Help converting Microsoft Works 3.0 files to modern format.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by xebeche, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. xebeche macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    I cannot get the files to open with the latest OpenOffice or TextEdit. I've been doing some research into how to convert them and came across a product called MacLinkPlus from Data Viz, but I cannot find it on there site and assume that it may have been discontinued. My forum searches here have yielded no results. Hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction.

    Thanks much!
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I ran into trouble with exactly this myself, on account of having a bunch of archaic documents in Works 3 format from the Classic era.

    MacLinkPlus was, sadly, discontinued recently, although I'm not sure how effective it was at converting documents. It did OK with word processing docs, if memory serves, but it wasn't much help with Works database files, which is most of what I have. You might still be able to find a copy of MacLinkPlus, though--try eBay or maybe abandonware sites.

    My solution, though this only works for document preservation, not "live" docs, is to print to PDF.
  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    You may also have some luck in temporarily obtaining a older mac, thats new enough to run some software (Office 2004:Mac for instance) but can also run older versions that will allow you to convert it (Possibly a PowerMac G4 that can boot OS9 to let you see the files and save them in something that can be converted using something else, such as Office itself, or even the PC Version of Microsoft Works (I cant remember how well you can move stuff between the various versions, but IM sure that it can indeed be made to work somehow :)
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Part of the issue is that MS Works 3, if memory serves, really doesn't offer much in the way of export formats. So even if you do have it running, it's nearly impossible to convert a database from it into much else.
  5. usuario macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    Central VA
    Did you try They have file conversion there. Never tried it myself.
  6. Carrite macrumors newbie


    Nov 8, 2015
    Corvallis, OR USA
    Hey, I'm only five years late with this, but here's the answer for the archives. MS Works 3.0 for Mac was a great, small, stable product — I used it for 20 years, keeping archaic Macs running to print dot matrix labels. All sort of acceptable things come to an end though. Here's how I converted last night...

    1. In MS Works 3.0 do a SAVE AS of your database file, scrolling down to SAVE AS TEXT (I believe that's the wording). Be SURE to rename the file with the suffix .txt

    2. Get your archaic text file off your old mac and onto your new one.

    3. Start your new program (I did this both in Excel — which for some bizarre reason MS expects Mac people to use for databases — and in a somewhat dated version of Filemaker Pro).

    4. Select OPEN and navigate to the new file. Be sure that ALL FILES are enabled on the open screen and select TAB DELIMITED text.

    5. Whoosh, that should do it. Drawback being that in Filemaker every imported cell with a comma in it will be surrounded by quotation marks — which I haven't been able to figure out how to make go away short of manually removing them. I reckon that's another question to be asked and answered by someone smarter than me.

    If Microsoft made a new version of Works for Mac, I would buy it tomorrow. And I hate Microsoft.

  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I realize this is an old thread, but...

    I, too, used MS Works 3 extensively when it was still a supported program.

    Eventually, I began using ClarisWorks/AppleWorks instead, but still retained and used MW Works for files created in earlier days.

    Does the latest release of LibreOffice include some direct support for opening these old files?

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