Re: Converting to text

Subject: Re: Converting to text
From: Eric Ray <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>
To: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 11:55:23 -0700

> I've asked this before, I'll ask it again (in hopes that someone has
> invented some new whiz-bang gizmo):

It's not new, but ...

> Does anyone know of a macro, tool, program, utility, potion, magic
> and/or sacrificial offering that will convert a Word document to
> text?
> Readable is the key word here, folks. It's possible to simply "Save
> As=text", but when you try that on a document that has columns,
tables, or
> other formatting, you are, in a word, screwed. Another problem we've
> encountered with "Save As=text" is the unique and mystifying ability
> Word to take a 20 page document and turn it into one long line of
> paragraph breaks, no page breaks--nothing!


> c'mon...share your knowledge...c' me how to do
> dance...

Save the Word doc as HTML (or convert to HTML via whatever means you
choose). It doesn't have to be great at all--just a rudimentary
conversion with all of the extraneous crap that Word tosses in will be
just fine.

Then, find a unix command line so you can use the lynx (character-
Web browser. Use:
lynx -dump filename.html > filename.txt
You can dump multiple files or directories with this and tweak options
to get exactly what you need. For example, using this:
lynx -dump -nolist -image_links off -pseudo_inlines off \
-width 60 > testoutput.txt

I got this from the techwr-l homepage at
(despite the fairly complex table structure as well as lots of

(Note that I scrunched the width for better emailing and just because


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