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What is a WPS File?

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Question: What is a WPS File?

Did you find a WPS file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a WPS file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the WPS file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open a WPS file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .WPS file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the WPS file extension is a Microsoft Works Document file.

Some WPS files might instead be Kingsoft Writer Document files.

Other types of files may also use the WPS file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .WPS extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open a WPS File

The easiest way to open a WPS file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the WPS file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit WPS files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

Most WPS files you'll find were probably created with Microsoft Works and can certainly be opened by that program as well. However, Microsoft Works has been discontinued and it may be difficult to obtain a copy of the software.

Note: If you do own a copy of the latest version of Microsoft Works, version 9, and need to open a WPS file created with Microsoft Works version 4 or 4.5, you'll need to first install the free Microsoft Works 4 File Converter.

Luckily, WPS files can also be opened with any of the latest versions of Microsoft Office Word. In Microsoft Office Word 2003, 2007, or 2010, just choose the "Works" file type from the Open dialog box. You can then navigate to the folder containing the WPS file(s) you want to open.

Note: Depending on your version of Microsoft Office 2003 or 2007, and the version of Microsoft Works that the WPS file you want to open was created in, you may need to install the free Microsoft Works 6-9 File Converter tool before being able to open the WPS file in question.

The free AbiWord word processor also opens WPS files, at least those created with certain versions of Microsoft Works. LibreOffice Writer and OpenOffice Writer are two more free programs that can open WPS files.

If you're having trouble opening a WPS file with any of the already mentioned methods, the file might instead be a Kingsoft Writer document, which also utilizes the WPS extension. You can open those types of WPS files with the Kingsoft Writer software.

If you know anything else useful about WPS files, please let me know so I can update this page.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the WPS file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents. This probably isn't the case with any WPS file you might come across, but it's worth a try if you're out of options.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the WPS file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open WPS files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a WPS File

There are three main ways to attempt to convert a WPS file to another file type:

  • Open the WPS file in its native program, Microsoft Works, and then choose to save the open file as another file format.
  • Open the WPS file in Microsoft Word and and then save the file as another compatible format like DOCX.
  • Use a File Conversion Online Service or Software Program to convert the WPS file to another file format.

The first option involving opening the WPS file in Microsoft Works is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Opening a WPS file in Word is also probably just as effective. Of course if you don't have either program, a third-party WPS file conversion tool (the third option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the WPS file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using a WPS File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the WPS file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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