I have written about converting Microsoft Word files into text or html using OpenOffice before. However, the wizards I described in that article were crashing when the number of files crossed into several hundreds.
I have written some macros to do the conversion, but they were scary looking and fragile. Fortunately, I now found a tool that does the same job better and with more flexibility. DocConverter by Danny Brewer and Dan Horwood allows to convert a whole directory of files at a time from any to any OpenOffice-understood format.
I have just converted more than a thousand documents from doc to txt without any problems. Actually, I had a small problem, but it was my fault. I had some corrupted files that OO would not open and that was breaking DocConverter and throwing some ugly looking Basic runtime error. I had to delete the problem files, kill the Open Office (stop macro did not) and rerun the tool. Otherwise, it just run.