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Format Your Documents
Posted By On November 22, 2006 @ 3:08 PM In File & Disk Management | Comments Disabled
Here you’ll start composing, for our purposes in this tip, a letter.
Your letter will be far better than mine, of course, but it gives you an idea of how this will work. Once you have written your document, you will need to save it.
You’ll notice here that when you go to File, Save As, Works defaults (or automatically goes) to a file type (under “Save as type”) called “Works WP.” You can see that in this instance, I also have other Works Word Processing files saved. See the little pencil and paper icon to the left of the file names? That means those are Works files. Let’s give this document a File name of “EmployerLetter.”
If you send this document as this type of file, it will probably be called “EmployerLetter.wps.” That “wps” file extension means that it is a Microsoft Works Word Processing program document, but here’s the thing: It will only open in Microsoft Works. That means if the recipient doesn’t have Works, he or she cannot open your file.
Let’s see how this works with WordPerfect 9 in Corel, for another example.
Here we’ve started our letter in WordPerfect. Now, let’s save the file.
WordPerfect wants to save it as a WordPerfect file (or “wpd” extension), of course. That will be fine, as long as the recipient has WordPerfect. They might not. So, now let’s look at the workaround (and no, it’s not to run to the store and buy different software). We’re going to name this file “EmployerLetter2,” but we’re also going to look at some options under the File type options. After you’ve typed in your file name, notice that there is a drop down list (a little black arrow) in the File type field. Click on it and you will see a list of options.
Check it out! Just because WordPerfect defaults to saving your document as a WordPerfect file format, it does not mean you must save it as a WordPerfect file. Let’s choose Rich Text Format (RTF) as our file type instead.
Click Save and your document is saved as Rich Text Format or with an “rtf” file extension.
Now, let’s go back and look at the Microsoft Works document. You can still call it “EmployerLetter,” but let’s look at the file types we can choose to save it as.
There’s the RTF again! It doesn’t say “Rich Text Format” here, but trust me, it is. Let’s choose that.
You’ll notice that the icons next to the file names are no longer the Works pencil and paper, but are now something more familiar. Perhaps, something that looks like Microsoft Word? Let’s check out Word.
Here is a Microsoft Word document. Let’s save that just for fun.
Here the employer is saving a document in Word and of course, it is defaulting to save it as a Word document with the familiar .doc file extension on it. But, Word has options as well.
There is the Rich Text Format again! It’s a common file “language” that these programs all speak. So, if our employer has Microsoft Word open, let’s see if they can open the Works letter, which we called “EmployerLetter.”
There it is! How about WordPerfect’s “EmployerLetter2″?
There it is!
If you’re unsure whether the recipient of your document is using the same word processing software you are when you e-mail a document, the best way to be sure they can open it is to use Rich Text Format (or RTF), which is a universal file format. You will find it in the drop down list under “File type” when you give your file a name. It will save you all a ton of time and hassle!
~ Lisa Shaw
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