014 Beverly Michaelis]

Avoid Strife, Strip Out Coding in Word

Are you a WordPerfect user in a Word world?  Would you rather give a key note address to an audience of strangers than convert a Word document?  You are not alone!  What appears to be an easy task is actually quite deceiving.

First, let me refer you to Jan Berinstein and her excellent blog.  Jan’s tips and tricks will go a long way toward helping.  And if you want the definitive guidebook on using Word in the law office, consider Jan’s books:  Formatting Legal Documents with Microsoft Word 2007 or Formatting Legal Documents with Microsoft Word 2010.  Read more here

Why does the migration from Word to WordPerfect pose a problem?  Isn’t it just a matter of opening your Word document in WordPerfect and wa-la!  Off you go?  Unfortunately, no. 

While we don’t commonly think of Word as using “codes” to control formatting, it most certainly does.  And when you open a Word document in WordPerfect you unwittingly inherit Word’s embedded styles and other formatting – which can cause strange results.  What should you do? 

Setting aside third-party options, the easiest approach is to use WordPad as a bridge to strip out Word’s formatting.  The result?  A clean, code-free document.  In Windows XP, you will find WordPad under your Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories.  Here are the steps:

  1. In WordPad, select File, Open…
  2. In File, Open… change the setting under “Files of Type” to All Documents [*.*].
  3. Open the Word® file you wish to strip codes from.
  4. Select File, Save As.
  5. Change the setting under “Save as type” to Text Document [*.txt].
  6. When you see the warning:
    “You are about to save the document in a Text-Only format, which will remove all formatting.  Are you sure you want to do this?” 
    Click Yes.
  7. Close WordPad.
  8. Open the file in WordPerfect.®
  9. The Convert File Format box will appear. Click OK.
  10. Format your document as desired in WordPerfect.

My thanks to Dee Crocker, practice management advisor extraordinaire for the idea.

Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis