I don't think there is any other alternative than to use either RTF, PDF or HTML instead, as I've never found an app for Linux that will create an MS Word Document. Renaming a file to foo.doc is a bit of a hit and miss, as different versions of MS Word tend to react differently to it, in my experience.
There is a working group which has been founded to develop an open standard which can interact with OpenOffice software and other applications using XML, but as far as I know they haven't released a working solution.
Rozallin J. Thompson
The Webmistress who doesn't hesitate to use strict;