Reading Microsoft Write (.wri) files in Windows XP

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help and Support' started by Liberty Bell, Dec 2, 2022.

  1. Liberty Bell

    Liberty Bell

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    I'm just putting this out there for the benefit of anyone who might find it useful. I still use Windows XP at home (you might say I live in a timewarp), and occasionally when I look at old software (16-bit software for Win 3.x) I have occasion to read a document created with the Microsoft Write word processor (.wri extension) that came with Win 3.x (also called Windows Write or just Write). It seems that Windows XP came with a converter for Write files that would be used by WordPad and Word 97, but it was deactivated by Service Pack 2 for security reasons. I found some old MS KB articles that were related to this issue but they were garbled and I had to figure things out by trial and error. Open Registry Editor by pressing Win R and typing regedit, and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\. If a subkey under Applets called Wordpad doesn't exist, create it. Then create two DWORD values in the Wordpad key. The first is called AllowConversion, set the value to 1. This allows Word 97 to use the converter. The second is called EnableLegacyConverters, set the value also to 1. The two of these values together allow WordPad to use the converter. When you use WordPad you'll get a message warning you that security has been lowered to allow you to read the file. When you use Word 97 there's no message. (Works 8 won't read it at all, not sure if anything can be done for that.) The converter is write32.wpc in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\TextConv\.
     
    Liberty Bell, Dec 2, 2022
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  2. Liberty Bell

    Liberty Bell

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    As a side note, I downloaded Windows 3.1 from archive.org (https://archive.org/details/windows-3.1-live-cd) and copied the WRITE.EXE program file to my hard drive and it seems to work. Though, I haven't tried all the functionality of it and don't know if there are any functions that require files from the Windows 3.1 file set. Also, it may not work after Windows XP because Win XP keeps short, 8.3 names for the files and folders on the hard drive, and I think later versions stopped doing that.

    One significant thing I noticed is that Write and Word 97 observe the margin settings of the document but WordPad does not. For example, if the writing width was set to a certain distance and both-sides justification was turned on, Write and Word will both show it that way, but WordPad will use whatever margins were last set (at least sometimes; I can't figure out the logic to it), and it will not be justified on the right. WordPad does not store margin settings in each document. You can adjust the margins, but it is a program-wide setting and is not specific to each document you create. That is very confusing, and I have no idea what the people at M$ were thinking.
     
    Liberty Bell, Dec 2, 2022
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  3. Liberty Bell

    Elizabeth23

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    thanks for the above, I have write32.wpc in program files/etc, but not the registry entry, I do not believe I have ever seen the wri extension but will keep above in mind for if I ever need it. :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Dec 3, 2022
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  4. Liberty Bell

    Liberty Bell

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    Can you not edit your posts? There's another converter, called write.wpc, located in C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories. That is the folder where the WordPad program file is (wordpad.exe). Write.wpc and write32.wpc are the same size, 89,600 bytes, but they are different files (different hashes).
     
    Liberty Bell, Dec 3, 2022
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  5. Liberty Bell

    Elizabeth23

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    mswrd6.wpc
    mswrd8.wpc

    above 2 files are also in the windows NT folder.

    yes, you can edit your posts, generally within a small amount of time after posting, but not later. when I need to edit, I just open a new post with EDIT as the first word , :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Dec 4, 2022
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  6. Liberty Bell

    xperceniol

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    [​IMG]
    I do have write V5.1.2600.0 (xpclient.010817-1148)
    And:
    I do have word V5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2105)

    Both have come in handy as I no longer trust Ms Word or Excel 97 so I uninstalled them (which I bought an payed for back then).
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2022
    xperceniol, Dec 4, 2022
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  7. Liberty Bell

    Elizabeth23

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    I am still using office 2003, :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Dec 5, 2022
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  8. Liberty Bell

    xperceniol

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    Hi Liz, hope you are well.

    To be honest, the only office suite I trust now to open excel files, is:

    https://www.openoffice.org/download/

    I only use the excel alternative and chop off the rest, but hardly even even need a spreadsheet now.
     
    xperceniol, Dec 5, 2022
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  9. Liberty Bell

    Elizabeth23

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    I only use word and excel from my office suite. and not even excel very often, but so far have not had any trouble with any word documents.

    and thanks, I am doing pretty good, :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Dec 6, 2022
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  10. Liberty Bell

    Liberty Bell

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    One last note: In some web browsers when you double-click on a word to copy it, if there is a space after the word it picks up the space also. The Registry Editor allows a space at the end of a key or value name, and the name is treated as different from what you intended, and won't work! So, when you create a key or value in Regedit and paste a name onto it, be sure you don't inadvertantly have an unintended space at the end. I've found this to be the case with Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, but not Opera.
     
    Liberty Bell, Dec 6, 2022
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  11. Liberty Bell

    TMTGTR

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    I'm sleepy and may be getting this wrong.
    I use the .wri extension a lot on my XP SP3 audio computer (DAW). Never an issue. (My other comps all have Word 2000)

    Now for the last 25+ XP SP3 installs, one of the first things I do is overwrite Wordpad.exe with the Kelly's corner "Restore Wordpad" wordpad.exe:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20140128025032/http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

    http://web.archive.org/web/20140128025032/http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/regs_edits/wordpad.exe

    I found this when I tried to open some word.doc files I imported from my w98 machines. They would not open in XP. So I searched and found Kelly's Corner. An XP Gold Mine!

    After the overwrite I never had a problem. Is this along the lines of what the reg hack does?

    In Loving memory:
    Kelly Theriot
    November 22, 1958 - January 1, 2022
    http://web.archive.org/web/20140125080620/http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp.htm
     
    TMTGTR, Dec 10, 2022
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