Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Mar 2006 18:45 UTC
Linux "As a Linux user, there are times when you have to play nicely with users of Windows or Mac OS - such as when they send you Microsoft Word files. When you receive a Word file, you can either follow Richard Stallman's advice and refuse it, or bite the bullet and work with it. Modern Linux word processors - such as Writer, AbiWord, KWord, and TextMaker - can deal with most Word files. But if you don't want to fire up a word processor in order to read or print the document, you can turn to the command line. A handful of small but powerful Linux command line utilities make viewing, printing, and even converting Word files to another format, a breeze."
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by alcibiades on Wed 1st Mar 2006 20:50 UTC
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Files with tables, in different versions of Word, on a collaborative work project. Couldn't open all of them in my own copy of Word. Yes you can get them resent in rtf. Or, you can strip out the binary in text editor, but you still have a text file which is not tabular. To get it tabular, so you can easily import it into say a spreadsheet, awk is the answer.

Awk is not intuitive, but it is incredibly concise, and there is nothing like it for text/string manipulation. A couple of days learning it is an investment for the rest of your life. The best book is awk and sed - O'Reilly, as usual.

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