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You receive a "This file is not in a recognizable format" error message when you try to open a file in Works 3.0 or 4.0 format in Excel 2000 or Excel 2002

This article was previously published under Q214048
For a Microsoft Excel 97 and earlier version of this article, see 109246.
In the versions of Microsoft Excel listed at the beginning of this article, you cannot open files that have been saved in Microsoft Works 3.0 or 4.0 format.
Even though no version information is mentioned, Excel can only open Microsoft Works files that are saved in the Microsoft Works 2.0 (or earlier) format. You cannot open Microsoft Works 3.0 or 4.0 files directly in Excel.

If you attempt to open a Microsoft Works 3.0 or 4.0 file, you receive the following error message:
This file is not in a recognizable format.
NOTE: If you open the file as text, it is virtually unreadable.

To open a Works 3.0 or 4.0 file in Excel, the file must first be saved in a compatible file format in Works. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In Works, open the file that you want.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. In the Save File As Type list, select one of the following file formats:
       Format                                  Saves file with extension   -----------------------------------------------------------------   Works for Windows 2.0/                  WKS   Works for DOS SS   Excel 4.0/5.0 SS                        XLS   Lotus 1-2-3                             WK1					
  4. Click OK to save the file in the new format.
  5. Close the file before you attempt to open it in Microsoft Excel.
NOTE: This information also applies to Microsoft Works 3.0 for MS-DOS and Microsoft Works version 3.0 and 4.0 for the Macintosh. In these versions of Works, follow the appropriate steps to save the file in any of the above file formats or in the symbolic link (SYLK) file format.
XL2000 XL2002 import convert converter

Article ID: 214048 - Last Review: 01/24/2007 02:58:36 - Revision: 3.4

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • kbtshoot kbsavefile kbformat kbopenfile kberrmsg kbprb KB214048