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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quattro Pro Spreadsheet formats and the Mac-An Introduction

If you come to the Mac after working with Windows and MS-DOS for years, you may have worked with a spreadsheet that didn’t use the standard Microsoft Excel format. You may have used Quattro, Quattro Pro, or Quattro Pro for Windows.

You really do need a Windows machine to translate old Quattro Pro for DOS or Windows into a usable Mac format. You will have to break down and use the Microsoft Excel format, even if you swore you’d never touch another Microsoft product.

If you find yourself burdened with a bunch of old Quattro Pro for DOS (*.WQ1 or *.WQ2) file or Quattro Pro for Windows (*.wb1, *.wb2, *.qpw) documents and you need to translate them for use on a Mac, this is my advice.

(1) If you have access to a Windows XP/7/8 machine that you can add software to, go to the site and download a 30-day trial of WordPerfect Office x6. This software will work for 30 days without you buying it and should give you enough time to translate your Quattro files into Excel format.

(2) If your Mac has a virtual machine on it in the form of Parallels Desktop or VM Fusion or VirtualBox with at least Windows XP installed on it, download and install the trial version of WordPerfect Office x6 on it. You can translate your Quattro & WordPerfect files into Excel and Word format.

(3) If you saved your documents in .wb2/Quattro Pro 6.0 format; then you can open them in the free office suite from That, however, is the only Quattro Pro format that LibreOffice opens. And you’ll need to save them in Excel .xls or .xlsx format.

Quattro Pro is a niche product for Windows. Excel and its .xls format rules the roost as far as Mac spreadsheets are concerned. and to use Quattro Pro files with a Mac, you’ll need to convert them into Excel format.

Tom Briant

Editor MacValley Blog

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