WordStar File Conversion

Microsoft RTF files can be created using Star Exchange, which was supplied with later versions of wordStar for DOS, and with WordStar 2000 for DOS. If you don't have this program you can try WS-CON.

 

The HABit WordStar Converter runs under Windows, with versions for Windows 3, and Windows 95 and later, and can convert most WordStar for DOS, including WordStar 2000 for DOS, files into plain text, text with formatting, or HTML formats.

The HABit WordStar Converter WSCONV runs in Windows rather than DOS, so may be an easier alternative for non-DOS users who need access to old WordStar files. The converter is available in versions for Windows 95 and later, and for Windows 3.x as detailed below:

Windows 3

The 16-bit (Windows 3.x) version is designed for WordStar 4 files, but will also cope with earlier WordStar versions.

The program gives options for replacing soft-spaces, etc., with hard-spaces to keep the layout with a fixed-pitch font, and for converting WordStar extended characters to the Windows equivalent. Full details for installation and use are included in the downloads.

If you use the Windows 3 version of the converter to convert files from WordStar versions later than version 4, the file preview may not display the file contents. If the document is simple, and doesn't use features introduced after WordStar 4, such as paragraph styles, you may just be left with some formatting and other code in the converted result, otherwise you could be left with an unusable result.

Windows 9x/2000/XP/NT/ & later

The 32-bit (Windows 9x, 2000, XP, & NT) version 3 converter (updated March 2005) has support for most DOS WordStar versions including WordStar 2000. Output can be in plain text or HTML, the HTML output preserving character attributes such as boldface, etc. In addition to the two output formats, there are two conversion options:

The keep layout option will try to preserve formatting (see the table below). This option is only applicable to plain text output, not HTML.

The Convert Extended Characters (ECS) option will convert the WordStar for DOS IBM extended character set to the Windows ANSI character set based on Latin-1 coding. Where there isn''t a matching character in the normal Windows fonts the nearest equivalent will be used. HTML conversions use special HTML characters to display characters in the Extended ASCII range

Footnotes, are changed to end notes.

There is also a batch conversion option to convert all files with the same file extension in a directory.

The conversions are summarised in the tables below. Point at the symbols for more details on a specific feature.

From WordStar DOS to Plain Text
               
Feature:
3.31
4.0
5.5
6.0
7.0
2K
Notes
Soft Returns
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
} Keep
} layout
} option
Blank lines
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Multiple spaces
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Yes if Keep Layout Option Set
Text attributes
Not Applicable to Plain Text
Not Applicable to Plain Text
Not Applicable to Plain Text
Not Applicable to Plain Text
Not Applicable to Plain Text
Not Applicable to Plain Text
Not applicable
Tabs
Don''t Know
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Centering
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
No
No
No
No
 
Footnotes
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Don''t Know
Don''t Know
Yes as End Notes
No
As end notes
Extended characters
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
ECS option
                 
                 
From WordStar DOS to HTML
               
Feature:
3.31
4.0
5.5
6.0
7.0
2K
Notes
Soft Returns
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Converted to Hard Returns if Keep Layout Option Set
Ignored
Blank lines
No
No
No
No
No
No
 
Multiple spaces
No
No
No
No
No
No
 
Text attributes
Don''t Know
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Tabs
Don''t Know
Yes as String of Non-Breaking Spaces
Yes as String of Non-Breaking Spaces
Yes as String of Non-Breaking Spaces
Yes as String of Non-Breaking Spaces
Yes as String of Non-Breaking Spaces
As spaces
Centering
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Footnotes
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Don''t Know
Don''t Know
Yes as End Notes Linked to Main text
No
As end notes
Extended characters
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
Yes if Convert ECS Option Set
ECS option
                 
                 
Key
Yes
Yes
No
No
Don''t Know
?
Not Applicable
N/A

 




These converters expand the basic set provided with Microsoft Word, adding support for importing all WordStar DOS versions (except for WordStar 2000) and for WordStar for Windows. Export filters also cover WordStar DOS versions 4 and 7, and WordStar for Windows. These work with Word for Windows 95 and later.

In Dec 2003 Microsoft stated that the file converter packs for all versions of Office prior to Office 2003 had been discontinued and were no longer available. The Office 2003 Converter Pack did not list a WordStar filter, and this has been the case ever since.

However, all is not lost. The WordStar converter from the Office 97, 2000, and XP Converter Pack is still available from Microsoft's ftp site, and in the downloads section of the WordStar Resource Site

There are some problems with the import filters, in that they sometimes don't actually import the file. This can occur with varying source file sizes, but if you experience the problem of Word saying it's importing the file but you ending up with nothing, close Word and then break your WordStar file into smaller parts and try again.

File conversion information is provided in the WordStar file conversion section of the WordStar Resource Site.