WordPad problems

Hi, I have a number of WordPad documents that are several years old on thumbdrives, that were made with Windows 95 or 98. I used WordPad with the idea in mind that I would always be able to open them with WordPad, not knowing the horrible truth that WordPad often will not open WordPad documents. When I tried opening them with a later version PC at first I would get a message like: Cannot open Word for Windows (6 something I believe) documents. It seems that shouldn't apply to them, since they are WordPad documents not Word documents. Since they have been on the computer for a while things are now different. Now when I click on them they do open, but they show text only and anything that's bold, underlined, and all pictures now show up as just squares and different types of symbols. I'm afraid the computer has ruined them. If not, can anyone tell me if there's a way to get them back the way I made them to begin with, and get WordPad to open these WordPad documents? Or if WordPad won't open them, is there a program that will? Can anyone help me understand what's going on and how to make things right again? When I make new WordPad documents now with the new computer they work just fine, but the old ones don't. Is it a mistake to use WordPad at all, because in five years from now WordPad won't open the ones I'm making now anymore either...if WordPad is even still being included in five years? Thanks for any help! David
 

Question Info


Last updated November 11, 2018 Views 2,170 Applies to:

Word "6" was the 3rd windows version of Word (they skipped version numbers 3-5)

What has happend to you is a common problem when archiving files. Even though the file extension has remained the same (DOC or RTF), the underlying file structure has changed. The newer version of the same program no longer has conversion filter to read them correctly.

Try installing this Word reader program. With luck it will allow you to save as in the new format. Or failing that you will be able to copy and paste into the new wordpad:

https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=3657ce88-7cfa-457a-9aec-f4f827f20cac&displaylang=en

MS no longer provides a viewer for files that old. Nice of them isn't it! If that doesn't work try some of these:

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,6314-order,4-c,wordprocessing/description.html

http://www.sd392.k12.id.us/scholarships/worddownload.htm

If they don't work, try googling. There are more sites with viewer downloads. You could also try some online file conversion sites. There are sites that will convert files from one format to another. One of them may be able to handle the conversion for you.


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When your computer goes crazy, you can:
- cuss,
- cry or
- chuckle ...

Why not choose to laugh at the absurdity?
Then proceed to calmly solve the problem with a clear mind.

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Thank you for the explanation. In another forum someone gave me this link:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/870883

where they explain that:

"This problem occurs because WordPad's Rich Text Format (RTF) converters are disabled in Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, and Windows Server 2003 SP1. Therefore, .doc and .wri files that require an RTF converter cannot be opened by using WordPad."

I don't understand what exactly is going on, I guess because I don't understand how it works to begin with. It does seem extremely unappreciative of them to treat their customers this way, that much I do understand.

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