How to Convert WPS Files to Word Documents

By Cathryn Chaney

The WPS file format is associated with to the word processor component of Microsoft Works. Works is a low-budget software suite from Microsoft that offers more basic versions of Microsoft Office functions, such as word processing, spreadsheet, calendar and database. The Microsoft Works word processor files use the .wps file extension. The simplest method to convert a .wps file to a Microsoft Word format is simply to open the file in Works and use "Save As" to save the file in .doc or .docx format. This only works with Works 7 or later versions. Additional methods involve using MS Office, Word Viewer or an online third-party conversion website.

Use Word

Step 1

Start Word and try to open the .wps file using the "Open" command or "Control"+"O." Double-clicking the .wps file in Explorer will not necessarily tell you if your version of Word can open .wps files.

Step 2

If your version of Word will not directly open the .wps file, download the Microsoft Works 6–9 File Converter upgrade from the Microsoft website. (See Resources.) This upgrade allows Word to open .wps files created with Works versions 6, 7, 8 and 9. The upgrade only works with Word 2003 service pack 2 and later versions.

If you like, go to Windows Explorer and associate the .wps file format with Word. This will allow you to open .wps files with Word in the future simply by double-clicking them. In Word 7 or Vista, click on the "Start" button then choose "Control Panel." Select the option for "Default Programs," then choose "Associate a file type or protocol with a program" and follow the on-screen prompts. In Windows XP, right-click a .wps file and choose "Open With," then "Choose Program." Choose Word, and then check the box for "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file."

Alternative Strategies

Step 1

Use Microsoft's free Word Viewer utility to view .wps files from Works 6 and 7. The viewer will not convert the file to any other format, however. If some changes to formatting are acceptable, consider copying the contents of the .wps file from Word Viewer and pasting them into Word.

Step 2

Use the "Recover text from any file" option in Word if the formatting of the .wps file is not crucial. The option for recovering text from any file is listed as if it were a type of file format in the "Open" dialog box. You may have to scroll down a little in the resulting file to find the full text, and some anomalous codes may appear in or before the text. Save the recovered text in Word format.

Use an online, third-party file converter, such as Zamzar. (See Resources.) The Zamzar interface allows users to upload a file, choose the new file format and specify an email address where the converted file should be sent. As of July 2010, Zamzar conversions are free for files up to 100 MB.