Surviving in a DOC infested world

Conrad Canterford conrad at
Wed Nov 6 11:30:30 EST 2002

On Wed, 2002-11-06 at 10:13, Matthew Hawkins wrote:
> Rasjid Wilcox (rasjidw at wrote:
> > If you can convince the sender to repost as RTF, that is usually a big 
> > improvement, although the page layout can still end up a little different.
> I've actually found more recently that there's more tools to deal with
> .DOC format(s) than RTF.  How do you deal with RTF documents?

I use OpenOffice for just about everything (OK, so it can't read PDF,
which is a nuisance, but I wasn't surprised by it). It works fine for me
(version 1.0.1 on i386, Redhat 7.3). 

I use it to read (and write) both .doc and .rtf files quite happily.
I've never had problems with 1.0.1 crashing opening word documents
(which I did have with a pre-release version I tested many months ago).

I have a few small quibbles with it:

- It gets *very* confused with some formatting things in RTF - and I
think its the align-right text that does it. A quick check of the RTF
file produced with a little right-aligned text shows that it loads into
word95 just fine, but when loading back into OpenOffice, it screws up
the formating something shocking.

- It has a nasty habit of losing where it should end bold text in Word
format documents when you load them back in. I haven't tried these
documents in word95, so I don't know if this is a load problem like the
RTF one, or a save problem.

The work-around for the above two problems is to save everything as an
OpenOffice document while working on it, and do a save-as to the
required final format once you're happy with it. (This may not solve the
word document bolding problem, but at least you can continue editing it
without having to deal with excessive bold text).

- There are one or two other small things which I don't remember, but
which I've learnt to work around.

Overall, I've found it quite stable and nice to use. Doesn't leak memory
anywhere near as badly as StarOffice 5.2 (although it still does leak a

Conrad Canterford  (conrad at
Water Sprite Pty Ltd   |  url -
GPO Box 355,           |  - Australian Tour and Event Management (ATEM)
Canberra, ACT 2601     |  - Ticketing Division.
Mobile: +61 402 697054 |  - Catering Services Division.

More information about the linux mailing list