Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Service announcement: openning of SXW files produced by early versions of wpd2sxw in LibreOffice

Just a service announcement for those that might have around still SXW files generated from WordPerfect documents by the wpd2sxw tool version 0.6.x or earlier (years 2004 and before). Those files used to open fine in early OpenOffice.org versions, but they miss a crucial element. That is the reason why LibreOffice, the OpenOffice.org modern successor, will refuse them. Nevertheless, they are not lost!

LibreOffice development team, in its constant quest of increased user satisfaction, has a workaround for you!

First grab the zip file with the required manifest. Then get the zipmerge tool that comes with libzip, and merge the manifest into the corresponding SXW file. As an example, this command line could work:

for i in <sxw-file-list>; do zipmerge temporary_sxw.sxw /path/to/sxw_manifest.zip $i && mv temporary_sxw.sxw $i; done

This way you assure that if the original SXW file already had a manifest, it will not be overwritten by the one from sxw_manifest.zip, which would not be a desirable outcome. Nonetheless, if you only have to repair one SXW file and you checked already that manifest is missing in it using tools like zipinfo, you can quietly use:

zipmerge <original-sxw-file>.sxw /path/to/sxw_manifest.zip

In order to merge the manifest directly into that file. Naturally, you can merge the manifest from the sxw_manifest.zip into the SXW file using any other zip-manipulation tool you prefer.

Enjoy and continue using LibreOffice, the free and open source office suite of reference.