Word 97-98 Importer Available -- Recently, Microsoft announced plans to release Office 98 for the Macintosh by the end of this year, and - of more immediate interest - released a beta version of the Word 97-98 Import Converter. Macintosh Word 5 and 6 users can use the software to read Word 97-98 format, used by Word for Windows 97, the upcoming Word for Windows 98, and the upcoming Word for Macintosh 98. The importer is available as a 1.4 MB download from the Microsoft Web site, and according to a contact at Microsoft, it will remain a beta for at least a little while. If you've experienced problems with Word 97 users not remembering to convert documents into Word 5 or 6 format for you, the beta may prove helpful, though I recommend you skim the list of known problems in the Read Me file. The installer installs the importer (called Word 97-98 Import version 97081800), some new graphics filters (JPEG, PNG, and metafile), and a batch converter. The importer requires a 68020-based Macintosh or better.
In its announcement of Office 98, Microsoft noted Office 98 will run on PowerPC-based Macs only and will be self-repairing - that is, if a user unwittingly removes one of the many shared libraries required by Office 98, the software will automatically generate a new library. [TJE]