[texhax] conversion of .tex to .txt

Grover Hughes ghughes at cei.net
Fri Feb 8 17:43:16 CET 2008

2008 February 8

Hello-- I am writing you at the suggestion of Karl Berry, who has been trying to help me with my problem, which is as follows:

I work in DOS 6.22 and I have several files written in TeX which I want to convert to straight ASCII. (These files do not contain math symbols, just text stuff; they pertain to Pari/GP, and are tutorials and explanations.) I can read these files, but they contain a lot of symbols and characters which obviously don't belong in a purely ASCII text, and while I can edit them out, it's a chore, as there are a lot of 'em, and I'd rather have some software program to do the conversion (i.e., editing) for me.

I have a file called "tex2mail", which is stated to be such a conversion program, but that introduces its own problems.
In a file called README, I am told that I must convert the first line in "tex2mail" so it will show "the correct full path name of your perl executable".

I have no idea what the "correct path name" should be, nor do I have anything pertaining to "perl" (which I am told is some sort of programming language itself).

Also, the README file says that the invocation to cause the conversion to take place is:

   tex2mail [-linelength <bytesperline> ] [-debug <level> ] [-by_par] [-TeX] [-ragged] [-noindent] < foo.tex > foo.txt

in which I assume that "foo" would be replaced by the actual name of the TeX file which I want to have converted. Is that correct? I tried that, but (probably because I hadn't changed that pesky first line in any way) all I got was an error message from DOS, about a bad command.

Karl steered me to a program called "detex", which I downloaded, but when I tried it, all I got was a message stating that it won't run under DOS (which Karl warned me up front might well be the case). He suggested that I explain my problem to you and to ask if you might know of a binary (in detex, or whatever) which WOULD run in DOS and do what I want. So, I'm asking!!

Your help will be GREATLY appreciated!

Grover Hughes   retiree, Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM

ghughes at magtel.com     (479) 675-9137

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