[texhax] How to convert Digital Research TEX Text Formater files to plainTeX

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at googlemail.com
Sat May 16 03:56:37 CEST 2015

On 2015-05-15 at 20:35:51 -0400, Peter Cumminsky wrote:

 > Oh well, I'm just going to give up on this project for now I
 > guess. I did try TR2LEX (tr2latex on my GnuWin installation) and it
 > gave up after the first half-dozen errors on the
 > dot-commands. Maybe I'll try substitution/macros in roff/troff/goff
 > when I come back to this. Thanks for the info guys, ancient
 > computer stuff is never simple.

Hi Peter,
I must admit that I can't agree with your statement that ancient
computer stuff is never simple.  Be happy that your file is in pure
ASCII.  Even if formatting information is lost more or less, you still
have the content of the file.  In the mid 80ies word processors
introduced undocumented proprietary binary file formats.  *This* is
awful.  And you are in luck because the control sequences are fully

The number of control sequences supported by DR TEX is quite small.
If you want to convert the file to LaTeX you can remove all control
sequences which are related to the layout (margins).  The page layout
can be configured more easily in LaTeX.  The rest can probably
converted with regular expressions somehow.

I can't judge whether it's easier to re-define *roff code or to go the
LaTeX way.  Both approaches seem reasonable.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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