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I have the following situation: I am writing my thesis in Latex and my adviser, who has never heard about Latex, decided to edit my thesis in MS Word (initially, he made corrections on the printed copy of the thesis). So, I am wondering if it is possible to convert .tex file to Word document preferably keeping chemical structures written in chemfig. I am not concerned about table of content, citations, and bibliography. I understand that it is not trivial task but maybe there is a "magic way" to do that. Any solutions in Linux, Windows, Mac are greatly appreciated!

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    Why would your adviser edit your thesis? – egreg Jul 2 '13 at 14:33
  • @egreg You mean in general? – chemist Jul 2 '13 at 14:45
  • Yes. He/she shouldn't. – egreg Jul 2 '13 at 14:46
  • @egreg To check the content, format, mistakes etc.. – chemist Jul 2 '13 at 14:49
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    @egreg Doesn't this depend on a whole bunch of factors: local academic culture, departmental norms, disciplinary differences .... I don't remember my adviser doing this. But then I sent him PDF in a Word-centric universe. And somebody else in the department once insisted on having Word, even though I warned him that it would open as gobbledygook. And then emailed me to say it opened as gobbledygook. (This was before I switched to LaTeX. The departmental copies of Word could not read Word documents created on my laptop in Word....) – cfr Apr 22 '16 at 23:50
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I was in the exact same situation months ago. I ended up copypasting the LaTeX source code into a word document and ask my advisor to ignore the LaTeX commands (after briefly explaining what they mean). For the figures (and your chemfig figures), take screenshots and copypaste them into the word document. Same with tables.

This will give you some extra work, but your advisor will thank you.

I also put the Word files in a separate folder under git version control and updated the files when I received corrections from my supervisor. Worked like a charm. Of course, you'll want to use version control for your main LaTeX files as well. Saved me from big trouble more than once. If you wish, I can elaborate further on how I used git for my thesis.

  • Thanks a lot for your reply. I will do what you suggest - copy/paste from Latex to Word document. Unfortunately, I am really short of time to start learning git, but if you don't mind I will ask you to help me with git a little bit later. – chemist Jul 3 '13 at 13:40
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Maybe highlighting/strikethrough and notes in pdf reader (Adobe Reader XI at least) can be a workaround? It's pretty straightforward to use.

  • I suggested that to my adviser, but he was not happy about the idea to edit in pdf - it is more painful for him. – chemist Jul 3 '13 at 13:43
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    well, let's see what he/she will tell when trying to ignore \LaTeX special characters. Experimental section must be a nightmare... – lastpook Jul 4 '13 at 14:54
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You can use then standalone document class with preview option, the compile and drag the pdf to word.

This is a mwe for you.

\documentclass[preview,border={1pt 1pt 1pt 1pt}]{standalone}
\usepackage{chemfig}
\begin{document}
\chemfig{-[:-35]=^[:35,1.05]-[:-35]}
\end{document}

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