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Re: Way to screen out non-ASCII characters?

From: address@hidden
Subject: Re: Way to screen out non-ASCII characters?
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 12:14:49 -0400
User-agent: KNode/0.7.1

Edward Dodge wrote:

> Does anyone know if there is a mode or something that you can use in
> EMACS to screen out everything that *isn't* ASCII text?  I am
> currently trying to get some old documents converted to a plain-old
> ASCII text file,  and I don't have access to the original program to
> "save as text,"  nor do I want to write a script for this.
> I would assume that because EMACS can distinguish between different
> character-sets, maybe there is a way for EMACS to strain out the
> other garbage for me.

It's not Emacs, but if you're using Linux, you can use the strings command. 
You can launch it from the Emacs shell if you prefer. Read man strings.

If those are old Word files, there's antiword and a few others that will 
take out the text.


Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks--Clear-eyed Answered for Practical Consumers" 
and "Boring Stories from Uncle Rod." Both are available at

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