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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Converting very old file formats to a more modern file format wot WPMacAPP on your Mac running 10.11

I’ll cut to the chase here. If you use a current Mac with OS X 10.11.x and you want to convert a bunch of old Word 5.1a for Mac or WordPerfect 2.x for Mac files into a Word 97-2004 .doc file that Word 2016 can read, then you need to download WPMacApp from Edward Mendelson’s Website,


You go here to get to the page on with the specific WordPerfect on Mac information. This site covers just about every instance of WordPerfect, Wordperfect for DOS in particular, on MS-DOS, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. So you could get lost. Just look at the top for links to the various pages on the site. 


This page does not have a big obvious icon for you to click on to download this app. The link is the second item down on a bulleted list. It says in bold text Download the disk image file (Warning: About 530 MB)

Please Look here for WPMacAPP

Mr. Mendelson  has included WordPerfect for Mac 1.05, WordPerfect for Mac 2.1, WordPerfect for Mac 3.5, and WordPerfect for Macintosh 3.5e,  and WordPerfect Works for Macintosh 1.2 and the Envoy app, which competed with Adobe Acrobat.

That covers it for WordPerfect for Mac apps. As for Word for Mac, he includes an installation of Word for Mac 5.1a. Look in the Applications folder on the WPMac HD volume. 

You’ll also find MacLink Plus 11, which can convert a wide range of documents and images that you may have on your system and didn’t know what to do with. Archaic WordStar files? MacLink Plus can convert it into Word 97-2004 format. Old images files in ZSoft .pcx format? Again, MacLink Plus can convert it into JPEG or PNG format or GIF format, which your Mac’s Preview app can read. 

Finally, can you install Appleworks 6 from your old iMac G3 CDs? Yes, you can. 

Just copy the installer app, about 27 mega bytes in size, over to your /Users/<Username>/Documents folder. From there, copy the installer over to the WPMac HD virtual hard drive icon in the upper right-hand corner of the window from the Unix virtual hard drive icon.

The Unix icon is really just a link to the folder on your Mac chosen by WPMacApp to serve as the conduit between your emulated old Mac and your physical new Mac. 

Appleworks 6 installed. WPMacAPP quit upon finishing installation. I restated. After rebuilding the desktop, all is fine. Using the already installed MacLink Plus 11, I can import and export in a wide variety of formats. 

That’s my brief introduction to reading very old file formats on your Mac through the use of WPMacApp. Go at it! And Donate to Mr. Mendelson if you use some of his work. He’ll appreciate it. 

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


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