Author Topic: weird characters when converting from Wordstar 3.3 to Word  (Read 5786 times)


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weird characters when converting from Wordstar 3.3 to Word
« on: October 22, 2005, 06:46:52 AM »
I'm converting a bunch of old Wordstar 3.3 files (using the Batch Conversion Wizard in Word 2000) and about half of them don't successfully convert.  I get error messages saying that the wizard won't convert them.
Then I converted them using the option of "recover text from any file" and all the files are converted.  However when I open them up many have bizarre typographical characters instead of normal letters.
What am I doing wrong?
Thanks for your help

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Re: weird characters when converting from Wordstar 3.3 to Word
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2005, 01:18:02 AM »
The recover text option will just strip out anything within the ASCII character range, which includes these characters. Early versions of WordStar used 7-bit ASCII for the text, and the eigth bit for special functions, such as indicating hard/soft line breaks, etc. See: for a description of what these characters are all about.

Word's conversion filter should correctly deal with these as long as it can correctly recognise the WordStar format. To make sure this happens you should do one or the other (or both) of the following:

  • Ensure all your source WordStar files end in .ws3 (or whichever other major version number you're trying to convert.
  • Set Word's Tools > Options... > General > Confirm conversions on open to checked (ticked).

That should fiix incorrectly interpreted files, but won't do anything if you use the recover text import filter.

If you're still having problems you can download WSUTILS from This is a collection of DOS utilities; the one you want is called WSASC.COM, which will remove the eigth bit from the text in the files and you should then be able to import them correctly, even using the recover text import filter.

You could also download the HABit WordStar converter, which runs under Windows and see if this gives you better results:

If you're happy with DOS, you could try WS-CON:

More conversion options and instructions are in the file conversion FAQ page:

Let us know how you progress.

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