How to view old Wordpad documents?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by mur, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. mur

    mur Guest

    I've always used Wordpad for some things like adding pictures and different
    texts etc because I had confidence they would always be viewable in computers
    that run Windows. Years ago I would have thought the idea of creating newer
    versions of Windows that won't open all Wordpad files was so stupid they
    wouldn't even consider the idea, much less create the program and put it on the
    market. LOL...wow, was I wrong! So now I have a lot of old Wordpad documents I
    can't open any more because the Windows people did what I had considered too
    stupid for them to do. Maybe I'm the only person who got screwed by that? If
    not, maybe there's a small free program or two that will open them? Does anyone
    know if there are any?

    Thanks for any help!
    Beth
     
    mur, Jan 22, 2015
    #1
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  2. mur

    SC Tom Guest

    What version of Windows are you using? Wordpad is still available in Win7
    and Win8/8.1.
    If you have MS Word installed, that will open Wordpad documents. Along that
    line, I would think that LibreOffice <http://www.libreoffice.org/> or
    OpenOffice <https://www.openoffice.org/> might open them. They are both free
    to download and use, so that may be worth a try.
     
    SC Tom, Jan 22, 2015
    #2
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  3. Tom is right, but I think the name of the former WordPad program is changed
    in Win7 and Win8. The point is that these operating systems have a rich text
    editor built in, even if it is named differently.

    WordPad makes rich text (RTF) files that might have a DOC-extension. You
    should be able to open them, and make more, with any of several open source
    applications. Open Office comes to mind. Windows comes with a rich text
    editor that has a name like WritePad or something like that. Instead of
    double-clicking the file to open it, try opening the editor and navigating
    through the File>Open menu option to select the target file. If this works,
    then use the file options to change the association to the program that is
    your text editor. You will find the options for file associations in the
    Folder Options menu of your Windows Explorer.

    Microsoft Office Viewer should be able to at least open the files, although
    editting them is not possible. You might find joy in emailing the files to
    yourself, then using your email client or browser to view the files. Office
    viewer is free, kinda like Acrobat Reader. You can open files for viewing,
    but you cannot make edits.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Jan 22, 2015
    #3
  4. mur

    Paul Guest

    Download Wordviewer.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=4

    Note the date on that is 2007.

    Download and install "Compatibility Pack". This adds .docx
    to the Word Viewer.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=3

    *******

    Note that if you add LibreOffice after adding these two
    packages, LibreOffice can break the linkage between the
    compatibility pack and wordview.

    These are *not* replacements for Wordpad, neither
    will they entirely fix any broken functionality.
    They are intended to allow you to view things
    that you cannot currently view. (Give it a try)

    LibreOffice is an Office replacement product, that
    just doesn't quite make it. The problem is the
    document quality, and the compatibility level.
    Some Chinese software writers have come closer than
    LibreOffice designers, at this task. LibreOffice succeeds
    at making a huge framework that "looks" like Office, but
    many fit and finish details are lacking. Because it
    uses things like the Cairo print engine for printing,
    and positions each letter individually in an output
    PDF, it's hardly fit for actual usage. You can tell
    the quality difference between LibreOffice output and
    other tools. Is LibreOffice functional ? Yes, it gives
    the impression great things are possible. But if you
    look carefully at some of the things it has done,
    there is a lot of room for improvement. And I don't
    think the developers are all that interested in that
    sort of improvement. For example, would they replace
    their print engine, and change output composition
    just to suit me ? I don't think so.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 22, 2015
    #4
  5. mur

    SC Tom Guest

    On my Win7 machine, under Accessories, is WordPad. If I type "write" in the
    search box and press Enter, WordPad opens. Same on Win8.1 and Win10TP,
    except it's Windows Accessories. Write was the old program in early Windows
    until it became WordPad in Win95
     
    SC Tom, Jan 23, 2015
    #5
  6. WordPad is the right file. I was thinking there was a change, but NotePad
    was the older program that WordPad replaces. NotePad is a plain text only
    editor, WordPad allows rich text. I had a brain fart.

    The point is still valid, Win7 and Win8 have editors for rich text.

    Makes me wonder if the OP is having a file association issue where she is
    double-clicking a file and there is no association for the file extension.
    Or the wrong association.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Jan 23, 2015
    #6
  7. mur

    SC Tom Guest

    Notepad's still there, too. I like Notepad++ as its replacement. I have a
    number of .tab and .cho music files that are plain text, and the simple
    formatting of Notepad++ makes it a better program for them. But I digress
    (easier to do lately LOL).

    You may be on to something about association. Guess we'll have to wait and
    see if she responds to her replies.
     
    SC Tom, Jan 23, 2015
    #7
  8. mur

    Larc Guest

    | > WordPad is the right file. I was thinking there was a change, but NotePad
    | > was the older program that WordPad replaces. NotePad is a plain text only
    | > editor, WordPad allows rich text. I had a brain fart.
    | >
    | > The point is still valid, Win7 and Win8 have editors for rich text.
    | >
    | > Makes me wonder if the OP is having a file association issue where she is
    | > double-clicking a file and there is no association for the file extension.
    | > Or the wrong association.
    | >
    | Notepad's still there, too. I like Notepad++ as its replacement. I have a
    | number of .tab and .cho music files that are plain text, and the simple
    | formatting of Notepad++ makes it a better program for them. But I digress
    | (easier to do lately LOL).
    |
    | You may be on to something about association. Guess we'll have to wait and
    | see if she responds to her replies.

    The OP didn't mention the specific extension of the files she can't open. Knowing
    that would be helpful as would the Windows version and how she's trying to open the
    files. WordPad should handle .txt (incl. MS-DOS and Unicode .txt) and .rtf files
    easily.

    Larc
     
    Larc, Jan 23, 2015
    #8
  9. mur

    Nil Guest

    No, Notepad is the plain text editor that has been included with every
    version of Windows since at least ver. 3.0.

    I seem to recall that the Wordpad format changed early on in such a way
    that later versions couldn't read it. I don't have time to verify that
    right now.
     
    Nil, Jan 23, 2015
    #9
  10. mur

    mur Guest

    Eventually I'd like to get control of them if possible. I have WordPad documents
    that I've made with this computer and they all work fine. The icon for the old
    ones looks just like the later ones, and they all have .doc at the end of the
    name. But when opening the older ones anything other than just plain text
    appears as a bunch of symbols, including all pictures and any text that is
    underlined or bold or anything other than plain text. I've tried opening the old
    ones with the newer version by opening a new document and going through the Open
    process, and I can navigate to the folders the old documents are in but when the
    folders open it doesn't show any of the icons for the older documents.

    Why would Windows even create this problem for their own clients in the first
    place, without providing some way to work around it that everyone is made aware
    of? Do they not care to such an incredible degree? Surely they didn't think none
    of their clients would have old documents that have importance to them? And
    there's no way I can believe that none of the people associated with the project
    ever thought about it.
     
    mur, Jan 23, 2015
    #10
  11. mur

    mur Guest

    It's Windows XP Professional version 5.1.
    Thanks, I'll check them out.
     
    mur, Jan 23, 2015
    #11
  12. mur

    Nil Guest

    I just realized that I was thinking of MS Works documents, not Wordpad.
    Works format did change at least once along the line and not all are
    compatible. As far as I know, Wordpad format has been the same all
    along.
     
    Nil, Jan 23, 2015
    #12


  13. Are you SURE that the .doc files you are having trouble with are WordPad
    files and not actual MSWord files?

    You also stated that you are using WinXP Pro, Version 5.1. Are you sure
    about that? It is expected that you would say that you are using Win XP Pro,
    SP 3. My "version" is 2002. Maybe I live under a rock.

    And, it is odd that you are using WinXP, any version, and are just now
    reporting troubles with opening files that are old. You would reasonably
    report that new files, or files that you get from others do not open well,
    but to be reporting NOW that files you created earlier than the ancient
    operating system you are using now does not open stuff. If you old files
    were the trouble, it seems you should have discovered the shortcoming years
    ago.

    Me thinks that you might be opening new files that could be written in
    64-bit, and your older 32-bit apps cannot handle them well. Or, you have
    actual Word documents with formatting options that WordPad does not support,
    although I would expect that to give paragraphs that do not align well or
    tables that do not work, those sorts of issues.

    If the text of the problematic files is showing up but the embedded images
    do not, then the problem is that the images are embedded in an unsupported
    format.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Jan 24, 2015
    #13
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