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Open MS-Word and MS-PowerPoint file under Linux/UNIX

You can use program like OpenOffice.org office application to open Ms-Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files under Linux, FreeBSD and other Unixish oses. If you are looking for command line based utilities then try out catdoc or catppt:

catdoc : Reads MS-Word file and puts its content as plain text on standard output. catdoc doesn’t attempt to extract formatting information other than tables from MS-Word document, so different output modes means mainly that different characters should be escaped and different ways used to represent characters, missing from output charset
$ catdoc filename.doc
$ catdoc filename.doc > /tmp/output.txt

catppt : Reads MS-PowerPoint file and puts its content on standard output
catppt filename.ppt
catdoc filename.ppt > /tmp/output.txt

You may need to install catdoc and catppt using apt-get, yum or FreeBSD ports collection:
# apt-get install catdoc catppt

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • ArchitJanuary 22, 2009, 1:54 pm

    nice tuto…
    but problem with me is quit different…
    i now shifted to linux (red hat enterprise ed..) now problem with me is that i am not able to open my ms word files in open office,I get someting like this msg :
    “Unable to open document”
    “Unhandeled MIME type:”application/msword””

    plz help me coz they are really important documents of me and my family…
    Thanking you bof u r above litrature.
    Hoping u r kind co-operation

  • ritish k desaiJanuary 28, 2009, 10:12 am

    i want to know that i can use excel file in linux as well as in microsoft? if yes pls. tell me how? pls. send detail on my mail

  • bharat prajapatiApril 1, 2010, 9:44 am

    i m not able to open powerpoint files in linux….
    how can i check openoffice.org is in my rhel 5..
    if not..than how can i install openoffice.org

    • salmaJune 29, 2011, 9:50 am

      I can,t open some of my powerpoint file ( it said ,it is in adiffrent conversion )

  • AshokOctober 13, 2012, 5:41 am

    Dear sir
    I hv shifted to ubantuu linux platfirm fir thin client. Now word fike in windows when opened with openorg, its firmating n appearance is disturbed. How to resolve as i need to use knly openorg in linux?

  • WilderApril 1, 2013, 9:05 am

    hi,i met a problem with catppt, it doesn’t cat the content of file which is a .ppt type created by MS office 2003.

  • Michael G. MyheraDecember 18, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Linux sucks. Use Solaris.

  • saswatiJanuary 10, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Dear Sir,
    when I a working in a table in word document I am unable to find the ‘Text Direction’ option as like windows operating system. So kindly help me.

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