Opening WPS files on Windows and Linux without Microsoft Office

Written by James McDonald

June 24, 2008

Microsoft Works (wps) Documents aren’t recognized by the native version of OpenOffice.

Update: Ubuntu has a libwps package that provides the functions to convert wps files and the Ubuntu version of OpenOffice will open a WPS natively (thanks to Andrew the libwps author for his comment letting me know this. When I first tried to open a WPS document on Ubuntu I had the latest version 2.4.1 of OpenOffice on my box not the Ubuntu version so I missed the Ubuntu native functionality).

However if you don’t run Ubuntu you’ll need the libwps-tools package to convert your wps document.

To install:
On Ubuntu / Debian
sudo apt-get install libwps-tools
On Fedora 8 etc
You will need to download and rpmbuild the source rpm or do the ./configure ; make ; make install three step from the source tar.gz both the source rpm and tar.gz file are available from

Then to convert:
wps2html TheWPSDoc.wps > TheWPSDoc.html

You then open the html file as normal in OpenOffice and convert it to whatever format you want.

Microsoft provides a “Works 2000 Converter” for installation along with it’s Office suite but that doesn’t help people who don’t have Office installed.

However the libwps tools have been ported to Windows and you can get the Windows binaries by downloading and unzipping the latest file from Sourceforge.

To convert launch a command prompt (cmd.exe) and then cd to where you unzipped the tools and run:
wps2html.exe TheWPSDoc.wps > TheWPSDoc.html


  1. Andrew Z.

    Hi James,

    I wrote libwps. Though not a Ubuntu user, I think libwps is integrated into so that .wps files open directly in Ubuntu’s modified edition of


  2. james

    You are correct Andrew! I upgraded to an copy of OO and it wouldn’t recognize the WPS format.

    By installing a Ubuntu version of OpenOffice WPS files open straight away!

  3. milehighxr

    That’s all well and good, but I’m not running Linux. How do I open WPS files without Word. I’m kinda pissed that the WinXP version of OO doesn’t do this. What’s up with that?

  4. agremon

    From Spain, thank you! I’ve a lot of old .wps files opened with Ubuntu & Oo 2.2 not Ubuntu.

  5. Mike

    Thanks! My client send me wps file and I can’t open it with OpenOffice. This tools help me.
    How to install on Fedora 11:
    yum install libwps libwps-doc libwps-tools



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