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Re: How to convert .doc to plain text ascii in emacs.

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: How to convert .doc to plain text ascii in emacs.
Date: Sun, 02 May 2004 18:57:14 +1000
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

>>>>> "Don" == Don Saklad <address@hidden> writes:

 Don> What related emacs commands are there that might convert an
 Don> rmail attachment from .doc to plain text ascii ?...

 Don> It is an rmail message distributed from local government about
 Don> an upcoming public hearing.

There are two solutions I've used for this. The first is a set of
utilities called wvWare - I think they are related to abiword. At any
rate, if your using Debian, just install wv.

The second product I've used is one called catdoc. Its not quite as
powerful, but works reasonably well. 

If your using VM as your mail reader, its trivial to configure it to
run either the wv utility or catdoc on the attachment and have it
display in the buffer as text. With wv, I think you also have the
option to have it rendered as HTML as well.

As a last resort, you could use "strings" on the document to get the
content, but you will probably have a fair amount of crap mixed in
with it.

Note that the only time I've found the wv utilities have failed is
when I've recieved attachments witht e msword mime type, but which are
actually M$ bloody RTF format. I have'nt worked out a reliable way to
translate M$ RTF (which is not the rich text format we all knew a
decade ago!).

I would also contact the authority who send word documents and request
they use a less proprietry format - even PDF is better!


Tim Cross
The e-mail address on this message is FALSE (obviously!). My real e-mail is
to a company in Australia called rapttech and my login is tcross - if you 
really need to send mail, you should be able to work it out!

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