wks format gone in Excel 2007

This came as a bit of a surprise to me, but you can no longer open/save a file in the old Lotus wks format in Excel 2007.

Most people probably won’t care about this, but I create batches of journal entries to export to a wks file for upload into an ancient DOS based Accpac 6.0 accounting system.  Fortunately, this database is only used to record a couple of transactions per month, but it does mean that I have to run this process in Excel 2003 as Accpac won’t accept plain on txt files.

The Accpac database is actually only still used because I’ve avoided creating routines for our new accounting system to do the same work.  Maybe it’s time to engineer that process and avoid this issue to begin with…

5 thoughts on “wks format gone in Excel 2007

  1. It appears that the wks file format will also be blocked in Excel 2003, as of SP3. Microsoft has apparently labeled these file formats as insecure. The following list of the changes (blocked formats) is right from Microsoft’s site:

    LotusandQuattroFiles .wk1, .wk4, .wj3, wk1 FMT, .wks, .wk3, wk3 FM3, .wj2, .wq1, .fm3, .wj1
    DifandSylkFiles .dif, .slk
    FilesBeforePowerPoint97 This policy will prevent the saving of files that are older than PowerPoint 97 and that have file formats such as .ppt, .pot, .pps, and .ppa.

    You can find full information on this issue, as well as some registry hacks to fix it, at Microsoft’s Knowledge Base.

  2. The microsoft article you link to only applies to Excel 2003. Did you try the recommendations with Excel 2007? If so, what were your results?

  3. Hi Jim,

    Correct, the article only applies to 2003. I have installed the fix, and it does work with 2003, but the difference is this:

    -In 2003 they disabled the format, and allowed you to re-enable it.

    -In 2007, they never included the code to convert the format. There is nothing to re-enable.

    So basically, if you need the wks (or other) formats, you are stuck on 2003 or earlier.

  4. My company just migrated to Excel 2007. I ran into the same problem. Try saving the sheet in .xlsx. Close the file. Then rename the filename extension to .wks (you may need to uncheck “hide extensions for known file types” in explorer’s folder options first). I was able to open the file in 2007 after receiving a warning.

  5. Hi there. I am probably a bit late with this, but I convert to .wks by importing the excel spreadsheet to access 2007 which DOES export to .wks!

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