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How can we read Microsoft Word (.doc) files in a Linux system? It doesn't support .doc files. I tried

strings filename.doc | less

but it gives ugly output. Any other option?

I would prefer a GUI based tool.

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Install OpenOffice or LibreOffice then. – EightBitTony Aug 7 '11 at 9:52
or abiword, kwrite, – Sirex Aug 8 '11 at 9:24
up vote 14 down vote accepted

If you want a graphical solution, then you might be able to open them with Open Office or Libre Office.

There's also antiword

Antiword is a free MS Word reader for Linux and RISC OS. There are ports to FreeBSD, BeOS, OS/2, Mac OS X, Amiga, VMS, NetWare, Plan9, EPOC, Zaurus PDA, MorphOS, Tru64/OSF, Minix, Solaris and DOS. Antiword converts the binary files from Word 2, 6, 7, 97, 2000, 2002 and 2003 to plain text and to PostScript.

catdoc -

Catdoc is a MS Word file decoding tool that doesn't attempt to analyze file formatting (it just extracts readable text), but is able to handle all versions of Word and convert character encodings.

And a couple of other options mentioned here (linux.com).

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I'd add docx2txt to the list - mainly for reading the cursed new .docx format (Late$t $tandardtm).

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I've found Abiword to be one of the more adept at handling word files on Linux. The formatting isn't always as close as Libre Office (the big boy on the block and your main bet) but what does come through usually ends up in a cleaner more usable format.

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I usually encounter these when I am online. If you are using Firefox or one of it's stepchildren, I recommend the Docs Online Viewer plugin for this. A little eyeball icon appears next to any type of document it can handle. Just click on the eyeball to view.

It handles: "PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, PPT, RTF, ODT, ODS, ODP, CSV and many other formats"

There is a Chrome version, but I have not used it.

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Try the free MS Word Viewer running with wine.

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