Quoting spellberg_robert <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
i finally ran into a situation where
  my existing approaces are no longer satisfactory.

i never bought "office".
i have a twelve_year_old version of "wordperfect"
  from [ at that time ] novell that still works just fine
  [ i first used wordperfect in the early 1980's; why change ?
it doesn't recognize new ms formats.

sometimes, i can use "wordpad" on
  my "win_98_se" box that still works;
  but not always.

my lawyer insists on hard_copy and snail_mail,
  so my principal application is, actually, obviated.

if files only had a few dozen lines,
  i could edit them by hand in "vi".

i simply did not have enough situations
  to demand a more sophisticated approach;
  now, i do.

i started here [ over 1000 entries ]


  where i found nothing relevant under "doc" and
  where i found "word2x", which looks --really-- old and
  where i found "wv", which seemed more promising.

wv by itself could probably do most of what you're looking for. It includes a "wvText" binary which produces quasi-formatted text-only output from .doc input. It also includes wvHtml, wvPS, wvPDF, wvLatex, etc.

Others have already commented on the GUI-based Word workalikes available but I'll add my own. I like Abiword since it's lightweight but I tend to use OpenOffice.org on modern-ish machines since it can handle more bells and whistles (and if I'm using a word processor instead of a text editor then bells and whistles are frequently the reason). Koffice/kword is between the other two in regard to complexity and is a good alternative if something doesn't work quite right elsewhere. All can read and write Word documents compatible with the 97/XP/2003 versions of Office. Not sure about the Word 2007 format.


searching the questions and newbies mail archives,
  i found antiword and catdoc, but this is from 2002_feb.

while reading up on "wv", i found this


  which caused me to search.

i found this


both of these seem to jog my memory, but my memory ....

my application is to exchange text files, by e_mail,
  with someone who thinks ms products are the be_all and end_all
  [ after all,
      if "everyone" is spending thousands of dollars on software,
      just like he is,
      what makes me so special ?
i anticipate acquiring other people like this in the near future,
  so my time on this just may be well_spent.
in general,
  these are not the kind of folks who find
  manipulating files intuitively obvious.
yet, i may find that i have to give them special instruction.

i am not looking for something wonderful,
  just reasonably competent and reasonably current.
if, in addition to my desired direction,
  i can convert a 7_bit_ascii to a ".doc" file for his benefit,
  that's some further whining that i can avoid.

i strongly suspect that,
  as soon as this becomes a solved problem,
  ms changes something critical,
  so this may be a fool's errand.
none_the_less, i'll give it a try.

which one or several things are generally accepted
  for this format_conversion task ?

is this "abiword" one of them or do i seek something else ?

if something else, can someone point me in a useful direction
  [ whether or not it is something i have named ] ?

while 6.2 and, soon, 7.x are de rigeur,
  if it works on 4.11 [ very long story ], that's a plus.

thanks whole bunches in advance.

[ please cc me,
    as my attempt to re_subscribe to the list as a courtesy
    doesn't seem to be taking.

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