Charles Moore's Mailbag

Using Word 5.1 Files with Later Versions of Word, Keyboard Marks on a MacBook Screen, and More

Charles Moore - 2008.08.14 - Tip Jar

Opening Word 5.1 Files with Recent Versions of Word

From Mary-Jo:

Dear Charles Moore

I looked for an email address but couldn't find one, so here goes in snail mail. My email address is above.

For many years I was a member of several Low End Mac discussion groups and found them very helpful. Thanks.

Right now, I'm disposing of some excess Mac equipment. I have a clamshell G3 filled with files done in Word 5.1. I had been putting them, one by one, into .RTF, transferring them to my Tiger computer, and an opening them in Mariner. Very time consuming.

I'd like to find the best solution version of Microsoft Word (working in Tiger) that will open Word 5.1 files. I believe the latest versions do, but it's hard to judge. I would like the simplest version possible, as I do not run a business, etc. I've written to Microsoft, which is not at all interested in my problem! No reply. (No surprise.)

Any comment you might have would be appreciated for sure!

Thanks very much!


Dear Mary-Jo,

Thanks for your note.

I must discuss with Dan about making my email address more prominent. [Editor's note: All of our articles have an email link - just click on the writer's name. That's been a normal feature on the Web since before we started publishing Low End Mac way back in 1987. dk]

I'm not a Microsoft Word user (since Version 5.1) anyway, but I know for a fact that Microsoft Word X, the 2000 edition, which is the newest version of Word I've sampled, opens Word 5.1 files just fine, and also is supported by OS X at least up to Leopard for PowerPC.

The Wikipedia entry for Microsoft Word seems to indicate that the latest Word 2008 is still able to open Word 5.1 files, although not necessarily with formatting completely accurate. That would be from the Microsoft Office for Mac 12.1.1 Update version forward - maybe, according to this Macworld article, which addresses the issue at some length.

You might be safer with Word 2004.

Incidentally, if you're still running OS X 10.4 Tiger, Word 5.1 still works in OS X Classic Mode, which is still available on PowerPC versions of Tiger up to 10.4.11.

Personally, I usually just drag Word 5.1 files to the Tex-Edit Plus text editor, which delivers the text content just fine, although without supporting any text formatting or photos that may be in the original document.

I hope this helps some.


Keyboard Marks on a MacBook Screen

From Dolna:

My boys (husband and two of three sons) still like their MacBooks.

Question: both sons use a silicone keyboard cover. I like these covers, but I notice that the imprint of the keyboard cover seems to be permanently on the monitor (not "etched" but "stuck" or "ingrained" ) . . . is there a way to remove this?

It probably doesn't help that he leaves his cover on the keyboard all the time, even when the laptop is closed, so the outline of the keyboard cover is pressing into the monitor for long periods . . . like a bulky sandwich filling pressing into soft bread. I like these keyboard covers, and if I ever buy a new keyboard, I'd buy one.

Also, do you know if I can install 10.4.11 from one of the MacBook Software Restore disks or if I'd first have to purchase the program (son thinks yes)? I'm not planning to give up my eMac until it dies, so I'm anxious to see what effect a new OS would have. My eMac has 1 GHz G4 and 1 GB of RAM, and is currently running OS X 10.3.9.


Hi Dolna,

The problem with marking the screen on the MacBook is finger grease. Unfortunately it's not easy to remove without potentially causing worse damage. A particular problem with the glossy finish the MacBook display has, I imagine.

You can get little insert blankets to insert when the 'Book is closed to prevent this happening (or getting worse). RadTech ScreenSavrz are nice ones. My wife has one for her iBook:

There are two types of OS X install DVDs (or CDs, with older versions) - a generic one that you purchase that will work with any supported Mac (although the Apple EULA stipulates that it is for installing on only one machine) and the System Restore DVDs/CDs that ship with new Macs and contain a software block that prevents them from being used with different model Macs.

You won't notice any speed increase with 10.4.11 compared with a clean install of 10.3.9, but you'll get a more extensive feature set (especially Spotlight, which I can't live without anymore), plus a lot better compatibility with current software.


Value of Panasonic SuperDrive in a Pismo

From Russell:

I got a UJ-850 off eBay back in May. and so far it works great. It won't work to burn from the Finder, but it seems to work well for everything else so far. I hadn't heard of PatchBurn; I will have to try it.

The 850 is smooth, fast, and quiet! It is crazy how the old slow original Pismo DVD read-only drives go for over $40 when these newer ones go for so much less. I just searched eBay for "UJ" to find a hundred or so....


Hi Russell,

I have a couple of Panasonic UJ-825s plus a 4x SuperDrive (I forget the model number), all in Pismo expansion bay sleds, and no problem burning disks from the Finder using Disk Utility with any of them. I've had PatchBurn (various versions) installed for years.

Yes, these drives are an incredible bargain, especially if you buy them loose and install them yourself (or as a DIY kit from Wegener Media).


Question Regarding SteelPad S&S Mousepad

From David Li:

Hi Charles,

I am planning to buy the SteelPad S&S mousepad, and I came across to your review of the mousepad. You gave an excellent review of the product, and I am curious did you buy the product online and have it shipped to you or you picked it up in a store?

This is because I noticed on the packaging of the SteelPad mouse, the top left corner as well as the entire left side of the mousepad is exposed. I am planning to order it via Amazon, and I am concerned, during the shipping process, will the mousepad be damaged, etc., due to the exposed corner and sides? I appreciate your feedback and reply. Thanks!


Hi David,

All SteelSeries products I've reviewed (several mousepads and gaming headsets) over the past five years or so have been shipped to me directly from Denmark, and I've not encountered any damage in transit so far. I don't have total recall as to what the packaging was like, but it didn't seem inadequate.

The S&S mousepad is a pretty tough piece of gear anyway, so although I suppose anything can happen in individual instances, I wouldn't worry unduly. Still the best mousepad I've ever used.


Go to Charles Moore's Mailbag index.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

at BackBeat Media (646-546-5194). This number is for advertising only.

Open Link