I recall about five or so years ago when I prepared a resume with Word 97. I was getting asistance from a professional on resume preparation, and this was meant to be something that she could review. Well, _her_ copy of Word 97 couldn't even open the file.
I know the floppy was OK, because I took it back home, and I was again able to look at the document on _my_ machine.
This sort of blew me away...Word 97 not being able to even open a Word 97 document.
In the final analysis, going along with previous comments, you can just do some hard work and open a Word file with a text editor or a hex editor, and start looking through all the bloat for your critical text.