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

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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


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

8 comment

  1. Hi,
    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. sir/madam
    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. 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. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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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