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

by on March 5, 2006 · 8 comments· LAST UPDATED November 1, 2006

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You can use program like 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… read them below or add one }

1 Archit January 22, 2009 at 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


2 ritish k desai January 28, 2009 at 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


3 bharat prajapati April 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

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


4 salma June 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

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


5 Ashok October 13, 2012 at 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?


6 Wilder April 1, 2013 at 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.


7 Michael G. Myhera December 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Linux sucks. Use Solaris.


8 saswati January 10, 2014 at 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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