Sunday, March 30, 2008

OpenOffice and LaTeX

I am stunned. I am working on the dissertation and need to make a LaTeX monograph out of some publications. The biggest pain is that I had written two of the papers in MS Word, and previous experience cut-and-pasting from Word to a text file was horrible. I also no longer have MS Word installed on my new machine (didn't come pre-installed from Dell), so I have been using OpenOffice. So how do I get from Word to LaTeX when I only have OO?

More as procrastination I did a search and found Writer2LaTeX. Some saint named Henrik Just created this to convert OO docs (either swx or odf format) to LaTeX. Looks like he has been working on it for a while with a set of faithful followers submitting feature requests. Between OO 2.4 being able to flawlessly open the MS Word docs and save to ODF plus Writer2LaTeX, I probably saved myself 2 days of irritating work.

It's not perfect as I need to convert some equations images to proper LaTeX, yet the mind-numbing job of cut and paste is rendered unnecessary.

Thanks Henrik and the rest of the OpenOffice team!

While not open source, TeXaide from Design Science is a very nice free LaTeX equation editor. Write your equation, the highlight and copy it... then it pastes magically as text markup into your LaTeX code. Now if only I could just drag and drop an image on it and have it convert the equation in the image.

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