I write in latex, but I often need to collaborate with others who insist on using MS Word. so, I create my part of the document first in latex, then I convert it to MS-Word and kiss it goodbye. it's a roach motel kind of conversion---it checks in, but it won't check out. and please don't ask me to convert my collaborators. I can't. I wish. but I can't.

now, in the past, I have looked at https://www.tug.org/utilities/texconv/textopc.html but found no good solutions there. I also looked at solutions in Workflow for converting LaTeX into Open Office / MS Word Format and they were a good start.

from what I have seen, the best completely painless effortless way on me, as a user, seems to be to use OCR on the pdf file. It gets a good part of the required MS-Word formatting right. (I find the ones with interim conversion to odt to be not only painful but also having poor results.)

Alas, there is one oddity. I think that typical OCR software tends to ignore the information that pdftotext (from glyph&cog's poppler ubuntu package) can obtain. This is because there are occasional characters that are misrecognized in words.

is there an OCR program that can use the text-based information in pdf files in its scan process, too? has anyone done systematic experimentation on the quality of automated latex -> pdf -> msword (OCR) translations?

  • This doesn't answer your question, but you might be interested in taking a look at the Rich Text mode of writeLaTeX and their JotGit. I've never used either of them, but they both look interesting. – Adam Liter Jun 16 '14 at 4:04
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    If it's clear for a specific document, that it will need to be converted to Word, I'd have a look at markdown (see pandoc and others) This is will allow you to convert to LaTeX and Word easily. – Uwe Ziegenhagen Jun 16 '14 at 4:40
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    And why don't you use tex4ht? – Keks Dose Jun 16 '14 at 6:10
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    Finereader will convert your pdf to image and then process it with ocr, so all possible structural information in the pdf file are lost. also new typing errors may occur. I often convert scanned books to text with Finereader and it takes lot of time to correct all typos and formatting errors in this process, I would definitely use tex4ht to convert LaTeX to word – michal.h21 Jun 16 '14 at 6:37
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    tex4ht -> ODF -> open in LibreOffice, tidy up -> DOC/DOCX. That has worked best for me, at least. – cfr May 13 '16 at 16:19

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