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Converting MS Write and Word for DOS

libwps now contains a converter for MS Write and Word for DOS. The MS Write importer is available from LibreOffice 5.1 and the Word for DOS importer is available from LibreOffice 5.2.

Binary File Formats Specifications

There is the file format which uses disk pages of 128 bytes, which is used by Write 3.0/3.1, and Word for DOS 3.x-5.x. These formats are very closely related. Below is all the documentation I have found so far.

Using Microsoft Converters from the command line

Microsoft Windows and Word include converters that Word uses to import files. You can use this converters yourself from the command line. This can aid in writing your own converters. These converters have the extension .cnv and the API is documented by Microsoft.

Here is program that allows you to list and use the converter from the command line. It works fine in wine on linux. It is released under LGPL, as it uses closed-source Windows libraries (the converters). DOS line-feeds (CR-LF) are used and a Visual C++ project file (.dsp) is included.


Sean Young <sean@mess.org>