How to Read/Write RTF and Word Files?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Mon May 21 10:28:23 CEST 2001

"Greg Jorgensen" <greg at> wrote in message
news:Pine.LNX.4.33.0105201926390.6410-100000 at
> On Sat, 19 May 2001, Dry Ice wrote:
> > How to Read/Write RTF and Word Files?
> Microsoft Word uses a proprietary and undocumented format for .doc files.
> The Word file format has changed significantly across versions of Word.
> Whether by reverse-engineering or licensing the spec from Microsoft, quite
> a few companies have implemented at least some Word import/export
> capabilities.

Yep.  And there are opensource programs that attempt the same
feat (presumably after reverse-engineering, in this case). offers such tools that manage
to extract some text from MS Word (and Excel) files most of the
time, and also points to other such tools.  These tools aren't
in Python, but you might use them from Python, or maybe recode in
Python the algorithms & heuristics they embody.


More information about the Python-list mailing list