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A simple, free, low-tech WP file viewer for OS X

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  • em315
    The Mac App Store now has two commercial WP file viewers, the US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer and now a US$19.99 WPD Wizard that does more or less the same thing.
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 7, 2012
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      The Mac App Store now has two commercial WP file viewers, the US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer and now a US$19.99 WPD Wizard that does more or less the same thing. The cheaper one is now pretty good; the more expensive one still uses an old version of the libwpd conversion software.

      I thought it might be possible to accomplish more or less the same thing without charging anything for it, though the resulting application is a lot less finished-looking than these commercial products.

      So here is a rough-and-ready WP file viewer for OS X. It's simply an AppleScript application with a copy of the wpd2html utility from the libwpd project inside the application bundle.

      Either drop a WP file on it or double-click it and select a file from a standard File-Open dialog. A temporary HTML file will be created with the content of the original WP file (minimally formatted), and the resulting HTML will be displayed in TextEdit. You can copy it from there to any other OS X application. The HTML file is a temporary file, and is deleted when you close the TextEdit window. The original WP file is not altered in any way.

      Remember: this will NOT display page numbering, graphics, most formatting, paragraph numbering, etc., etc. Footnotes will be gathered at the end of the file. A thousand other things won't be displayed as they are in the original file. But if you ONLY need to copy text or tables from an old WP file into something else, it gets the job done. Just don't expect it to do any more than that.

      If you only want to SEE what's in a WP file, and NOT copy text or tables from it, then Gero Hermann's QuickLook filter is all you need. You can find it in the Links section in this forum.

      The link to the viewer is here:

      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/271144/WPViewer.zip

      The AppleScript is very primitive and inefficient. Suggestions for improvements are always welcome.

      Technical note: When the converted file is displayed in TextEdit, the original filename appears in the TextEdit title bar. For complicated technical reasons, if the original filename had an extension (as in Myfile.WPD), then the title bar in TextEdit displays the original name with an underscore instead of a dot (as in Myfile_WPD). This has no effect on anything except the name displayed in the TextEdit title bar.
    • John R
      Nicely done! and yet another example of freeware/shareware that s more accomplished than commercial competition. Added to the Files and the Links sections
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 7, 2012
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        Nicely done! and yet another example of freeware/shareware that's more accomplished than commercial competition.

        Added to the Files and the Links sections here.

        John R.




        --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "em315" <em315@...> wrote:
        >
        > The Mac App Store now has two commercial WP file viewers, the US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer and now a US$19.99 WPD Wizard that does more or less the same thing. The cheaper one is now pretty good; the more expensive one still uses an old version of the libwpd conversion software.
        >
        > I thought it might be possible to accomplish more or less the same thing without charging anything for it, though the resulting application is a lot less finished-looking than these commercial products.
      • em315
        Thanks, John! The vendor of the WPD Wizard app got in touch to correct a mistake I made in my previous message. I said that the WPD Wizard uses an old version
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 7, 2012
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          Thanks, John!

          The vendor of the WPD Wizard app got in touch to correct a mistake I made in my previous message. I said that the WPD Wizard uses an old version of libwpd - and I concluded this because WPD Wizard can't display non-ASCII characters correctly, and that problem was finally completely fixed with the latest version of libwpd.

          I was wrong about the libwpd version in WPD Wizard; in fact it uses the latest version. But WPD Wizard none the less can't display non-ASCII characters correctly. But the vendor now knows about this problem, so I expect it will be fixed soon.

          Also, if anyone has WP files that my free WP Viewer can't open, please consider sending me copies so that I can make the program work better. One thing I'll try to do in a future version is build in the ability to decrypt password-protected WPDOS 5.x files, because the libwpd software is capable of opening those files if you already know the password.

          --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "John R" <johnrethorst@...> wrote:
          >
          > Nicely done! and yet another example of freeware/shareware that's more accomplished than commercial competition.
          >
          > Added to the Files and the Links sections here.
          >
          > John R.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "em315" <em315@> wrote:
          > >
          > > The Mac App Store now has two commercial WP file viewers, the US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer and now a US$19.99 WPD Wizard that does more or less the same thing. The cheaper one is now pretty good; the more expensive one still uses an old version of the libwpd conversion software.
          > >
          > > I thought it might be possible to accomplish more or less the same thing without charging anything for it, though the resulting application is a lot less finished-looking than these commercial products.
          >
        • em315
          I ve now posted a new version of this WP Viewer, with revised logic, so that it opens more files than it did before. Also, if you know the password of an
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 8, 2012
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            I've now posted a new version of this WP Viewer, with revised logic, so that it opens more files than it did before.

            Also, if you know the password of an encrypted WP 5.x file, the WP Viewer can now display the contents of that file. You'll be prompted to enter the password.

            The US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer in the Mac App Store can also display the contents of encrypted WP 5.x files. The US$19.99 WPD Wizard in the App Store simply displays a warning message.

            My free AppleScript app is slower and less slick, and the AppleScript code is a terrible mess, but it does everything that the $9.99 WordPerfect Viewer can do, and does more than the $19.99 WPD Wizard can do - though I would expect substantial improvements in the WPD Wizard in the near future.

            The vendor of the WPD Wizard very kindly sent me a sample file created in WPDOS 2.1. I'd never seen such a thing before. You can now open it in my WP Viewer, and it also opens in the two commercial apps.

            Same download link as before:

            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/271144/WPViewer.zip
          • Chad Smith
            Thank you for this! *- Chad W. Smith* ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 8, 2012
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              Thank you for this!

              *- Chad W. Smith*



              On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM, em315 <em315@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > I've now posted a new version of this WP Viewer, with revised logic, so
              > that it opens more files than it did before.
              >
              > Also, if you know the password of an encrypted WP 5.x file, the WP Viewer
              > can now display the contents of that file. You'll be prompted to enter the
              > password.
              >
              > The US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer in the Mac App Store can also display the
              > contents of encrypted WP 5.x files. The US$19.99 WPD Wizard in the App
              > Store simply displays a warning message.
              >
              > My free AppleScript app is slower and less slick, and the AppleScript code
              > is a terrible mess, but it does everything that the $9.99 WordPerfect
              > Viewer can do, and does more than the $19.99 WPD Wizard can do - though I
              > would expect substantial improvements in the WPD Wizard in the near future.
              >
              > The vendor of the WPD Wizard very kindly sent me a sample file created in
              > WPDOS 2.1. I'd never seen such a thing before. You can now open it in my WP
              > Viewer, and it also opens in the two commercial apps.
              >
              > Same download link as before:
              >
              > https://dl.dropbox.com/u/271144/WPViewer.zip
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • em315
              The current version is slightly revised again, with slightly improved logic. Also, when the text of the WP file is displayed in TextEdit, the underlying file
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 9, 2012
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                The current version is slightly revised again, with slightly improved logic. Also, when the text of the WP file is displayed in TextEdit, the underlying file is an RTF file, not an HTML file (though it looks exactly the same). This seems to be more useful for anyone who wants to save the converted file directly from TextEdit rather than simply copying the text to some other application.

                The conversion of the WP file to HTML and then RTF takes a fraction of a second longer than the conversion to HTML only. If you prefer the faster performance, open the WP Viewer application in the AppleScript Editor, find the line near the top that says "property make RTF : 1" and change 1 to 0. This is documented in the file. (Mountain Lion users should run the AppleScript once before making this change, so that OS X will not mistakenly think that someone has maliciously modified the file before it got to you.)

                --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Chad Smith <chad78@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thank you for this!
                >
                > *- Chad W. Smith*
                >
                >
                >
                > On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM, em315 <em315@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > I've now posted a new version of this WP Viewer, with revised logic, so
                > > that it opens more files than it did before.
                > >
                > > Also, if you know the password of an encrypted WP 5.x file, the WP Viewer
                > > can now display the contents of that file. You'll be prompted to enter the
                > > password.
                > >
                > > The US$9.99 WordPerfect Viewer in the Mac App Store can also display the
                > > contents of encrypted WP 5.x files. The US$19.99 WPD Wizard in the App
                > > Store simply displays a warning message.
                > >
                > > My free AppleScript app is slower and less slick, and the AppleScript code
                > > is a terrible mess, but it does everything that the $9.99 WordPerfect
                > > Viewer can do, and does more than the $19.99 WPD Wizard can do - though I
                > > would expect substantial improvements in the WPD Wizard in the near future.
                > >
                > > The vendor of the WPD Wizard very kindly sent me a sample file created in
                > > WPDOS 2.1. I'd never seen such a thing before. You can now open it in my WP
                > > Viewer, and it also opens in the two commercial apps.
                > >
                > > Same download link as before:
                > >
                > > https://dl.dropbox.com/u/271144/WPViewer.zip
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Geoff Gilbert
                Stunning! Thank you -- Geoff Gilbert Professor of Law Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Refugee Law Head of the School of Law School of Law and Human
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 9, 2012
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                  Stunning! Thank you
                  --
                  Geoff Gilbert
                  Professor of Law
                  Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Refugee Law
                  Head of the School of Law
                  School of Law and Human Rights Centre
                  University of Essex
                  Wivenhoe Park
                  Colchester
                  CO4 3SQ

                  Tel: +44 (0)1206 872557
                  Fax: +44 (0)1206 873428
                  Email: geoff (for those outside the University, add @ followed by
                  essex.ac.uk)



                  > em315 <mailto:em315@...>
                  > 9 August 2012 13:06
                  > The current version is slightly revised again, with slightly improved
                  > logic. Also, when the text of the WP file is displayed in TextEdit,
                  > the underlying file is an RTF file, not an HTML file (though it looks
                  > exactly the same). This seems to be more useful for anyone who wants
                  > to save the converted file directly from TextEdit rather than simply
                  > copying the text to some other application.
                  >
                  > The conversion of the WP file to HTML and then RTF takes a fraction of
                  > a second longer than the conversion to HTML only. If you prefer the
                  > faster performance, open the WP Viewer application in the AppleScript
                  > Editor, find the line near the top that says "property make RTF : 1"
                  > and change 1 to 0. This is documented in the file. (Mountain Lion
                  > users should run the AppleScript once before making this change, so
                  > that OS X will not mistakenly think that someone has maliciously
                  > modified the file before it got to you.)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > .
                  >
                  > Chad Smith <mailto:chad78@...>
                  > 8 August 2012 16:44
                  > Thank you for this!
                  >
                  > *- Chad W. Smith*
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > .
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Smokey Ardisson
                  ... FWIW, a better way to handle that would be to read an NSUserDefault for that instead of having people modify the app directly (it would also withstand
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 9, 2012
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                    On Thu Aug 9, 2012 5:06 am ((PDT)), "em315" <em315@...> wrote:

                    > If you prefer the faster performance, open the WP Viewer
                    >application in the AppleScript Editor, find the line near the top
                    >that says "property make RTF : 1" and change 1 to 0. This is
                    >documented in the file.

                    FWIW, a "better" way to handle that would be to read an NSUserDefault
                    for that instead of having people modify the app directly (it would
                    also withstand app upgrades). It's slightly more cumbersome for the
                    user (having to 'defaults write org.wpdos.wpviewer makeRTF -bool
                    false' rather than editing a property) and a bit more code on your
                    end, but cleaner overall.

                    Since you appear to only be targeting Intel Macs, I think you can use
                    the property list suite (introduced in 10.4 iirc) to do the reading
                    as pure AppleScript, but "do shell script 'defaults read
                    org.wpdos.wpviewer makeRTF'" will work, too (bools are stored
                    internally as 1 and 0 and not converted by 'defaults read', so the
                    output of defaults read is exactly what you'd want if you go that
                    way).

                    Smokey
                  • em315
                    I ve had in the back of my mind to figure out how to do something like that. I ll try to implement it over the next few days. Thank you. Another method I ve
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 9, 2012
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                      I've had in the back of my mind to figure out how to do something like that. I'll try to implement it over the next few days. Thank you.

                      Another method I've used in other AppleScripts apps for changing default behavior is to check the name of the application. For example, my AppleScript wrapper for WordPrefect for DOS under DOSBox checks whether its name is"WPDOSBox51" or "WPDOSBox62" and launches the correct version of WPDOS (5.1 or 6.2 - the user has to supply the executables themselves) depending on its name.

                      --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Smokey Ardisson <smokey.ardisson@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On Thu Aug 9, 2012 5:06 am ((PDT)), "em315" <em315@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > If you prefer the faster performance, open the WP Viewer
                      > >application in the AppleScript Editor, find the line near the top
                      > >that says "property make RTF : 1" and change 1 to 0. This is
                      > >documented in the file.
                      >
                      > FWIW, a "better" way to handle that would be to read an NSUserDefault
                      > for that instead of having people modify the app directly (it would
                      > also withstand app upgrades). It's slightly more cumbersome for the
                      > user (having to 'defaults write org.wpdos.wpviewer makeRTF -bool
                      > false' rather than editing a property) and a bit more code on your
                      > end, but cleaner overall.
                      >
                      > Since you appear to only be targeting Intel Macs, I think you can use
                      > the property list suite (introduced in 10.4 iirc) to do the reading
                      > as pure AppleScript, but "do shell script 'defaults read
                      > org.wpdos.wpviewer makeRTF'" will work, too (bools are stored
                      > internally as 1 and 0 and not converted by 'defaults read', so the
                      > output of defaults read is exactly what you'd want if you go that
                      > way).
                      >
                      > Smokey
                      >
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