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Translating WordPerfect documents
Thread poster: Oliver Walter

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:21
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Mar 7, 2008

Does anybody have a general solution to the problem of using MS Word 2000 to translate a technical book (about electrical power generation and distribution) (with hundreds of equations) that was written using Wordperfect?
The book's first edition was written with WP 6.1 and published in 2000. Now there's a second edition and I'm waiting for the author to contact me if he's interested in having me as a translator (German>English). I translated a few pages for him in 2003 - I was able to extract the text but could not do anything with the equations.
Thanks for any useful ideas you may have.

(PS. I use WordFast as a translation memory application, which requires Word to work, and I am definitely not keen to consider installing WordPerfect and having a lot to learn just for this job.)



Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:21
German to English
+ ...
Translating WordPerfect documents Mar 7, 2008

According to this page:

a "Microsoft Supplemental WordPerfect Conversions Kit for Word for Windows" exists which converts WordPerfect 6.x documents to MS Word, including conversion of the equations to "editable equation objects".



Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:21
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Another MS page Mar 7, 2008

The page mentioned by Marc P appears to apply to earlier versions of Word than Word 2000.
This one applies to Word 2000, but it seems to assume that you can open the file in WordPerfect, so it may not be what you want.


eesegura  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
I use WordPerfect Mar 8, 2008

Oliver, I've been a WordPerfect user for many years. I also use Word and Wordfast to do my translations. I don't have an immediate solution for you, but if you'd like to send me a non-proprietary snippet of your text which includes an equation (or several) that you previously could not extract correctly to Word, I could play with it and let you know what I find.

[Edited at 2008-03-08 17:55]


Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:21
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
A possible approach Mar 8, 2008

Thank you all for your suggestions. After my first posting, the following occurred to me as perhaps a good solution if (a) the author approaches me to consider translating the 2nd edition, and (b) it is still in WordPerfect format.
(1) I'll ask him to send me a copy of the book itself so I can see all the layout and formatting;
(2) He saves it as RTF files (presumably this will generate usable text but not pictures and equations) or I can perhaps do that myself with from the .wpd files (that's how I did the text extraction I mentioned in my first posting: Word 2000 crashed on trying to open the .wpd file that I have for one chapter of the first edition);
(3) I translate the RTF with Word and WordFast and send him the results as RTF;
(4) He makes a copy of all the .wpd files, that will then become the English version. He imports or copies my RTF files into those files; the original equations, diagrams and pictures are still there and will need some names to be edited (by him), but at least they won't need to be regenerated.

I think my next move is to see whether he contacts me and to ask whether it is indeed in WP format (rather likely, I think, or he had to rewrite all the equations, or possibly use the converter mentioned by Marc and below).
Then comes the question that we (or at least I) haven't thought of yet: must the translated book be in WordPerfect also, or will Word be OK? If WP is required, my approach above might be the way; if Word is OK, a conversion from WP to Word might be possible. Looking at the Microsoft support references given by Marc and Jack, and another one that I found (, this might still be rather difficult with Word 2000. Marc's reference does say equations are converted, but that may only apply to Word 6 and 7: Word 2000 is, in these terms, Word 9.


Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:21
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
OpenOffice Writer Mar 9, 2008 writer can open WordPerfect files. I'm not sure how it handles WP equations, but the equation module in Writer appears to work along the same lines as in WP, if I remember correctly.

You might want to give Writer a try. It can save to/read from DOC format quite well, too, but if the text already has DTP layout, you should do some tests to make sure it fits your needs.



P.S. OpenOffice Writer is much better now than it was back in 2003.

[Edited at 2008-03-09 06:08]


Local time: 13:21
French to Dutch
+ ...
My idea Mar 10, 2008

I did lots of WP > Word conversions, years ago, and even with more easy documents it is always a mess. It is only useful if it is plain text with not too much formatting and tables. I suggest you to treat this document either entirely in Word Perfect either entirely in Word, without tempting to convert (that is, translate directly from hard copy). In this case you will have to be (or you'll need) a fast typist to insert the formulas (try one page to see how much time it takes (one hour per page??)).

I hope that you are conscious that the client asked probably for other quotes, and that other people (translation agencies or printing houses) maybe quoted really high prices for typesetting? And if there are really lots of formulas, printing houses use other tools than Word.


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