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Managing legal captions with WordPerfect when switching to a Mac

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  • mnplyches
    Hey all, This is my first post in this group, and I d like to begin by saying thank you for letting me join! :) I have a very specific problem that I m hoping
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 25, 2012
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      Hey all,

      This is my first post in this group, and I'd like to begin by saying thank you for letting me join! :)

      I have a very specific problem that I'm hoping you fine folks here could set straight.

      I'm working as a legal assistant in a small law office, and we are making the transition to Macs. All well and good, except that the majority of our files and folders are in the .wpd format. We've had Windows XP running with Wordperfect 10 on there, which is what the office has used for years.

      Now that we are switching to Macs, none of us are interested in keeping the .wpd format, as we would be using MS Office for Mac 2011. We want to convert the Wordperfect documents to Word .doc files, for maximum compatibility.

      I've got a couple questions involving this. The first is, can anyone recommend a good method to batch convert the files while perserving the caption of wordperfect files? I've tried a couple with Windows, but they haven't worked so well.

      Actually, I should back up a bit. Most of the conversion won't be an issue, as the formatting and footnotes should remain the same. However, for several legal documents, such as summons, complaints, etc., the document contains a caption, which is a block of header text at the top of every document, contained inside a box.

      This is where the issue comes in. I can use the old copy of MS Word 2003 from Windows to open the WP file, and save it as a doc, without much issue. However, during the conversion, the caption box is invariably erased, so while the text is there, the box is not. Is there a way to avoid this, or to redraw it within Word?

      I've also tried using LibreOffice on the Mac, with much success. It actually does a very good job of handling .wpd files on OS X, but again, whenever I run into documents that use the caption box, LO does something very funny. Rather than erasing the caption box, as Word does, it treats the box as a floating element over the text, with the end result that the box has to be "pulled back" from the text in order to read it.

      Obviously, neither of these are acceptable options for me, or for the office if we are to get our forms and templates moved over from .wpd to .doc successfully.

      Interestingly enough, whenever I open a .wpd file with Wordperfect, and save it as a .doc file, Word cannot open it. I've tried this with both WP 10 and X5, and with Office 2003 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac, but neither of them can open the file at all. It gives me an error message that the file is corrupt. So for some reason, WP can't export .wpd to .doc, and preserve the formatting. Converting from Word 2003 is no problem, except for the formatting.

      So is there a way to fix the caption box issue within LibreOffice or Office for Windows? If so, then if there is no reliable way to batch convert the files, I can always manually convert the files using either program, and make the edit to the caption box as necessary.

      I've heard that NeoOffice is another approach, although it isn't free. How well does NeoOffice for Mac handle caption formatting for .wpd files? If it works well, I may just purchase that app, and use that to make the conversion.

      I've also heard that the Batch Conversion Wizard for Office 2003 can batch convert .wpd files, but if it mangles the caption, then it won't work for me or anyone else.

      I apologize for my verbose post, but this is really a tough question I've been grappling with for a couple of weeks, and it's time I got to the bottom of it once and for all! Once I do, I can finally help to move the office over to a full time .doc setup.
    • kd4vs
      ... Hello, and welcome to the group. I have not faced your particular problem, as I have only run WordPerfect for the Mac, and not WP for Windows. Someone
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 26, 2012
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        --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "mnplyches" <diostarcraft@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey all,
        >
        > This is my first post in this group, and I'd like to begin by saying thank you for letting me join! :)
        >
        > I have a very specific problem that I'm hoping you fine folks here could set straight.
        >
        > I'm working as a legal assistant in a small law office, and we are making the transition to Macs. All well and good, except that the majority of our files and folders are in the .wpd format. We've had Windows XP running with Wordperfect 10 on there, which is what the office has used for years.
        >
        > Now that we are switching to Macs, none of us are interested in keeping the .wpd format, as we would be using MS Office for Mac 2011. We want to convert the Wordperfect documents to Word .doc files, for maximum compatibility.
        >
        > I've got a couple questions involving this. The first is, can anyone recommend a good method to batch convert the files while perserving the caption of wordperfect files? I've tried a couple with Windows, but they haven't worked so well. [....]


        Hello, and welcome to the group.

        I have not faced your particular problem, as I have only run WordPerfect for the Mac, and not WP for Windows. Someone else here may have an answer for you, but if not, you might want to join this group: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MacLaw/>; and ask over there.

        As your firm proceeds with its transition to the Mac platform, you may have other Mac-related questions that are off-topic for this group, but that are on-topic for the other one.

        With best regards,

        J.J. McVeigh
      • em315
        It isn t entirely clear what you mean by a caption. Do you mean: (1) a text box with text inside it, or, (2) a text box that has a caption BELOW it. The second
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 26, 2012
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          It isn't entirely clear what you mean by a caption. Do you mean:

          (1) a text box with text inside it, or,

          (2) a text box that has a caption BELOW it.

          The second is what WordPerfect means by a caption, but I'm not sure if that's what you mean, because you say that the box has a caption "contained inside a box". If you could create a sample file and post it somewhere, that might be helpful in trying to solve this problem.

          --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "mnplyches" <diostarcraft@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey all,
          >
          > This is my first post in this group, and I'd like to begin by saying thank you for letting me join! :)
          >
          > I have a very specific problem that I'm hoping you fine folks here could set straight.
          >
          > Actually, I should back up a bit. Most of the conversion won't be an issue, as the formatting and footnotes should remain the same. However, for several legal documents, such as summons, complaints, etc., the document contains a caption, which is a block of header text at the top of every document, contained inside a box.
        • em315
          Further thoughts: if you mean (2) in the choices below, then the only way to convert these files successfully to Word on a Mac is to set up WordPerfect for
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 26, 2012
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            Further thoughts: if you mean (2) in the choices below, then the only way to convert these files successfully to Word on a Mac is to set up WordPerfect for Windows in a VMware Fusion (or Parallels Desktop) "virtual Windows machine," open the files in WPWin and save them from there in Word format. This works perfectly using WPWin X6; it probably works with earlier versions as well.

            You may get advised to use Codeweavers Crossover to set up WPWin in OS X. It's possible to do but complicated, and I don't know whether the file conversion will work. You would need to experiment.

            None of the Mac-based converter programs that I know about can successfully export WP files with text boxes with captions. WordPerfect for the Mac crashes when trying to open such a file.

            --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "em315" <em315@...> wrote:
            >
            > It isn't entirely clear what you mean by a caption. Do you mean:
            >
            > (1) a text box with text inside it, or,
            >
            > (2) a text box that has a caption BELOW it.
            >
            > The second is what WordPerfect means by a caption, but I'm not sure if that's what you mean, because you say that the box has a caption "contained inside a box". If you could create a sample file and post it somewhere, that might be helpful in trying to solve this problem.
            >
            > --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "mnplyches" <diostarcraft@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hey all,
            > >
            > > This is my first post in this group, and I'd like to begin by saying thank you for letting me join! :)
            > >
            > > I have a very specific problem that I'm hoping you fine folks here could set straight.
            > >
            > > Actually, I should back up a bit. Most of the conversion won't be an issue, as the formatting and footnotes should remain the same. However, for several legal documents, such as summons, complaints, etc., the document contains a caption, which is a block of header text at the top of every document, contained inside a box.
            >
          • sardisson
            ... [...] ... Just for the record, as Edward Mendelson alluded to in one of his responses, the LibreOffice/NeoOffice/Apache OpenOffice trio all use the same
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 27, 2012
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              --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "mnplyches" <diostarcraft@...> wrote:

              > I've also tried using LibreOffice on the Mac, with much success. It actually does a very good job of handling .wpd files on OS X, but again, whenever I run into documents that use the caption box, LO does something very funny. Rather than erasing the caption box, as Word does, it treats the box as a floating element over the text, with the end result that the box has to be "pulled back" from the text in order to read it.

              [...]

              > I've heard that NeoOffice is another approach, although it isn't free. How well does NeoOffice for Mac handle caption formatting for .wpd files? If it works well, I may just purchase that app, and use that to make the conversion.

              Just for the record, as Edward Mendelson alluded to in one of his responses, the LibreOffice/NeoOffice/Apache OpenOffice trio all use the same library for their WordPerfect conversion, libwpd (http://libwpd.sf.net). So if it doesn't work properly in LibreOffice, it's unlikely to work in NeoOffice, either. (It's not clear to me whether this would be a bug in libwpd's document conversion itself, or in the document display in LO; I've seen both before, though typically issues have been edge cases in libwpd's conversion ability.)

              If you can provide a sample document using this caption box feature (just that feature would be best) as well as a PDF of what it is supposed to look like in WPWin, I'm sure Edward or I would be happy to take it to the libwpd folks (we've both worked with the libwpd folks before). It's unlikely to be fixed right away, so it wouldn't help you, but it would help improve libwpd for the future.

              In any case, best wishes on the conversion; I hope one of Edward's other suggestions works for you!

              Smokey
            • mnplyches
              Thanks all for the helpful replies! OK, I ll check out the MacLaw group, as it does seem that my questions would be more relevant with them. When I say a
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 27, 2012
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                Thanks all for the helpful replies!

                OK, I'll check out the MacLaw group, as it does seem that my questions would be more relevant with them.

                When I say a caption, what I mean is a block of text surrounded by a box, not a caption as in a picture with a footer below it. A great example would be to check out the legal forms at this court website, using divorce forms as an example: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=68
                Open one up in your web browser or download it and open it in Word. When you see the header at the top with the text in the box, that's the caption.

                Sadly, I don't know how to upload pictures here, otherwise I would take screenshots of the different documents we have - and how they are rendered - in Word and WP.
              • mnplyches
                Thank you Smokey, that s a great idea! Do you have any idea how I would upload the documents so you can review them?
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 27, 2012
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                  Thank you Smokey, that's a great idea! Do you have any idea how I would upload the documents so you can review them?
                • em315
                  So, if I understand you correctly, what you are referring to is NOT what WordPerfect s menus and dialogs call a caption, but what WordPerfect calls a Text
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 27, 2012
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                    So, if I understand you correctly, what you are referring to is NOT what WordPerfect's menus and dialogs call a "caption," but what WordPerfect calls a "Text Box." These are completely different things, and no one can answer your question correctly unless we know exactly which one you are referring to. Could you kindly create such a box in WordPerfect, and record exactly which menus and options you used?

                    The answer I posted a couple of days ago was based on the assumption that when you wrote "caption" you meant what WordPerfect's menus and dialogs call a "caption." But if you actually meant what WordPerfect's menus and dialogs call a "Text Box," then there may be a different answer.

                    --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "mnplyches" <diostarcraft@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks all for the helpful replies!
                    >
                    > OK, I'll check out the MacLaw group, as it does seem that my questions would be more relevant with them.
                    >
                    > When I say a caption, what I mean is a block of text surrounded by a box, not a caption as in a picture with a footer below it. A great example would be to check out the legal forms at this court website, using divorce forms as an example: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=68
                    > Open one up in your web browser or download it and open it in Word. When you see the header at the top with the text in the box, that's the caption.
                    >
                    > Sadly, I don't know how to upload pictures here, otherwise I would take screenshots of the different documents we have - and how they are rendered - in Word and WP.
                    >
                  • sardisson
                    ... Oops, I thought I replied to this yesterday, but I guess not :-( I m not sure the mechanics of, say, this group s Files section (I think posting is
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 28, 2012
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                      --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "mnplyches" <diostarcraft@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thank you Smokey, that's a great idea! Do you have any idea how I would upload the documents so you can review them?

                      Oops, I thought I replied to this yesterday, but I guess not :-(

                      I'm not sure the mechanics of, say, this group's "Files" section (I think posting is restricted to moderators only), so if you don't already have any convenient spot for uploading (e.g., Dropbox), you could just send the sample+pdf to me via direct email.

                      Smokey
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