There are two programs using the .lwp file extension, the first being Lotus Word Pro. Word Pro is the word processor component of the Lotus SmartSuite office suite. The Word Pro .lwp files are text files created with this software, comparable to the Microsoft .doc or the OpenOffice odt. Both Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org support the importation of .lwp files, though the imports seldom go perfectly. It's not unusual to lose some formatting, font styles, and embedded objects.
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Lotus offers a free program called KeyView, downloadable from their website, which allows for viewing of .lwp files without the need for Word Pro. The documents can be copied and pasted into a different word processor and saved in a new format. As with importation, formatting and embedded objects are sometimes lost when the data is pasted into the word processor. A suggested work around is to print to a PDF file from KeyView, then open the PDF and use it to copy and paste into the word processor. This extra step should preserve the document entirely.
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More Info Regarding File Extension Lwp
Users of Lotus Word Pro have the ability to secure their .lwp files through password protection. A password protected file cannot be accessed without the password, so if the user doesn't have it he may be out of luck. Lotus Word Pro Password 1.2 is a Windows based program that will scan and retrieve the password for any Lotus .lwp or .mwp file.
As with any text file, errors with .lwp files are not common. When one does occur it is generally one of two things. The first is simply corrupted data which may cause the word processor to hang or crash, or produce any range of error messages without opening the document. Files created with newer versions of Word Pro may not be backward compatible with older versions; user's should consult their documentation for this information. The second type of error involves importing a .lwp file into Microsoft Word or Open Office. Depending on the original language of the document and the version with which it was created, certain filters may be needed to complete the import. If filters are need by MS Office or Open Office the user should see a screen prompt explaining the problem. Both office suites have filters available from their respective Support departments.
The second program using the .lwp file extension is Lightwright, a software tool used by designers of professional lighting systems found in theater productions and other similar venues. The Lightwright .lwp is a file with the information used to control dimmer rack power phase layouts. On its own the .lwp file doesn't do much for the software; it's just one component in a collection of many that make the lighting project complete. Attempting to use the data in an .lwp outside of Lightwright would be fruitless. The format is proprietary and the files cannot be opened or edited by any other software.
Errors with these files are contained mostly to corrupt data problems. Corrupt data may not allow Lightwright to use the information correctly and require that design elements be redone from scratch. Although unlikely, it is possible to corrupt this .lwp file by double clicking on it outside of the Lightwright software. If a computer's file associations link the .lwp to Lotus Word Pro and the file is double clicked, the act of Lotus trying to open the file could damage it. It is suggested that users always open Lightwright .lwp files within the software environment, never by double clicking them.
A third association with .lwp files has been linked to an IBM Works for OS/2 document, but this is unconfirmed. It's unlikely due to the fact that Lotus is an IBM product originally developed for OS/2 and Windows. The file association was probably found on an older IBM computer running and older version of Word Pro that was under a different name.