Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

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Import doc files - ASCII filter

Postby DarkFlame » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:55 am

Trying to get away from Microsoft Office 10, but I have some 3000 Word documents, each one a different recipe. I have them organized by folder so I can easily find anything I want. I have several main folders set up for which part of the meal process ... "Before The Meal," "The Meal," & "After The Meal." I started importing the "Before The Meal" folder - it has 974 Word document recipes. I began getting the "ASCII Filter Options" dialog window, and I probably had to press "OK" 100 times, & had to babysit the entire process for over an hour.

So, I found the User Profile Tutorial that said to rename the /user/ folder, to make sure there was no soffice.bin process in Task Manager, & to make sure there was no OO icon in the system tray.

I followed all those instructions & it didn't work. So, I did it again, and rebooted the computer, & it still didn't work.

So, I went to /user/extensions/bundled/ & found no files named extensions.pmap or extensions.db, so renaming them would provide no benefit.

I still have another 2000+ files to convert, and their associated sub-folders. I don't want to have to manually click "OK" for every "ASCII Filter Options" dialog window, and I SURELY don't want to handhold the software for several more hours.

Any suggestions???
:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

Thanks for any help.
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Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby DarkFlame » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:12 am

I figured out how to convert my 3000+ Word.docx files into .odt files, but am encountering a few issues.

1) During the import process, I get the "ASCII Filter Popup" window - not on every file, but on enough that I have to handhold the process for over an hour to get through just under 1000 files. I did the user profile folder rename, confirmed I had nothing in the Task Manager Processes or in the system tray, rebooted my computer, but it did not change anything.

2) I have a template that sets the page to 5.5" wide by 8.5" tall so that it fits my notebooks & uses half as much paper, and requires less space when I am cooking. However, the imported files did not maintain the page size formatted.

Any suggestions? I really do not want to manually push "OK" for every "ASCII Filter Popup" window, and I especially do not want to have to edit EVERY SINGLE RECIPE I have entered in the past 5 years.

:knock: :knock: :knock: :knock: :knock:
:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

Please, help me before I hurt myself!
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Thank you,
David
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby robleyd » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:31 am

Please don't start multiple topics in different sections of the forum for the same issue. It leads to several discussions and a waste of time because several identical answers may be posted by different users. Please see the Survival Guide for more information.

The ASCII filter is usually an indication that the content of the file is not as OpenOffice expects, and can't be resolved by resetting the user profile.

Can you tell us exactly how you are "importing" files?
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby DarkFlame » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:05 am

robleyd wrote:Can you tell us exactly how you are "importing" files?


My apologies about reposting the same question as part of another question, both of which are an issue to me. I posted in the user profile thread because I thought that was where my problem was located, and then I realized that I had the page format issue, so I started over. I meant no confusion & should have deleted my 1st post. HOWEVER, to answer YOUR question ...

I open the program with (or without) specifying what I want to do (text document, spreadsheet, etc. - it makes no difference whether I am in one of the applications, or just in the main app chooser screen). Then I go to File / Wizards / Document Converter. Then I choose Microsoft Office, select only "Word documents" & press the "Next" button. Then I uncheck "Word templates." Under the Documents sub-section, I click the "..." next to "Import From" & surf to the folder from which I want to import my .docx documents, including the multiple sub-folders beneath it. Then I click the "..." next to "Save to" & surf to the folder to which I want my save my .odt files. Then, I click the "Next" button. The Summary window opens & confirms that I have chosen the folders I wanted to choose. Then, I click the "Convert" button. The program retrieves the relative documents & indicates that (in this folder) I have 983 files to convert. Then it starts converting, counting from 1/983 to however far it will get, then gives me the "ASCII Filter Options" window. In this case, it is file 69/983 named "$ked Corned Beef Brisket.docx" Now, I know that I have a recipe for "Smoked Corned Beef Brisket" because it was the last corned beef I made. But, it's not in the folder indicated. In fact, I do a search for "Corned Beef Brisket" & find no such file anywhere in my recipe folders. So, I press "OK" in the dialogue window. It continues and the same "ASCII Filter Options" dialogue window comes up again - this time for a "$memade Pastrami.docx" file. I go to that folder and do find a "Homemade Pastrami.docx" file, but none that is a temporary file "$memade Pastrami.docx" file.

So, I am very confused about what is happening. Every time I have to deal with the "ASCII Filter Options" dialogue, it is a file that starts with "$xyz name.docx" file, and I have no files I have left open in MS-Word, much worse - I certainly do not have the quantity of files the Conversion Filter is finding, and they definitely are not in the folders that program indicates they are in, tho the program is saying the correct folders for the specific file indicated based on how I organize my recipes.

I hope this helps, because I am baffled. Unfortunately, I have to go to work tomorrow with enough rest not to fall off of telephone poles. So, I may not answer this evening, but I WILL check it tomorrow evening.

I really do appreciate your help.

Let me add one thing - it is not nearly as big a deal to babysit the conversion process as it is to re-edit EVERY SINGLE FILE to reset the page size to fit my notebooks for which they are formatted in MS-Word.

Thank you!
David,
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby RoryOF » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:27 am

There is information on applying a new OO template to existing files in
https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/OOo3_User_Guides/Getting_Started/Associating_a_document_with_a_template

In your case, you would choose or make a template incorporating the correct page size and other styles and apply this to the files needing conversion.

Were these file transferred from an older computer at some stage? If so, it is possible that some were not correctly transferred and only their file names written - perhaps with the $ as an indication that these were in process of transfer, which transfer terminated for some reason before it was finally complete.

It might be possible to do the template change as a batch process (or using one of the OO Wizards) - I haven't checked.

It may be that $ characters are not be an allowable character in a filename, either generally or as a quirk in the conversion process, or else such files are temporary files left over after some earlier generation or conversion process. Before applying any conversions, I suggest looking at the folder containing the files in question. If $ files are shown with zero size, then there is nothing in them and they may (should) be erased.

I suggest concentrating on the conversion process; when that is complete then worry about the template changing.
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby Bill » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:49 am

Do the problematic documents begin with "$" or "~$"? A quick Google search found that when a document is opened by MS Word a hidden temporary document (owner file) beginning with "~$" is created. These files are similar to the "lock" files created by AOO when a file is opened and should have been deleted automatically when the document was closed. If you have many such files, then you probably should to do some housecleaning. Personally, I would move those hidden documents to a different folder before converting the files in the original folder since those hidden files can't be converted by AOO. You can decide later whether the hidden files can be safely deleted.

~$ is in front of my file name.
Last edited by Bill on Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby robleyd » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:12 pm

In addition to Bill's advice, you may have to turn on display of hidden files to see them in your file manager - see this Microsoft support page for information on how to show hidden files.
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby DarkFlame » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:58 am

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who have replied. Rather than multiple quotes, I'll just go through the list and answer questions that have been asked ...

The computer is the same computer upon which the Word.docx files have been created. I built 3 in '08, and they are all still running strong with no hardware problems. Oh, I have occasionally had to replace a fan in each, one power supply, a keyboard, a mouse, but the hard drives are the original ones I installed. Let me clarify the hard drives ... each computer has an 80 gb hard drive upon which is installed my operating system and the software for each one. The paging file has been set to a static size with the same "largeest" & "smallest" sizes, with a defrag done immediately after. I installed Windows, set the paging file size, did several consecutive defrags, then installed all my software. Once the software was all installed, I did another defrag (tho it was not necessary). Since then, I have never had to do any defrag, tho I check it a couple of times each year. I save NO data to that hard drive. I have a 1 TB internal SATA-III drive in an external SATA-III port - it is hot-pluggable. I have a second port that stays empty except when I am backing up my hard drive, at which time I take the oldest of my hard drives, compress the data, and then do a complete drag & drop from the permanent drive to the backup. The backup goes off-site and the next oldest one comes home for the next backup, about once each week. 1 TB drives are CHEAP!

So, the short answer to the question about transferred files is that they are the originally created files and I have never had any of them get corrupted.

As for "hidden" files. I have none. When I install the operating system, I set all parameters to display ALL files & leave none hidden. That way, I can see the temporary files created by MS-Word, along with any hidden system files.That makes it easier for me to delete any temp files if something happens ... like it's the one night each week that my computer does a shut-down & restart, AND I accidentally left a document open. ;-)

The short answer about residual temp files is that they do not exist. I do not know where the program is finding those file names, or if it is something it is creating when converting the files from .docx to .odt. And, no, I do not use $ in any file name. My file names are the recipe names. While I will use an occasional comma or appostrophe, I do not use any characters that have been commonly used as part of DOS commands or are otherwise illegal in file names (NO *, ?, /, |, \, etc.).

The file names found are similarly patterned beginning characters such as "$vids Chocolate Pie Crust" wherein the QUOTES are used in this example ONLY to show that the characters between the quotes are the file names that the program is telling me about. As a point of information, the original file name was actually "Davids Chocolate Pie Crust" and the $ is replacing the 1st TWO characters. Also, because all my hidden files are visible, I have checked MULTIPLE times in the folders being converted that have the ASCII Filter Options popup pop up, and there has never been any file that begins with the $ sign. I really have no clue where they are originating. I could post a screen shot of both the popup and the actuall folder in Explorer, but it would tell you exctly what I am saying. And, no, they do not start with -$, only with the $.

I think this answers the questions.

As advised, I an concentrating on the conversion process, and will worry about the template later. Something tells me I might be able to set my default template to the template file I created to match what I have in MS-Word, and that might allow me to open each file and have it come up in the 5.5"x8.5" format I want. BUT, I do not want to open up EVERY. SINGLE. RECIPE. to do this. I have not found anything about converting to a specific template, but I have not had much time to look.

Again, I TRULY APPRECIATE everyone taking the time to prod me in what I hope will be the right direction. I shall look at the links provided and see what I might be able to find to help me overcome this stumbling block. If I can figure out how to convert to a specific template, I will delete all the .ODT files and try it again, ESPECIALLY if I can overcome the ASCII Filter Options issue. THAT is my biggest stumbling block at this point.
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby robleyd » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:51 am

Is using a tool other than AOO an option if you just want to get it done? There are third party converters out there - I found www.multidoc-converter.com/en/index.html for example.
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby RoryOF » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:48 am

I'm on my way out to a meeting, so only time for one short question: what is size of a $ file? is it 0?

 Edit: One last thought before I leave: I suggest copying some of your .docx files (say 20 or so,) into a temporary folder, and use that folder and its files (which are copies and hence disposable) for investigation. 
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby DarkFlame » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:57 am

RoryOF wrote:what is size of a $ file? is it 0?


The file does not even exist with a $ as part of the name. None of them do. I was going to take a screenshot of the ASCII Filter Options Popup with the Document Converter behind it, and another screenshot of my Explorer viewing the folder in question, so that I could prove the $ file does not exist. For example, I have a recipe file named

David's Mexican Rice.docx

The folder has only one other file in it, another recipe named

Yellow Rice.doxc

The File Converter is asking for the ASCII Filter Options for a file named

$vid's Mexican Rice.docx

and that file does not even exist with that name!

As for the file size, it is 12,135 KB (It's this size because it has a picture embedded in it (I generally copy the picture in an editor and paste it into the file so that it goes with the file - yes, I know that it increases the size of the file exponentially, but I haven't stopped to see what I can do to conserve space but still have a good looking picture of the finished dish).

AND, just for grins, I clicked on it and had MS-Word open it (the file that does exist, & I have the .docx files associated with MS-Word), and it opens just fine. HOWEVER, it does not create the temp file. I've never looked this closely at a file, so I know that temp files ARE created, I just don't know why some are and some, apparently, are not. VERY strange. AND, YES, I verified that HIDDEN FILES are visible!

I am really baffled by the fact that OO Writer is finding files that DO NOT EVEN EXIST!!!

So, this brain teaser continues to tease me.

Thanks, AGAIN, for the use of everyone's brain power.

David,
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Re: Issues converting from MS-Word 10 to OO Writer

Postby DarkFlame » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:30 am

robleyd wrote:Is using a tool other than AOO an option if you just want to get it done? There are third party converters out there - I found www.multidoc-converter.com/en/index.html for example.


No, it is not a problem.

I am very disappointed that learning to use another word processor is so cumbersome. I have used many word processors since the 1st Displaywriter was hardware based with 8" floppy disks, it's new PC version, many versions of WordPerfect and MS-Word, and more other word processors than I can remember. This one is the most difficult, and I am very puzzled about it. I have other issues besides just the conversion issue, but will post them under different topics.

I have just about given up on the conversion attempts because none of the files retain their page sizes, my own .ODT template cannot be found by OOW - even tho I created it with the OOW software - so I cannot open a new file with the page size I need. It appears that I will have to edit every single file to manually change the page size to match what I need for my cookbook, and I do not think that is going to happen. I have been adding new recipes faster than I can solve this problem, so I am using MS-Word to do it, and will have to start all over with OOW --> IF I can solve the conversion process to retain the proper page formatting.

Until then, it appears that OOW is dead for my needs. HOWEVER, I shall do a bit of reading to see if I can figure it out so that I can make a clean break from MS-Word. Otherwise, I'll have to break down and buy a commercial version instead of the free one I have been using since I was in school.
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