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Windows 7: Works word processor files not searchable because of embedded nulls

28 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 Pro
Works word processor files not searchable because of embedded nulls

I've been using Microsoft Works 8.5 Word Processor for a few years on Windows 7 and it works fine. However, I was dismayed to find out that I cannot do a bulk search for text across multiple files. It turns out that Works embeds nulls between each character. So CAT in a file is C(null)A(null)T(null). There is no way with any search program that I know of to search all the .wps files in a folder that have the word "CAT" in them.

I *could* keep two copies of every file (one in .txt format), but my goodness what a pain.

So I'm looking for:

a) A program that will do bulk searches of .wps files. (embedded nulls are tricky, you really can't type them in)
b) Another program that is similar to Works (Office is NOT similar to Works, it's a pain in the neck to use).

Any help would be *great* appreciated!



My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #2


Hi Donalds, welcome to the Seven Forums.

It's years since I have even seen Microsoft Works, I am afraid I am not able to tell you how to search files with those embedded nulls.

However, if I recall it correctly Works can also save using the Rich Text Format (.rtf). If so, you could try if the document content is searchable when saved as .rtf. If so, you would not only solve your issue but also make your documents more interchangeable, as the .rtf files can be shared, opened and edited with almost every modern word processor.

Trying to remember the various features of Microsoft Works word processor, I think I'm not too much wrong by recommending you the Windows 7 native WordPad word processor, to use it instead of Works. WordPad has all features needed for composing, editing and formatting complex documents. It also handles embedded images very nicely.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro


I appreciate the response. However, as I said in my post, keeping two copies of the document (i.e. an rtf) version isn't really viable. Wordpad doesn't support 1/2 the features of Works. Remember works is a fully integrated program, so it has templates, mailmerge, spelling and thesaurus functions, etc, etc.

I'm not looking for free software, I'm looking for either a file search capability that can deal with nulls, or for a wordprocessor that has the functionality, but doesn't take you 2 hours to type a simple letter like in Word.

Thanks again for the response.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Oct 2013   #4


I did not mean to keep two copies, I meant totally move to RTF, use RTF format alone. That way you can still open the docs on Works, they should be searchable and they are easier to share.

Short: my suggestion is to completely forget the .wps file format and start using the .rtf instead. I do not believe you can find a method to search contents of those .wps files.

BTW, WordPad is guaranteed not any slower in creating / typing documents than Works!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Works word processor files not searchable because of embedded nulls

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