How to open, view and edit a .WPS file. 

.WPS is a word processing file type that was once the industry-standard. The file of choice for Microsoft Works, an early iteration of the software that would eventually become the Office suite, you may still encounter this outdated file in some environments. 


Find out what WPS is and how to open and manage this format with Adobe.

What you’ll learn.





What is a .WPS file?


A once ubiquitous format, .WPS is the native file used with the Microsoft Works programme. The predecessor to Microsoft Word, Works was once the company’s premier word processing application. 


WPS was replaced in 2006 by the DOC file which, in turn, was replaced by the DOCX file a year later. It is still used in some cases as the basis for other software packages.

What does .WPS stand for?


The WPS acronym stands for Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheets - formerly the tools featured within the Microsoft Works package. 


With the launch of Microsoft Office suite in later years, these tools became individual programmes with their own associated file type, like Microsoft Word and the .DOC file.

Try Adobe's collection of online tools


Get to grips with file formats and documents of all types with Adobe's suite of free online tools.


History of the .WPS file


.WPS files are the precursor to DOCs. The Microsoft Works programme, for which .WPS are the native file format, was an early form of Microsoft’s popular Office suite.


The Office package arrived in 2006, replacing Works as the baked-in software of choice for the Microsoft operating system. With the arrival of the suite, the various creation tools were broken up into individual software programs, like Word and PowerPoint - all with their own file format. 


Though the WPS file has been replaced as the industry-standard, you may still come across the format occasionally. Much of the Office suite still has the capability to open .WPS files, though you might find some of the formatting of the original document is lost.



What are .WPS files used for?


The .WPS file is a historical word document file. It was Microsoft’s original word processing file, used for handling text documents. It still works with Microsoft Office suite, despite the programme package working with individual file types like .DOC and .PPTX.  


Other programmes can also capably handle .WPS files.


Updating outdated Word documents.


Newer versions of Office packages, like Microsoft Word, can open and edit .WPS files. This is useful for opening and managing outdated word processing files created prior to 2006. The original Microsoft Works programme had less formatting and customisability than more recent iterations of Word, but you can still use .WPS files in more modern software.


Universality with other software. 


The format can also be used with other word processing programmes and rivals to the Office suite. Programmes like LibreOffice Writer, AbiWord and NeoOffice are all able to handle .WPS and convert the content within into their native programme file format of choice. 


Discover more file types and data file formats.  



Pros and cons of .WPS files.


Though it’s unlikely you’ll encounter many WPS files these days, they can be useful in certain situations.




  • Universality. WPS is compatible with a variety of word processing applications and across multiple operating systems. Though a Microsoft format by design, the file works with competitor programmes, like LibreOffice and NeoOffice. 




  • Outdated. The file format became obsolete with the launch of .DOC in 2006 and so, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter these files very often in today’s technological environment.
  • Lack of formatting choices. As an early word processing tool, WPS has limited formatting options compared to modern programmes, like Word. Opening .WPS’ with Office or other more recent word processing software might mean you lose much of the original formatting or fonts.



How to open a .WPS file.


You can open .WPS files in a variety of word processing programmes, even if the original Works software has been discontinued. 


You’ll need a programme like Microsoft Word or LibreOffice to open this file format. Just double-click the file you want to open and choose the ‘Works’ file type when given the option. 


On some PCs, you might need to install or use a converter tool to be able to open .WPS’ on your machine. 



How to create and edit a .WPS file.


You can create .WPS files using the original Microsoft Works programme, though the everyday user is more likely to have more recent word processing applications, like Word or LibreOffice. Works itself has been discontinued. 


To edit .WPS, you’ll need to convert the file to a more recent format, like a .DOC or .DOCX. You can do this using an online converting tool to enable editing on the original documents. 



How to convert .WPS files to .PDF.


You can convert WPS files to PDF using Microsoft Office. Just open the WPS document in Word and then save the document as a PDF once you’re happy with the format.


Alternatively, Adobe’s online PDF converter tool is simple to use and is compatible with many types of text-based file. Simply drag and drop or upload your .WPS file from your computer.



Learn more about similar file types to .WPS.



Discover more about one of the most commonly used word processing file types with our guide.



The industry-standard for lockable text documents. Find out how PDFs work here. 



Learn more about the simple TXT file and how and when you might use this basic word processing tool.



DOCX is compatible with Microsoft’s rival operating systems, like Apple’s MAC OS. Find out more about DOCX formats in our guide.

Find out more about Adobe's file types


Discover more document file types and data file formats today.




Can .WPS files be opened in Excel?


Yes, as with most of the Office suite, you can open existing .WPS spreadsheet files in Excel. You’ll just need to ensure that you turn ‘All Files’ on when opening your document.


Does Microsoft Works still work?


The Works programme was discontinued in the late-2000s. Though you can no longer use it the software in standard mode, you should be able to open and use the programme on a Windows PC using ‘Compatibility Mode’.


What can I convert .WPS into?


You can convert outdated WPS files into a variety of formats, including: 


  • PDF
  • TXT
  • HTML
  • EPUB
  • ODT


Does .WPS work with Kingsoft?


WPS for Kingsoft is another file, created by Kingsoft Writer, part of Kingsoft’s own version of the Office suite. The WPS Kingsoft file works with Kingsoft software, you’ll need to convert it if you want to use the file with other word processing tools.


Why can’t I open a .WPS? 


You may find that you can’t open a .WPS, even in a traditionally compatible programme like Microsoft Office. 


This might be because you have yet to change your settings to allow ‘All Files’. The ‘All Files’ setting can be selected when you try to open a non-compatible file by double-clicking it. Changing the setting will enable you to open any file that Word can deal with.



You might also be interested in…

A person sitting at a desk looking at their computer

How to Convert JPG to PDF on a Mac
DF files are designed to be readable on any device, making them a great way to share information. 

A person sitting at a desk looking at their computer

How to Post a PDF to Facebook
PDFs are a great way for your business to share information – for example menus, price lists, and reports. Displaying these on your Facebook Business page is an effective way of engaging with customers using social media.

A person sitting at a desk looking at their computer

How to convert a PDF for a Kindle

Adding a PDF for a Kindle can mean it’s easier to read – and for longer PDFs, much easier to navigate than a desktop. 

A person sitting at a desk looking at their computer

How to Save a PDF to an iPhone

Saving a PDF to your smartphone is a great way to access your important files and documents on the go.