Office Data programs: Intro

This page is meant for programs that largely work with data files typically used in many offices, regardless of the specific industry. For now, this page focuses on common data documents such as those made by the standard Office/Productivity Suite applications: Word processors, spreadsheets, databases, the similar items. There are several related types of software products. Portable Document Format (PDF) files are similar enough to a word processing document that they are covered in this section, as are text files. Media files, such as graphics, are in a seperate multimedia section, despite them being similar/related to some word processor documents and presentation software (like OpenOffice Impress/MS Powerpoint). Web browsers can have elaborate capabilities providing as much basic display functionality as word processors, and can be made to serve slideshows like presentation software, however web browsers are also covered by a separate page on this site, in the section for Networking files. Hexadecimal/binary file editors can also serve as text editors, however they are/will-be in the disk manipulation/utilities area.


Some people may want to jump straight to the Office Suites section which is listed after some sections about popular office productivity programs.

[#wordproc]: Word processors

This section is mainly about stand-alone word processors. Additionally, there are software suites that contain more word processors, so those can be checked out for more selection. Note that some other software may be suitable depending on what one's needs are. Website editors can often allow for fancy text manipulation, and there are also text file editors that are simpler programs if text formatting isn't needed.

From Microsoft
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word for DOS
Microsoft Word 5.5 for DOS: Y2K update for Word 5.0 (International English version) for DOS does not contain printer drivers but is otherwise functional as a stand-alone product. Page to download Word 5.5 Wd55_ben.exe from FileFront. 3rd party page linked to this URL:
Some conversion software
Microsoft Write (or Windows Write)

(There is no legal download of this software known to be available.)

This comes bundled with some versions of Microsoft Windows, including Windows 3.1. (Was there also a Macintosh version of this, and Paintbrush?) Supporting various fonts and text formatting, it serves many purposes for basic word processing, with a noticable functional exception of not supporting color. Also, it does not support a spell checker, or some other features that were once considered more advanced such as grammer checking, tables, or integration with other office software like spreadsheets. It did, however, have some support for pasting images into documents. The file format of this word processor had a filename extention of WRI. This software also supported *.RTF files.


The version of Write.Exe that came with Windows 95 supported reading at least some *.DOC Word Processor files, and called itself Wordpad. At least in Win98SE, this software would cause instability with some *.DOC files made from newer versions of Microsoft Word, crashing itself and possibly the entire running operating system instance. It added color support, but still lacked support for a basic dictionary.

Wordpad source code has been made available by MSDN. (A download page for Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Sample Library

Wordpad may not show all the fonts on a system. Two reasons for that follow:

Some fonts may not appear depending on what printer is installed. For example, if the "Generic / Text Only" printer driver bundled with Win98SE is installed, and the format bar (from the View menu) is displayed, the drop-down box will only show the current font ("Times New Roman") and "Roman 10cpi". (Interestingly, when running Wordpad, it starts by showing "Times New Roman (Western)", and then the " (Western)" disappears as the program is interacted with.) More fonts may be available via "Format, Font...". Now, if a printer isn't set up (so the "Gerneric / T ext Only" printer is uninstalled if it has been set up), more fonts will show up on the title bar.

If the SCRIPT.FON from Windows 3.1 is installed, it may not show up as expected. Details on installing that correctly and then finding it in Wordpad follow. (It would make quite a bit of sense if some other font files may also have this happen in Wordpad.)

One method to install a font is to go to the Control Panel (accessible via the Start Menu, and in some systems stored under the subsequent Settings menu), and select Fonts. Then under the File menu there should be "Install New Font..." Having the "Copy fonts to Fonts folder" checkbox being set/enabled/checked is the recommended option. Another method is to put the file in %windir%\FONTS\ and try rebooting.

If SCRIPT.FON from Windows 3.1 is placed in %windir%\FONTS\, then it won't show up before the system is rebooted. (Before rebooting, set ensure the FONTS directory has the Read Only (and also the System) attributes since Q133725 states this is needed. If the "Install New Font..." command doesn't exist under the file manu, Q133725 says to check the directory attributes. If that doesn't fix things, rename and then replace Fontext.dll, found in the SYSTEM directory for Win9x and SYSTEM32 directory for NT-based systems, using the Fontext.dll file from the original operating system installation files. In Win95/98, if that doesn't work, also replace %windir%\Fonts\Desktop.ini from the original Windows setup files.

Once the SCRIPT.FON file is installed, it still won't show up in the list of fonts from selecting the "Fonts..." menu option (either from the "Format" menu or the document's shortcut menu by pressing Shift-F10 or right-clicking). However, using the mouse cursor and the drop down box from the "Format Bar" (which is on by default, and can be made visible if needed via the View menu), the Script font can show up.

See also: Microsoft Works
Works is an office productivity suite from Microsoft, containing more than just a word processor. See the Office Suites section.
WordPerfect for DOS
WPDOS page has information claiming to be able to sell replacements and upgrades for Word Perfect, with the blessing of the legal owner (Corel), for those who do furnish a license number. (Note that this was not found on Corel's site, and so before providing a license number, one may wish to try to further verify the legitimacy of this offer.)
Claris Works
AppleCare Support's Older Software Downloads (DOS/Windows section) has links that seem to be for ClarisWorks 3-5.

Software released under the GNU GPL. Ubuntu 7.10 came with a recommendation of this software when the CD was inserted in a Microsoft Windows machine (along with recommending Firefox and Thunderbird).

[#wdprocvw]: Viewers for word processor documents

Microsoft has released some free viewers for Word files. (Also, later versions of Microsoft Office may not be able to interact with files made from earlier versions of MS Office unless a compatibility pack is applied. The solutions may involve one of these viewers, or a compatibility pack. For information about the compatibility packs, see the Office Suites section.)

KB891090: How to obtain the latest Microsoft Word Viewer

Word Viewer (older release)
Microsoft Word Viewer 97/2000 for 16-bit Windows (Windows 3.1x/NT 3.x)

Details: KB923505 refers to how to install, and to verify installation. This lets Office 2007 use files from earlier versions of Office.

wd97vw32.exe was apparently also distributed as (with an r in a 9-letter filename) and is also known as wordview.exe.

Word Viewer 2003
Word Viewer 2003 wdviewer.exe KB889347 calls this "Microsoft Office Viewer 2003".
Word Viewer (newer release)
for Win2K SP4, XP SP2, 2003 SP1, Vista download page lets a language be selected. wordview_en-us.exe (renamed wdvwenus.exe locally)
Older releases
Microsoft Word Viewer Version 7.1, Microsoft Word Viewer Version 6.0 for Windows (Text file: Microsoft Word Viewer Version 6.0 for Windows)
Viewers - Downloads (seems specific to MS Word) has links to other viewers. The URLs it gives may be longer than those found elsewhere, such as the &hurl and later part of the longer URL to Word Viewer (newer release) download page. This might be a decent reference for checking on whether newer viewers have been released.

Although the full-fleged Microsoft Excel is a commercial product with copying restrictions that prevent it from being available for download from this site, there is some software available (by Microsoft and others) that can handle spreadsheets. Details are available in the Office Suites section. This section gives details on support files for the Excel spreadsheet program.

Here are some unorganized notes: The Microsoft Snapshot Viewer allows you to view a report snapshot without having Microsoft Access 97, Microsoft Access 2000, Microsoft Access 2002, or the run-time version of Access 97, Access 2000, or Access 2002 installed on your computer. Hotfix made, MS suggests to request update. SnpVw.exe (choose language) snpvw.exe seems to not exist anymore. KB 244018 may refer to it. Q275076 issues installing Access Snapshot Report/Microsoft Snapshot Viewer For Access, the program seems to be called SnapView: access 2002 Access 2002 Runtime Security Patch KB827430 full-file update looks like it doesn't have a lot of pre-intallation requirements, but the EULA may require Access to have already been installed. Or perhaps snapshot viewer: The EULA just refers to "Software".
Presentation Software
Vector Editor(s)/Diagramming Software
Visio Viewers

download page (lets one choose language) for 2002, vviewer 2002 English for Win98/2K/NT/ME/XP, and diagrams made with Visio 2000, Visio 2002, or Visio 5. This lets people view in MS IE 5.0.

download page (lets one choose language) for Visio 2003 Viewer (English) (renamed to visio3vw.exe locally) drops support for Win98/NT/ME, now requiring Win2k SP3, WinXP, or Windows Server 2003. It adds support for Visio 2003.

Visio 2007 Viewer says it supports Windows 2000 Server, and apparently dropped support for Windows XP but now supports Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista, and adds support for Visio 2007 files. download page lets one choose language. VisioViewer.exe (English) (renamed locally to visio7vw.exe) for Visio Viwer 2007.

Other Visio software/info
Visio 2003 Trial Software (via shorter URL)
OpenOffice has Draw, KOffice has Kivio. Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Visio also lists Dia, ArgoUML, and StarUML.
[#offsuite]: Office Suites
Office suites generally contain a word processor, spreadsheet software, and more, often including database software, and often including presentation software. Often there are variants of a particular office suite version, so a versional labelled "Professional" may cost more, and contain more software, than a version labelled for academic or home use.
[openofic]: OpenOffice.Org

Derived from StarOffice from Sun Microsystems, this contains a fair amount of productivity software. For those who want to run office software on their home PC, and who don't want to pay for Microsoft Office, but do wish to have capabilities similar to Microsoft Office such as interacting with files created with modern versions of that product, the OpenOffice.Org office suite is the most mainstream alternative to actually using Microsoft Office.

There are a few downloads related to this product, so there is a separate OpenOffice.Org software downloads page.

Additionally, there are variants of the software that may have more support for Works files. (See Wikipedia: Works (section on Support in free software) for a list of some such software.)

FreeBSD Commercial Office Suite FAQ calls StarOffice "the value-added closed-source version of".

Google Docs

Google Docs, now one of the services now offered through Google Apps, came from combining Writely with Google Spreadsheets (Google Spreadsheets, Later the "Google Docs presentation feature" It can be featured through Google Accounts. The services are available through Google Apps. (There are various editions of Google Apps.)

Google's approach has been questioned quite a bit due to the online nature of this software, and quite specifically about security concerns. This has become even more true with the integration of Google Docs into Google Accounts logins.

Tour of Google Docs

Microsoft Works

Works is basically a cheaper office suite by Microsoft than Microsoft Office. Some versions of Works have come bundled with versions of Microsoft Word instead of the Works word processor. Around July of 2007 there were news sites reporting that Microsoft Works 9 would be free, or ad-sponsored, although that did not seem to happen. MS Works 9 Order page indicated a price around $39.95 estimated retail price (checked Jan 30, 2008).

Although at least some versions of Microsoft Works is a commercial product with copying restrictions that prevent it from being available for download from this site, this section gives details on support files, largely around letting this software and MS Word use data files made by each other. Wikipedia: Works (section on Support in free software) gives details about other software that using Works data files by using libwps. Namely those are NeoOffice (which seems to be focused on the Mac) and's "Your" (redirected to from

Works 4.x conversion tool lets Works 4.x open documents from Word 97, Word 2000, or Works 2000, and lets those applications use Works 4.x files. wp2Krtf.exe KB943600 is about the software at Works 6-9 File converter (for Office 2003 >= SP2, Office 2007) (download page) which lets one select a language. A hyperlink is available here for the English language version of MS Works 6-9 File Converter. This requires Win2k SP3, XP, or later, and Windows Installer version 3.1.

Microsoft Office

This software is not avaiable for legal, free downloads.

Microsoft Office is a collection of Microsoft software that includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and at least one other application which is database software or Microsoft Powerpoint, and possibly including more software (like Microsoft Bookshelf).

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack: download page lets one choose a language. Info page, English language download

Office File Converter Pack download page, Download of Office Converter Pack for Microsoft Office 97, 2000, XP, and 2003.

Similar to some versions of Microsoft Windows, there are service packs, or service releases, for at least some versions of Office. download page for Office 97 Service Pack 2 ValuPack

X Window System Desktop Environment Office Suites
Wikipedia: Comparison of X Window System desktop environments lists several programs, including the office suites GNOME Office and KOffice.
PDF file handling software

PDF files require special viewing software, but have become quite popular among distributors. Many instruction manuals come in PDF format, as well as technical charts and other documents. Although there are alternative formats (such as HTML) quite capable of displaying charts, some of which may be easier for end users to use, many end users may benefit from a method of viewing PDF files due to the large number of PDF files that have been distributed.

Misc/other/unknown viewer(s)
Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer 1.5: Allows Win2k, XP, and Server 2003 uers "who do not have a computer running Microsoft® Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition to view files that were created in Microsoft® Windows® Journal on a Tablet PC." (according to the download site). Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer 1.5 (renamed locally to winjourn.exe)