M$ Office file tips? - OS2

This is a discussion on M$ Office file tips? - OS2 ; I've fallen into a situation where I am being sent MS Word or MS Excel files as email attachments. As a new officer in a club that uses these files for club membership updates, I need to be able to ...

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Thread: M$ Office file tips?

  1. M$ Office file tips?

    I've fallen into a situation where I am being sent MS Word or MS Excel
    files as email attachments. As a new officer in a club that uses
    these files for club membership updates, I need to be able to read
    them.

    PMMail receives the attachments in a base64 text format. I have been
    moderately successful decoding them.

    Has anyone figured out a good way to handle these things?

    What I've tried so far:

    Decode the base64 file
    Try to load it into OpenOffice 1.1.5.
    This will load the file (a spreadsheet), but locks up my system
    requiring a reboot.

    (sigh...)

    I purchased OpenOffice 2.0.4, but, I can't run it on the computer I
    want to use because of "LVM" errors. I had no idea it wouldn't run on
    an HPFS formatted partition/volume. I probably can run it on my eCS
    LVMized Thinkpad, but all the other information I need to use is on
    the other (hpfs) computer.

    Anyway nothing's working well right now, and I just wondered if anyone
    else had mastered anything like this.

    Hints and clues will be appreciated!


    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  2. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:
    > I've fallen into a situation where I am being sent MS Word or MS Excel
    > files as email attachments. As a new officer in a club that uses
    > these files for club membership updates, I need to be able to read
    > them.
    >
    > PMMail receives the attachments in a base64 text format. I have been
    > moderately successful decoding them.
    >

    Base64 is a standard attachment encoding. Why are you decoding them
    separately? Using "Save as..." automatically decodes the attachments to
    external files.

    > Has anyone figured out a good way to handle these things?
    >

    Not really. Word and Excel docs apparently have quite Byzantine formats,
    mostly to make life difficult for non-Windows users. There are a few
    utilities that can at least extract the text portion of a Word doc.
    As for Excel, you are SOL.
    I finally gave up and purchased a copy of Windows. I run it in a Virtual
    PC with OpenOffice and WordPerfect. Until M$ decides to play nice with
    everyone else (think "hell" and "freezing over"), this is likely your best
    choice.
    If you continue with os/2, I suggest you to upgrade to a version that
    supports JFS partitions. You'll be glad you did.

    --
    jmm (hyphen) list (at) sohnen-moe (dot) com
    (Remove .AXSPAMGN for email)

  3. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Sir:

    Barbara wrote:
    > I've fallen into a situation where I am being sent MS Word or MS Excel
    > files as email attachments. As a new officer in a club that uses
    > these files for club membership updates, I need to be able to read
    > them.
    >
    > PMMail receives the attachments in a base64 text format. I have been
    > moderately successful decoding them.
    >
    > Has anyone figured out a good way to handle these things?
    >
    > What I've tried so far:
    >
    > Decode the base64 file
    > Try to load it into OpenOffice 1.1.5.
    > This will load the file (a spreadsheet), but locks up my system
    > requiring a reboot.
    >
    > (sigh...)
    >
    > I purchased OpenOffice 2.0.4, but, I can't run it on the computer I
    > want to use because of "LVM" errors. I had no idea it wouldn't run on
    > an HPFS formatted partition/volume. I probably can run it on my eCS
    > LVMized Thinkpad, but all the other information I need to use is on
    > the other (hpfs) computer.
    >
    > Anyway nothing's working well right now, and I just wondered if anyone
    > else had mastered anything like this.
    >
    > Hints and clues will be appreciated!
    >
    >


    I faced the same problem. I have Windows XP and the OpenOffice suite
    installed there on another computer. I transfer the files over to XP.
    I know, not an OS/2 solution, sigh.
    --
    Bill
    Thanks a Million!

  4. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:44:39 UTC, "William L. Hartzell"
    wrote:

    >
    > I faced the same problem. I have Windows XP and the OpenOffice suite
    > installed there on another computer. I transfer the files over to XP.
    > I know, not an OS/2 solution, sigh.


    These are the expected responses. sigh-too!

    I, like you, just downloaded the OpenOffice package for XP, which is
    also on my T42. Hopefully I can get the files to load, then just copy
    the needed information to my os/2-eCS mailing list. Thankfully it's
    nothing I have to update, edit, or pass along. I just have to read
    the danged thing.


    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  5. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:34:46 UTC, Jim Moe
    wrote:

    > Base64 is a standard attachment encoding. Why are you decoding them
    > separately? Using "Save as..." automatically decodes the attachments to
    > external files.


    Basically because I don't know any better. I haven't received a
    base64 formatted file for years, and then they were images, .jpg type.
    "Save as..." automatically gives me an encoded base64 file.

    Would you excuse my ignorance long enough to tell me how you've set up
    your email mime associations to automatically decode base64? What
    program have you associated to do that?

    > If you continue with os/2, I suggest you to upgrade to a version that
    > supports JFS partitions. You'll be glad you did.


    As I said, my eCS 1.12r T42 ThinkPad is perfectly capable. I just
    don't want to use it when everything I need to do for this club works
    on my desktop (older) machine.


    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  6. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:34:46 UTC, Jim Moe
    wrote:

    > Not really. Word and Excel docs apparently have quite Byzantine formats,
    > mostly to make life difficult for non-Windows users. There are a few
    > utilities that can at least extract the text portion of a Word doc.


    Antiword is good choice, found it from Hobbes.

    > As for Excel, you are SOL.
    > I finally gave up and purchased a copy of Windows. I run it in a Virtual
    > PC with OpenOffice and WordPerfect. Until M$ decides to play nice with
    > everyone else (think "hell" and "freezing over"), this is likely your best
    > choice.


    I run OpenOffice 1.1.5 (win32) with aros2.exe. Works quite well, much
    better than Innotek's 1.1.4. I can open most Word and Excel docs.

    --
    Hessu
    Feel free to correct my English :-)

  7. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:
    > On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:34:46 UTC, Jim Moe
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Base64 is a standard attachment encoding. Why are you decoding them
    >>separately? Using "Save as..." automatically decodes the attachments to
    >>external files.

    >
    > Basically because I don't know any better. I haven't received a
    > base64 formatted file for years, and then they were images, .jpg type.
    > "Save as..." automatically gives me an encoded base64 file.


    Usually PMMail is smart enough to find embedded Base64 stuff, but if you
    have any trouble (it appears in the "message" area rather than as an
    attachment or something, I use a command line app called "uudeview"
    (should be on Hobbes). This app is pretty fault tolerant and decodes a
    number of different kinds of attachments (multi-part split attachments,
    etc.) to e-mail and newsgroup messages, as long as you provide it with
    the text file(s) in question. It is also fairly fault tolerant if there
    is some minor formatting SNAFU in the attachment header.

    --
    [Reverse the parts of the e-mail address to reply.]

  8. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:39:15 UTC, "Barbara" wrote:
    > On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:44:39 UTC, "William L. Hartzell" wrote:
    >
    > > I faced the same problem. I have Windows XP and the OpenOffice suite
    > > installed there on another computer. I transfer the files over to XP.
    > > I know, not an OS/2 solution, sigh.

    >
    > These are the expected responses. sigh-too!
    >
    > I, like you, just downloaded the OpenOffice package for XP, which is
    > also on my T42. Hopefully I can get the files to load, then just copy
    > the needed information to my os/2-eCS mailing list. Thankfully it's
    > nothing I have to update, edit, or pass along. I just have to read
    > the danged thing.


    As always, Google is your friend. Using the search box in Firefox,
    I chose "Excel viewer" from the drop-down list of suggested search
    terms and found both MS's own Excel viewer as well as a 3rd-party
    shareware viewer (there may be more). I couldn't get the MS viewer
    to install under Odin but the shareware app appeared to work OK.

    Also, wrt Base64 (aka MIME) attachments: even my ancient version
    of PMMail lets me drag them to the Desktop and have them decoded
    automatically.


    --
    == == almost usable email address: rws AT e-vertise.com == ==
    __________________________________________________ _________________
    |
    | Remote Workplace Server v0.80
    Rich Walsh | interact with the WPS from any program
    Ft Myers, FL | http://e-vertise.com/rws/rws080.zip
    __________________________________________________ _________________

  9. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 15:03:52 UTC in comp.os.os2.apps, "Barbara"
    wrote:

    > PMMail receives the attachments in a base64 text format. I have been
    > moderately successful decoding them.


    I wonder if you're actually reporting a different problem here where you get an
    attachment called winmail.dat from senders using Outlook? This is a proprietary
    MS attachment method. There are two solutions to this - one is to get the sender
    to edit their address book entry for you and check the box in it that says
    something like 'Always send to this recipient in plain text', the other is to
    hope that someone has ported one of the TNEF extractors to OS/2 (you're in luck,
    they have, on hobbes). It's been a while since I looked at the MS address book
    entry end of things but they hid the option pretty well last time I looked, you
    had to find the contact name in the address book and doubleclick it which would
    show the email address then you had to doubleclick the email address to get
    another dialog with the 'Always send' option.

    --
    Trevor Hemsley, Brighton, UK
    Trevor dot Hemsley at ntlworld dot com

  10. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 23:17:52 UTC, "Rich Walsh"
    wrote:

    > As always, Google is your friend. Using the search box in Firefox,
    > I chose "Excel viewer" from the drop-down list of suggested search
    > terms and found both MS's own Excel viewer as well as a 3rd-party
    > shareware viewer (there may be more). I couldn't get the MS viewer
    > to install under Odin but the shareware app appeared to work OK.


    I downloaded both those viewers for Windows, but haven't installed
    them yet in XP. I'm not odin-ized and consider this a last resort
    kind of thing.

    > Also, wrt Base64 (aka MIME) attachments: even my ancient version
    > of PMMail lets me drag them to the Desktop and have them decoded
    > automatically.


    Nothing happens automatically for me.

    No one seems to want to look in:

    PMMail>Settings>Mime Associations>Word Processing Files, and
    >Spreadsheet Files


    To tell me how you have that set up and what associated program is
    decoding them. I've obviously missed something in the settings
    because I sure can't get PMMail to do it for me. You must have
    configured this at some time in the distant past. I've tried putting
    various base64 decoders in there, and still get ...umm... base64 text.

    BUT, HEAR THIS!!! All is not lost. I did install OpenOffice 2.0.4 on
    my eCS LVMized T42 ThinkPad, and it can open the decoded base64 files!
    *AND* without hanging up and crashing.

    I just can't get around the manual decoding of the danged email
    attachments. Once decoded, OpenOffice can read them as properly
    configured spreadsheets. I'm impressed! I can also edit, save and do
    otherwise normal things to them.



    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  11. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 23:48:05 UTC, "Trevor Hemsley"
    wrote:

    > On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 15:03:52 UTC in comp.os.os2.apps, "Barbara"
    > wrote:
    >
    > > PMMail receives the attachments in a base64 text format. I have been
    > > moderately successful decoding them.

    >
    > I wonder if you're actually reporting a different problem here where you get an
    > attachment called winmail.dat from senders using Outlook? This is a proprietary
    > MS attachment method. There are two solutions to this - one is to get the sender
    > to edit their address book entry for you and check the box in it that says
    > something like 'Always send to this recipient in plain text', the other is to
    > hope that someone has ported one of the TNEF extractors to OS/2 (you're in luck,
    > they have, on hobbes). It's been a while since I looked at the MS address book
    > entry end of things but they hid the option pretty well last time I looked, you
    > had to find the contact name in the address book and doubleclick it which would
    > show the email address then you had to doubleclick the email address to get
    > another dialog with the 'Always send' option.


    Good thoughts, Trevor, but these are definitely MS Excel spreadsheet
    files. Here's part of the base64
    formatting:

    =========================
    Content-Type: application/vnd.ms-excel
    Content-Description: New Natl Member List August 2007.xls
    Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="New Natl Member List
    August 2007.xls"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

    0M8R4KGxGuEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPgADAP7/CQAGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAAAAAQAAAA
    AA
    AAAAEAAAAgAAAAEAAAD+////AAAAAAAAAAD///////////////////////////////////
    //
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    //
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    //
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    //
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    //
    .......and on and on.............
    ===========================

    Part of the problem is how they are sent to me. The national office
    of the club sends the update file to the president of our local group.
    Then the president, who can't read them either, FORWARDS that email
    with the attachments to me. So I receive them with huge complicated,
    multiple email headers that have to be stripped before I can even get
    to the base64 content. At least that's what I have to do with the
    simple decoding programs I have.

    Nothin's easy! But as I mentioned, once decoded, OpenOffice 2.0.4
    handles them quite nicely!

    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  12. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:

    > I purchased OpenOffice 2.0.4, but, I can't run it on the computer I
    > want to use because of "LVM" errors.


    That's a bug that has been blamed on kLibC; that might be fixed in
    0.6.3, but it requires changes in OpenOffice also. At any rate, I'm
    running it under Warp4 by having a copy of LVM.DLL in \os2\dll; I am NOT
    using LVM.

  13. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:
    > On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 23:48:05 UTC, "Trevor Hemsley"
    > wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 15:03:52 UTC in comp.os.os2.apps, "Barbara"
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> PMMail receives the attachments in a base64 text format. I have been
    >>> moderately successful decoding them.


    Snip
    > Part of the problem is how they are sent to me. The national office
    > of the club sends the update file to the president of our local group.
    > Then the president, who can't read them either, FORWARDS that email
    > with the attachments to me. So I receive them with huge complicated,
    > multiple email headers that have to be stripped before I can even get
    > to the base64 content. At least that's what I have to do with the
    > simple decoding programs I have.
    >
    > Nothin's easy! But as I mentioned, once decoded, OpenOffice 2.0.4
    > handles them quite nicely!



    Sounds to me like the original text document should only be sent-out as
    .... text documents; known as "Simple Text", "Plain Text", ANSI' CP437,
    etc. Then everybody, everywhere can read them easily and quickly.

    Now if they are scrambled on purpose to keep the information private,
    then of course, everybody has to have the key to un-scramble it.

    BTW, I too have had PMMail attachements copied to the Desktop, where I
    opened-them with whatever program I thought would be able to read the
    attachment.

    Microsoft's new version of MS Word uses a new, and different format,
    known as XML/XHTML, which is supposed to be readable in any recent
    modern web browser, such as FireFox or SeaMonkey. This may help you in
    the near future.



  14. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:

    > Then the president, who can't read them either, FORWARDS that email
    > with the attachments to me. So I receive them with huge complicated,
    > multiple email headers that have to be stripped before I can even get
    > to the base64 content.


    It sounds like the attachments are being shown in-line, instead of as
    attachments, which is why the automatic decoding doesn't work. Maybe
    you can get the president to bounce the message to you, instead of
    forwarding it...

  15. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:
    > On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:44:39 UTC, "William L. Hartzell"
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I faced the same problem. I have Windows XP and the OpenOffice suite
    >> installed there on another computer. I transfer the files over to XP.
    >> I know, not an OS/2 solution, sigh.

    >
    > These are the expected responses. sigh-too!
    >
    > I, like you, just downloaded the OpenOffice package for XP, which is
    > also on my T42. Hopefully I can get the files to load, then just copy
    > the needed information to my os/2-eCS mailing list. Thankfully it's
    > nothing I have to update, edit, or pass along. I just have to read
    > the danged thing.

    OpenOffice won't read M$ 2007 files, other than that I haven't had any
    issues. I'd have to have one of the documents to give you much
    information on it though.
    Andy


  16. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Wed, 19 Sep 2007 01:55:30 UTC, Steve Wendt
    wrote:

    > Barbara wrote:
    >
    > > I purchased OpenOffice 2.0.4, but, I can't run it on the computer I
    > > want to use because of "LVM" errors.

    >
    > That's a bug that has been blamed on kLibC; that might be fixed in
    > 0.6.3, but it requires changes in OpenOffice also. At any rate, I'm
    > running it under Warp4 by having a copy of LVM.DLL in \os2\dll; I am NOT
    > using LVM.


    Ding Ding! We have a winner!

    I would never have thought of that. OpenOffice 2.0.4 is now working
    in Warp4 installed on an HPFS partition. It's slow of course, but I
    only have to look at these files once each month, and doubt I'll use
    OO for much of anything else on this machine. Now I don't have to
    switch computers to get everything I need.

    THANKS Steve!!!

    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  17. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:
    >
    >> Base64 is a standard attachment encoding. Why are you decoding them
    >> separately? Using "Save as..." automatically decodes the attachments to
    >> external files.

    >
    > Basically because I don't know any better. I haven't received a
    > base64 formatted file for years, and then they were images, .jpg type.
    > "Save as..." automatically gives me an encoded base64 file.
    >
    > Would you excuse my ignorance long enough to tell me how you've set up
    > your email mime associations to automatically decode base64? What
    > program have you associated to do that?
    >

    What version of PMMail do you have?
    Decoding base64 sections is unrelated to the MIME associations. PMMail
    should decode the section regardless of what the end process is
    (application, save to file, etc).
    If it is not being decoded, there is likely a highly malformed header
    for that MIME section which is either silent about the encoding or
    misinforms PMMail about it. If you wish, send a copy of a message to the
    address in the signature below, and I'll look at it, and recommend a
    possible MIME association.

    --
    jmm (hyphen) list (at) sohnen-moe (dot) com
    (Remove .AXSPAMGN for email)

  18. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    On Wed, 19 Sep 2007 19:16:32 UTC, Jim Moe
    wrote:

    > What version of PMMail do you have?


    2.20.2382

    > Decoding base64 sections is unrelated to the MIME associations. PMMail
    > should decode the section regardless of what the end process is
    > (application, save to file, etc).


    When I receive .jpg photos, the associated program PMVIEW untangles
    them perfectly.

    > If it is not being decoded, there is likely a highly malformed header
    > for that MIME section which is either silent about the encoding or
    > misinforms PMMail about it.


    If you read the rest of the posts here, you'll learn the M$ Excel
    spreadsheet files are twice forwarded to get to me. Therefore there
    is a lot of email header information within the attachment that
    baffles the automatic decoding function. The encoded part is OK.

    > If you wish, send a copy of a message to the
    > address in the signature below, and I'll look at it, and recommend a
    > possible MIME association.


    Thanks, but they contain personal club member information that I
    probably shouldn't spread around. Home addresses, phone numbers,
    email addresses, etc. I know you wouldn't do anything funny it, but I
    don't think the higher ups would approve. I really appreciate the
    offer!

    I've figured out a method of handling these files which I only receive
    once per month. I don't mind the manual part so long as I can read
    them in OpenOffice once decoded.

    --
    Barbara

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  19. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Barbara wrote:

    > I would never have thought of that. OpenOffice 2.0.4 is now working
    > in Warp4 installed on an HPFS partition. It's slow of course,


    You can speed it up some by running lxlite on the files, and using
    HPFS386 (if you have it). There's also a bunch of extraneous junk DLLs,
    but I don't think they do anything more than waste disk space.

    > THANKS Steve!!!


    Sure thing.

  20. Re: M$ Office file tips?

    Andy Willis wrote:
    > OpenOffice won't read M$ 2007 files, other than that I haven't had any
    > issues. I'd have to have one of the documents to give you much


    Well, it is probably not the problem that Barbara has (she might face it
    sometimes, though) but not even previous M$office read the new .docx format.
    I don't know whether openoffice 2.3 (just out, but not for us) does it,
    but I doubt. There are add in from Novell for OO on windows or linux,
    but again not for us.

    So there is no simple solution. I keep a window box connected through a
    network cable (using a Lindy switcher so I use only one keybord, monitor
    and mouse), so I can copy files here and there when needed.

    I see that IBM/lotus is shipping symphony again. It is free for
    noncommercial use and looks based on OO more than on the previous
    product (the spreadsheet is not even called 123 anymore, and has not the
    "/" menu - I haven't tried the @ functions)
    In any case, hoping for an os/2 release from them would be just futile,
    I guess.


    Piersante

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