Aha!!  Maurice has solved it.  When I open the .rtf file in notepad, the characters are represented as all sorts of greek and astrological symbols and weird things -- but it is NOT the little boxes, and I can change the font to Arial and it looks great.  This is a beautiful thing.  Thank you :)
 
Michele

+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Michele Combs.
Librarian for Manuscripts and Archives Processing.
Special Collections Research Center.
Syracuse University Library.
222 Waverly Avenue.
Syracuse, NY   13244
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+

 


From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Maurice Mengel
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 10:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Rejected posting to [log in to unmask]

In your second mail you say that you can save the strange doc-file to rtf and open it correctly. RTF is an "open" format (you can download the official microsoft specification of the format for free somewhere but that should not be necessary for you) and it is not too difficult to read RTF manually if you open it as ascii ( e.g. by notepad). Typically an RTF contains all the text in plain form plus some additional information (control words). You should be able to find it by simply scrolling through what at first appears to be completely unintelligle.
 
There is a helpful O'Reilly book on rtf and, for example, this short introduction: 
 
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/RTF-Writer-1.11/lib/RTF/Cookbook.pod
 
which should be more than enough for you to see if the text is there in a plain form. Then you look out for encoding stuff and fonts which are the possible sources of your problem. Maybe this helps for diagnosis of the problem.
 
I am not sure if the effort is necessary, though, but wanted to point this out as a possibility anyways.
 
Something else: If printing works, maybe you can print to PDF and continue from there.
 
best
Maurice
 
On 12/4/07, joseph greene <[log in to unmask] > wrote:
You might try opening with OpenOffice Write and saving as .odt (Write's
native XML format). I've opened .wpd files with it and converted to .odt
successfully, but only experimentally. It's got alot of standards
available to it and it's a free download.

You might also look into Jhove or the EU Planets Project to
characterize/validate your documents. Could produce interesting insights.

Joseph Greene
Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Project (HII),
James Joyce Library,
UCD,
Belfield,
Dublin 4.

(t) 01 716 7506
(e) [log in to unmask]
(w) www.ucd.ie/ivrla

----- Original Message -----
From: MicheleR < [log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 3:19 am
Subject: Re: Technical question on document format [slightly OT]
To: [log in to unmask]

> Leah Prescott wrote:
> > Could the "Voyager" font you see be a font used by the library
> > system Voyager? Are they .doc files? Can you convert from the
> .rtf
> > files to .txt?
>
> Let us say, they have a .doc extension and can be opened with Word -
> -
> which of course doesn't necessarily mean they are actually real
> Word documents.  I don't think they came out of the Voyager
> library system because Voyager doesn't store inventories,
> only MARC records.  I can save it as rtf and it looks fine,
> but I still can't get out of rtf into anything plain text.
>
> Kate Bowers wrote:
> > You could try saving the document, in MSWord, as "Plain text."
> > Choose a NEW name for the file.  MSWord may ask you to pick an
> > encoding.
>
> Save as -> plain txt gets me all those little boxes, no matter
> which
> encoding options I tried. Argh.  Isn't technology supposed to make
> our lives EASIER??
>
> Michele
>
> --
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++
> There is no substitute for good manners,
> except, perhaps, fast reflexes.
> +++++++++++++++++++++++
>