Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: Version @catdoc_version@
catdoc - reads MS-Word file and puts its content as plain text on standard output
catdoc [-vlu8btawxV] [-m
behaves much like
but it reads MS-Word file and produces human-readable text on standard output.
Optionally it can use
escape sequences for characters which have special meaning for LaTeX.
It also makes some effort to recognize MS-Word tables, although it never
tries to write correct headers for LaTeX tabular environment. Additional
output formats, such is HTML can be easily defined.
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. See CHARACTER SUBSTITUTION below
representation of text, so it is able to convert texts when charset in
source document doesn't match charset on target system.
See CHARACTER SETS below.
If no file names supplied,
processes its standard input unless it is terminal. It is unlikely that
somebody could type Word document from keyboard, so if
invoked without arguments and stdin is not redirected, it prints brief
usage message and exits.
Processing of standard input (even among other files) can be forced using
dash '-' as file name.
wraps lines which are more than 72 chars long and separates paragraphs by
blank lines. This behavior can be turned of by
catdoc prints each paragraph as one long line, suitable for import into
word processors that perform word wrapping.
- shortcut for -f ascii. Produces ASCII text as output.
Separates table columns with TAB
- process broken MS-Word file. Normally,
catdoc checks if first 8 bytes
of file is Microsoft OLE signature. If so, it processes file, otherwise
it just copies it to stdin. It is intended to use
as filter for viewing all files with
- specifies destination charset name. Charset file has format described in
CHARACTER SETS below and should have
extension and reside in
catdoc library directory ( /usr/lib64/catdoc). By default, current
locale charset is used if langinfo support compiled in.
- specifies output format as described in CHARACTER SUBSTITUTION below.
comes with two output formats - ascii and tex. You can add your own if you
to list names of available charsets to the stdout and exit successfully.
Specifies right margin for text (default 72).
is equivalent to
Specifies source charset. (one used in Word document), if Word document
doesn't contain UTF-16 text. When reading rtf documents, it is
typically not necessary, because rtf documents contain ansicpg
specification. But it can be set wrong by Word (I've seen RTF documents
on Russian, where cp1252 was specified). In this case this option would
take precedence over charset, specified in the document. But
source_charset statement in the configuration file have less priority
than charset in the document.
- shortcut for
converts all printable chars, which have special meaning for
into appropriate control sequences. Separates table columns by
- declares that Word document contain UNICODE (UTF-16) representation
of text (as some Word-97 documents). If catdoc fails to correct Word document
with default charset, try this option.
- declares is Word document is 8 bit. Just in case that catdoc
recognizes file format incorrectly.
disables word wrapping. By default
output is split into lines not longer than 72 (or number, specified by
-m option) characters and paragraphs
are separated by blank line. With this option each paragraph is one
causes catdoc to output unknown UNICODE character as \xNNNN, instead
of question marks.
causes catdoc to print some useless information about word document
structure to stdout before actual start of text.
outputs catdoc version
When processing MS-Word file
uses information about two character sets, typically different
- input and output. They are stored in plain text files in
library directory. Character set files should contain two whitespace-separated
hexadecimal numbers - 8-bit code in character set and 16-bit Unicode code.
Anything from hash mark to end of line is ignored, as well as blank lines.
distribution includes some of these character sets. Additional character set
definitions, directly usable by
can be obtained from ftp.unicode.org. Charset files have
suffix, which shouldn't be specified in command-line or configuration
is distributed with Cyrillic charsets as default. If you are not
Russian, you probably don't want it, an should reconfigure catdoc at
compile time or in runtime configuration file.
When dealing with documents with charsets other than default, remember
that Microsoft never uses ISO charsets. While letters in, say cp1252 are
at the same position as in ISO-8859-1, some punctuation signs would be
lost, if you specify ISO-8859-1 as input charset. If you use cp1252,
catdoc would deal with those signs as described in CHARACTER
converts MS-Word file into following internal Unicode representation:
- 1. Paragraphs are separated by ASCII Line Feed symbol (0x000A)
- 2. Table cells within row are separated by ASCII Field Separator symbol
- 3. Table rows are separated by ASCII Record Separator (0x001E)
- 4. All printable characters, including whitespace are represented with their
respective UNICODE codes.
This UNICODE representation is subsequently converted into 8-bit text in
target character set using following four-step algorithm:
- 1. List of special characters is searched for given Unicode character.
If found, then appropriate multi-character sequence is output instead of
- 2. If there is an equivalent in target character set, it is output.
- 3. Otherwise, replacement list is searched and, if there is multi-character
substitution for this UNICODE char, it is output.
- 4. If all above fails, "Unknown char" symbol (question mark) is output.
Lists of special characters and list of substitution are character
set-independent, because special chars should be escaped regardless of their
existence in target character set (usually, they are parts of US-ASCII, and
therefore exist in any character set) and replacement list is searched only
for those characters, which are not found in target character set.
These lists are stored in
library directory in files with prefix of format name. These files have
Each line can be either comment (starting with hash mark) or contain
hexadecimal UNICODE value, separated by whitespace from string, which
would be substituted instead of it. If string contain no whitespace it
can be used as is, otherwise it should be enclosed in single or double
quotes. Usual backslash sequences like
can be used in these string.
Upon startup catdoc reads its system-wide configuration file (
library directory) and then
user-specific configuration file
These files can contain following directives:
- source_charset = charset-name
Sets default source charset, which would be used if no
option specified. Consult configuration of nearby windows
workstation to find one you need.
- target_charset = charset-name
Sets default output charset. You probably know, which one you use.
- charset_path = directory-list
colon-separated list of directories, which are searched for charset files.
This allows you to install additional charsets in your home directory.
If first directory component of path is ~ it is replaced by contents of
On MS-DOS platform, if directory name starts with %s, it is replaced
with directory of executable file. Empty element in list (i.e. two
consequitve colons) is considered current directory.
- map_path = directory-list
colon-separated list of directories, which are searched for special character
map and replacement map.
Same substitution rules as in
- format = format name
Output format which would be used by default.
comes with two formats -
ascii and tex
but nothing prevents you from writing your own format (set two map files -
special character map and replacement map).
- unknown_char = character specification
sets character to output instead of unknown Unicode character (default '?')
Character specification can have one of two form - character enclosed in
single quotes or hexadecimal code.
- use_locale =(yes|no)
Enables or disables automatic selection of output charset (default
system locale settings (if enabled at compile time). If automatic
detection is enabled, than output charset settings in the configuration
files (but not in the command line) are ignored, and current system
locale charset is used instead. There are no automatic choice of input
charset, based of locale language, because most modern Word files (since
Word 97) are Unicode anyway
fast-saves properly. Prints footnotes as separate paragraphs at the end of
file, instead of producing correct LaTeX commands. Cannot distinguish
between empty table cell and end of table row.