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Re: Converting M$ Word --> PDF

by jonadab (Parson)
on Jan 24, 2004 at 12:16 UTC ( #323821=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Converting M$ Word --> PDF
in thread Converting M$ Word --> PDF

If only there was a Perl module that was HTML::Word available, because I know there is a HTML::PDF there.

Better would be WordProcessing::MSWord::Parse.

I recently used Perl to create an Excle file, wow, could not have been easier, so I'm really surprised there is nothing in Perl that can create Word documents.

Oh, there is some stuff for _creating_ Word documents, but I skipped over it for two reasons: _creating_ documents isn't what you asked for (you wanted to _read_ them and create something _else_ from them), and the modules I saw were rather more specialized than general (e.g., one of them was for creating reports having something to do with DBI I think, in Word document format). In general, creating documents in a partially-understood format is easier than parsing them, because for parsing you have to know whatever aspect of the format that the document happens to use. For generating documents, you just have to figure out the basics, and then you can use the regular means (e.g., Word) to create one that's like what you want and simply copy large parts of it without fully understanding them, substituting in your custom content each time in place of the dummy content from the initial document.

I guess a lot depends on how much of the format of M$ Word Microsoft will release

Unless I am greatly mistaken, most of what we know about the Word document format does not come from information that Microsoft has released.

then no-one is going to be able to create them (although isn't _that_ what OpenOffice can do ??)

OpenOffice inherited its Word input and output filters from StarDivision, who created them the same way that Corel did for the WordPerfect suite: by studying documents that were created with Word and figuring out what the different parts mean. The filters have been refined over the years and are getting to be quite good now, but there was some trial and error that went into getting them right; it wasn't as simple as reading a specification and implementing it. I suspect that the source code for the Word input and output filters built into OpenOffice is probably the best extant documentation of the Word document format outside of Microsoft. (Inside of Microsoft there is the source code for Word, of course.)


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