Bean: A Word Processor for OS X

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.doc and .docx formats in Bean

Word 97 (.doc) support

The Word 97 file format is commonly used for sharing files through email. Files in the Word 97 format often (but not always) end with a ‘.doc’ extension. Bean uses Apple’s file conversion service (part of OS X) to read Word 97 format files. However, Bean should not be considered a replacement for Word, or any other word processor designed for complex documents involving, for example, citations.


Bean cannot import images contained in native Word 97 format files. Also, Bean does not read in page size information or margin information. Footnotes are inserted at the end of the imported document, but the footnote numbers are missing (since they are supplied ‘on the fly’ by MS Word). Hyperlinks are imported as text, not as hyperlinks. While tables import well, export of tables to the .doc format is currently problematic. Lists are imported and exported well.

Having said all this, formatted text is imported and exported quite well in Word 97 format by Bean.

How Bean saves .doc files

Files saved by Bean in the .doc format are really .rtf files with images. Files saved this way are understood by most word processors, including Word and OpenOffice.

Word 2007 (.docx) support in Bean

Bean uses Apple's file conversion services to open and save Word 2007 format files. Please note that due to the limitations of the file format converter, images are lost when opening a native Word 2007 format file in Bean and when saving a rich text document as a Word 2007 format file in Bean. Also lost are highlighting, tables, text lists and advanced paragraph formatting. Sorry, this is how Apple implemented it.