LibreOffice 4.1 helps resurrect old files
By Stephen WITHERS
Last month I wrote about some of the problems involved in keeping old digital documents accessible.
Although word processor files are generally not a huge problem unless you get too far behind the curve, things just got easier in this respect with the release of a new version of the open source LibreOffice suite.
LibreOffice 4.1 includes the libmwaw library, which converts from a bunch of old-school text formats including AppleWorks/ClarisWorks, BeagleWorks/WordPerfect Works, MacWrite, Mariner Write, Microsoft Word (back to version 1.0), Nisus Writer, and WriteNow. The full list is here.
libmwaw doesn't claim to be perfect, but the screen grabs published with the LibreOffice 4.1 release notes (a before-and-after pair is reproduced above) suggests it does a respectable job.
LibreOffice 4.1 is still a bit green ("suitable for early adopters and private power users" is how The Document Foundation puts it), but if you'd like to try it, start here.
Image: The Document Foundation (CC BY-SA 3.0) (combined and resized)
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