What Is an HWP File?

An HWP file is a document created by a Korean word processor

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What to Know

  • An HWP file is a Hanword document file.
  • Open and edit with Hancom Office, or for free with OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
  • Convert to DOCX, PDF, etc. with those same programs.

This article describes what an HWP file is, all the different ways you can view or edit one, and how to convert one to a more recognizable format like DOCX, RTF, or PDF.

What Is an HWP File?

A file with the HWP file extension is a document created by the South Korean company Hancom. It's similar to Microsoft Word's DOCX format, except that it can contain Korean written language, making it one of the standard document formats used by the South Korean government.

Screenshot of several HWP files in Windows 10 that open with OpenOffice

HWP is also an abbreviation for things that have nothing to do with a word processor, like Hewlett-Packard Company (its old stock symbol, replaced by HPQ) and health and welfare plan.

How to Open an HWP File

Probably the quickest way to view an HWP file is to upload it to Cloud HWP Viewer. It provides an incredibly simple way to not only view the document, but also copy text out of it, save images, and print the document, all without needing to install anything on your computer.

For editing support, use OpenOffice Writer or LibreOffice Writer, two completely free and powerful word processor programs. Know, however, that when saving the document in either of those programs, you have to choose a different format (like DOC or DOCX) because they don't support writing back to an HWP file.

Microsoft provides a free tool for opening the format, too, called Hanword HWP Document Converter. Installing this lets you use Word to open the HWP file by converting it to DOCX.

Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice can open HWP files only if they were created with Hangul '97—newer versions of the HWP file can't be used with these applications.

Hancom Office is another HWP viewer/editor, but it's only free during the trial period. It can open not only HWP files but also HWPX and HWT files, which are similar file formats. This free file viewer supports other Hancom Office formats, too, like CELL, NXL, HCDT, SHOW, and HPT, as well as MS Office file formats.

How to Convert an HWP File

If you're already using one of the HWP editors from above, like LibreOffice Writer, you can export or convert the HWP to DOC, DOCX, PDF, RTF, and other document formats.

The Cloud HWP Viewer linked above lets you download the document as an HTML file. It also dumps all the images from the document into a separate folder for easy viewing.

You can also convert an HWP file with Filestar. It's a desktop converter for Windows and macOS that supports over two dozen export formats, including DOCX, PDF, PSD, DOTX, WPT, and others.

Still Can't Open It?

If your file still won't open after trying the suggestions above, there's a good chance you're misreading the file extension. Some files use a similar file extension even though the formats are completely unrelated.

For example, you might be confusing Hedgewars saved game or demo files, which use the HWS and HWD file extension, for an HWP file. Those types of files are used with the Hedgewars game and can't be opened with any of the HWP openers/editors above.

WPH is another example where all the same file extension letters are used but instead of being related to a document file format, they're actually Phoenix BIOS files.

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