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Re: your mail


On Mon, 11 Oct 1999, Roger Dickey wrote:

> I am trying to fax MS Word documents through HylaFax but I get a: "Can not
> determine file type" error. Is there any way to format Office documents or a
> way to disable file checking?

Oh, my. MS Word format is the result of inbreeding cousins so severely
that they no longer share any genetic code with anything else. Like a
coelocanth dragged from the depths, they can't just be put in the same
tank with anything else but require their own special, pressurized

Unless you fry 'em, with a little butter and maybe a lemon wedge: then
they fit in the fridge just fine. In this case, that means outputting
the contents of the MS Word document as a Postscript file by using
Micro$oft's print drivers on the PC where you wrote the document and
sending that to HylaFAX with WHFC or some other tool on the UNIX side.

Note: this is entirely Micro$oft's fault. They have designed a
proprietary, undocumented and eternally evolving standard that they
deliberately alter *AND LIE TO OTHER DEVELOPERS ABOUT* just to break
other software that tries to interpret them. Examples abound: new MS
Word documents cannot be handled by old tools, secret fields of data
for tracking authorship of documents by the MAC address of their
computers are now added, and just don't get me going about this: it
won't be pretty, and that bit about fish in the fridge left me hungry.

Note also that HylaFAX can only directly handle three formats of
document: TIFF (which it translages into a specific form for faxes,
tiffg3), Postscript (which it translates to TIFF using ghostscript),
or text (which it turns to Postscript using textfmt). Anything else
has to be turned into one of those to be handled.

If you're really stuck with MS Word documents, you might try using
"catdoc" or "mswordview", which can translate most of MS Word
documents to raw text or even HTML for easier handling. But
they're not perfect. Look at this web site for pointers on the
somewhat superior "mswordview".


			Nico Kadel-Garcia
			Senior Engineer, CIRL 
			Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary

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