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File Format
Name Volkswriter
Extension(s) .vw, .vw3
Released 1982

Volkswriter was a popular word processor for the PC-DOS platform in the 1980s with a name inspired by Volkswagen. Originally released by Lifetree Software, it was later bought out by some of its employees and spun off as a separate company (which was lauded for a while as a successful move), but never managed to successfully transision to the newer, Windows-based PC market.

Like most word processors of that era, Volkswriter was not that far removed from a text editor (the distinction between text editors and word processors was nowhere near as solid then as now). The plain-text parts of a document are stored as normal ASCII, and so should be recoverable even lacking a program with specific Volkswriter import capability. However, a number of special embedded commands such as control codes and "dot command" lines were used, which might cause a document to show up with lots of enbedded gibberish if loaded into a program that doesn't understand these codes.

(TO DO: if somebody can find a Volkswriter manual or other documentation which explains the specific embedded commands, that would be very useful information to add here.)

Due to its popularity at the time, there was sometimes a Volkswriter import mode in slightly-later word processors including WordPerfect. However, this is rarely found now since Volkswriter is considered so archaic.


  • WinConv - software to handle text conversion between various formats including Volkswriter; commercial software with limited trial mode


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