Linux to word file reformatting?

Subject: Linux to word file reformatting?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 10:25:07 -0400

David Bazell reports: <<I am transferring a number of documents the
linux/latex environment to a windows/word environment. My latext docs end
up with hard paragraph markers that shorten the lines, while word just wants
to wrap the lines automatically at the end of the line. Is there an easy way
to delete all the paragraph markers?>>

You'd think you could just copy and paste the paragraph marker into the
dialog box, but no such luck. Instead, with the dialog box open, click the
More button. Position the cursor in the appropriate field (here, "Find"),
then click the Special button to pop up a menu of special characters that
Word can use in the search and replace functions. Select "Paragraph mark",
and you'll see that Word inserts ^p (the caret symbol, found over the number
6 on most keyboards, followed by lower-case P... that's important) in the
field. You can always access this character from the Special submenu, but
now that you know there's a typable shortcut for it, it's faster to simply
type ^p. Replace these with spaces if there's no blank space at the end of
each line, or leave the "replace with" field blank if there's a space
already present.

One cool thing is that if you select only a section of text (e.g., a
paragraph) before you open the search and replace dialog, you can confine
the changes to the selected text. That's useful if your particular problem
is that you get paragraph markers at the end of each line, but not extra
ones at the end of the paragraph. If you do have double returns at the ends
of paragraphs, globally replace these (^p^p) with [] first, then remove all
the remaining paragraph markers. Finish up by replacing all [] with ^p to
restore the paragraph breaks. Nothing magical about [], but I almost never
see this in a file, so it's a safe temporary placeholder for most people.

If you have some idle time, spend some time exploring the other options in
this dialog box, including what happens when you click the Format button;
you can search and replace for all kinds of cool things. If you do this kind
of reformatting a lot, record what you've done as a macro. Alternatively,
look into a product such as "text soap" ( that can
automate much of the work for you.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"With Linux, customers end up being in the operating systems business,
managing software updates and security patches while making sure the
multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other."--Microsoft
spokesperson in a article

"And just how would that be different from Windows?"--Adam Engst, TidBITS

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