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This question already has an answer here:

How does one get a program like a word doc onto MS DOS to begin with? I have a set of files that are backups, only one with .exe that is from an ancient word processor and would eventually like to use it to read into ancient documents. Starting with a WINDOWS HP or a MAC. Is the latter possible also?

Specifically, I would like to open some documents in IBM FILING ASSISTANT and IBM WRITING ASSISTANT, which are old 1980s word processors from the IBM PC days. I currently have a WINDOWS HP, with which I would like to use the above programs. Can I get direction and if possible specific instructions? I currently have DOSBOX installed through D FEND RELOADED, but do not know how to go to the next step, if even that is possible.

marked as duplicate by Stephen Kitt, scruss, mnem, Leo B., bjb May 15 '17 at 16:18

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    What exactly are you trying to do? Copying a doc file onto MS-DOS is trivial. Editing it once it is there is another matter. – Chenmunka May 9 '17 at 7:36
  • What is the document extension? – user_0 May 9 '17 at 10:44
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    Word documents aren't programs, they're documents. Word (the program) predates Windows and was available as an MS-DOS program for years beforehand, and that's probably what the EXE is. You may be able to read the documents with a current version of Word. – Blrfl May 9 '17 at 13:31
  • If you find a need to run an original DOS program, like the DOS versions of MS-Word, and you are running Windows 7 or later, you will need either a virtual machine (VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, etc.) with a copy of DOS installed, or a program like DOSBOX, which allows you to run legacy programs without as much overhead as a full virtual machine. – Jeff Zeitlin May 9 '17 at 15:39
  • yes, absolute duplicate from same poster. Even changed title and content so my answer doesn't make sense now … – scruss May 10 '17 at 13:50
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I'd recommend installing DOSBox, as it gives you a walled-garden emulation that won't mess up any Windows configuration. If you make a folder (say dosbox/cdrive), in DOSBox you can issue the command

mount c dosbox/cdrive

and that will map everything in that folder to the emulator's C: drive.

I've successfully installed and run MS Word 5.5 and Protext under DOSBox. Direct printing doesn't work (as stock DOSBox doesn't support it) but installing a PostScript driver, printing to file, and then converting to PDF works.

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    The two download links are legitimate, incidentally: Microsoft sanctioned a release of Word 5.5 around Y2K, and Protext is now available to use for free. – scruss May 9 '17 at 16:44
  • For what it's worth, the Daum's Cafe SVN of DOSBox does support printing, and seems to be pretty solid. – Jeff Zeitlin May 9 '17 at 17:08
  • but it doesn't build on my Ubuntu system. Print to file has worked well enough for me. – scruss May 10 '17 at 13:55

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