Importing Lotus Files into Excel
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||First, a comment
on the term import. Many of our subscribers and students ask how
to import files from Lotus and other programs. It seems than the
term import has stuck in our minds from year's past. Importing and
exporting files between files used to require many extra steps and, sometimes,
extra software. In Excel, the use of the term import and export have
been, for the most part, been totally eliminated and replaced with the
terms File Open and File Save As. In other words, to open a Lotus
file, simply open it through the File Open command.
Comments and Specifics:
To open a Lotus file:
In the File Open Dialog
Box, the file box usually displays something like:
*.wk1List all the Lotus wk1 files in the directory (.wk1 are Lotus, release 2 files)
*.wk3List all the Lotus wk3 files in the directory (.wk3 are Lotus, release 3 files)
*.wk4List all the Lotus wk4 files in the directory (.wk4 are Lotus, release 4, Window, files)
*.wk?List all Lotus wk files in the directory (the ? means any character in this position)
Now, you have worked on the file and desire to save it. Here's the tricky, or should I say interesting, part. Simply save the file; Excel saves the file in the same file format that it opened! In other words, if you open a Lotus wk3 file, you will save it as a Lotus wk3 file. Excel converts it back to that format.
If you desire to save it as an Excel file then, in the File Type Box, click on the drop down list arrow and select Excel Workbook. It should be the first item in the list. It will now be saved as an Excel file.
From here, your personal organization skills come into play. If you no longer need the Lotus file, we recommend deleting it (or at least archiving it). .........get it out of here!......to avoid later confusion.
If you are doing work on the file and then saving as a Lotus file so someone else can work on it, then do not save it as an Excel file. A trap is that you save it in Excel then, some later time, you add an Excel feature or two, and then, when you convert it back to a Lotus format, the feature is dropped and, depending on the feature, you may have lost valuable data.
In other words......be careful.
What versions of Lotus does Excel work with?
This depends on which version of Excel you are using. The following is a short summary of how Excel works with Lotus files.
Excel 5 works with
Lotus wk3 files. This means that if you have Lotus 4 for Windows,
Excel 7 (sometimes
called Excel 95) and Excel 97 work with Lotus wk4 files
What Versions of other software does Excel work with?
The best answer here is to
not give an answer. In Excel, as with most newer Windows software,
simply click on File Save and, in the File Type box, click on the drop
down arrow for a list.
Compatible, compatible, compatible.....
When converting from one file format to another you will run across unexpected (and unexplainable) problems. Although the file conversions go fairly well (i.e., they are compatible), there is always something that doesn't work or doesn't work quite right.
Also, Excel maintains the
other file format internally, even if you save it as an Excel file.
This means the file will contain excess baggage and will be somewhat larger
and slower than normal. I have developed the habit of starting clean
with a new Excel file, if practical.
dBase and Other Files
As mentioned above, just
open the file, if it works, you're happy and, if not, look in the File
Save As, File Format box and see what works. You can usually
accomplish your goal with some intermediate steps. For example, save
a Paradox file in dBase format and then Open the dBase file into Excel