Can I convert a letterhead template from Word or pdf to Wordperfect?
May 16, 2012 11:35 AM   Subscribe

My firm has a letterhead template in a Word picture image and pdf format. I'd like to be able to use that with Wordperfect X4 so I can type directly on/into it. Is this possible? Alternatively, can I "print" a Wordperfect file onto a letterhead template in pdf?

I love Wordperfect and hate Microsoft Word. The primary reason for this view is that Word does formatting things to me sometimes and I cannot figure it out. Like I might have a weird page break or something. But with Wordperfect, I work with reveal codes open and can see what the heck is the problem.

More and more of my practice is now becoming digital in what I send to opposing counsel and courts. That is, instead of printing out documents and mailing or faxing them, I am sending pdfs to opposing counsel and courts. This is easy for me when it comes to pleadings because I type them up in Wordperfect and click a button and it is converted to a nice, clean and professional looking pdf (I have Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard).

The problem is when it comes to letters that I want to put on letterhead and then digitally send as a pdf. I have two digital files: a pdf of the letterhead and a Word document. But the Word document is really a page size picture that has a logo at the top, a then color stripe down the side, and a footer with information. [Here is a rough example of the type of layout it is] Because the Word document is a page-size picture, there is no way to type into the body of the letter (it's not three separate images surrounding workable space). I think the general thought was this was created to what we currently do: have a company print out the letterhead on nice stock paper, and then we print our letters onto this pre-printed letterhead. Whoever designed it never considered editing a document within the letterhead.

So what I currently have to do if I want to to have a pdf of a letter is that I type up the letter in Wordperfect and print it out on these pre-printed sheets of letterhead that we have. I can then scan the resulting document and convert to a pdf. I don't like doing this method because the print then scan method causes degradation in quality of the letterhead image (not to mention color loss unless I want to make it a large file). I want it to have the clean, professional look of the digital file being converted directly to pdf.

Is there a way to take this letterhead template that I have in Word picture format or pdf format and use it in Wordperfect so that I can have a Wordperfect template of my letterhead to use in the future? That way I can type my letters in sweet, sweet wordperfect and then click a button and have a nice pretty pdf of that letter to send away. But every time I have tried to open those files in wordperfect, the image gets gorked.

Alternatively, can I type a letter in wordperfect and then "print" to a pdf file that "prints" the first page onto the pdf letterhead image? This might be the easier solution.
posted by dios to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: You should be able to insert the page sized image into the header of your MS Word template, which will let it sit "under" the working space on the page. You'll have to mess with some of the formatting options, and set your page margins up so that the text in the body of the document sits where you want it to on the background. How to do this varies a bit by version of MS Word (I'm working in 2010), but I can give more details or whip up an example if you like. Feel free to MeMail me.
posted by that's candlepin at 12:05 PM on May 16, 2012

Best answer:
But with Wordperfect, I work with reveal codes open and can see what the heck is the problem.
You can Show/Hide Formatting Marks in Word as well, if that would help?

In either Word or Wordperfect, you can make that fullsize letterhead image as an underlay by using the Watermark feature (tool?). Also, in Word, at least, you can edit the Page Header, insert the letterhead image, and it can span beyond the extent of the header, allowing you to type over the top of your image.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:07 PM on May 16, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you.

I got Header thing worked in MS Word, so I can use that if I need be.

I got the Watermark option to work in Wordperfect (though there was some color distortion). But I can deal with that!

And, misterbrandt, the formatting marks is not as good or useful as reveal codes in wordperfect. (At least, that's what I tell myself. The real answer is probably that I am just so used to wordperfect and reveal codes so I get frustrated quickly with Word's odd formatting at times)
posted by dios at 12:49 PM on May 16, 2012

Inside the PDF, the firm's logo is probably a normal JPG or TIF file which can be extracted - somehow. But it is possible that the entire PDF is one large graphic. The full version of Adobe Acrobat could extract the original JPG or TIF image file.

First thing to try - if your version of Word will open a PDF (not all Word installations will), open it, create some temporary folder and Save As HTML into that folder. That probably will save out a few files including the original JPG or TIF. If Save As HTML does not work, Save As RTF is a second try.

A different way is a program to extract images directly from the PDF, this page lists some.

Another way is to scan your printed PDF to a graphic file format like TIF or JPG, then crop to just the logo part you need to make a new JPG to insert in WordPerfect.

There are even other ways. If you would like to MeMail a link to the file, I'll look at it and possibly get the original JPG or TIF out of it, or make a new scanned cropped version. I like a (reasonably simple) challenge.

Once you have the original JPG or TIF, or a new one, you can create a new WordPerfect document, insert that JPG or TIF, and save a new standard WordPerfect document letterhead you can type into.
posted by caclwmr4 at 5:58 PM on May 16, 2012

Word does suck at formatting; it's a word processor, not a page layout program. For images in Word, you can go into the properties for the image and set it to "behind text", which should let you type over it. You can still get some wonky formatting, though.

I haven't used WP since the golden age of WP5.1, but I'd imagine you can do something similar there as well. Probably the reason you're getting some color distortion with the Watermark option, is that in the applications I've used, the Watermark function generally messes with the brightness and contrast of an image to make it look "washed out" and well, rather like a watermark. It's intended for black-and-white images, so when the techniques are applied to a color image, you get unexpected results.

Lastly, in Word, you could gather up the graphics used, save them as a single, large image file, and then in a new document, set that image file as the page background. You'll be able to type right over it, set margins, all your usual formatting stuff. WP may have a similar feature.
posted by xedrik at 6:01 PM on May 16, 2012

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