Techinical question of this academic question: https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/62400/advisor-likes-ms-word-i-like-latex

I have an issue with my Supervisor: he likes to write papers on MS Word and I like to write in LaTeX. We have had issues with editing and formating since it is dificult to do it while working on different platforms.

I have tried the following to try to convert from LaTeX source code to MS Word format:

But none of them give the desired output that I want: https://www.ieee.org/documents/trans_jour.docx

Which is a 2-column IEEE format paper.

Does anyone has any advise on how to convert from LaTeX to Word efficiently?

  • 6
    This comes up from time to time: if your advisor likes Word, use Word. Conversion is not straight-forward and for back-and-forward edits it's a non-starter.
    – Joseph Wright
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:07
  • You can't do it. That's as plain as it gets. You have to first convert it to a plain Word document with correct heading levels then you can apply the IEEE style as a template. There is nothing you can do on LaTeX side.
    – percusse
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:13
  • I agree with @JosephWright even if it would be nice to convert your advisor to TeX this looks unlikely to happen and could cause "I knew I should not have listened to you" effect should anything go wrong. May I suggest a switch to Google Docs? It may solve multiplatform issues and enable a much easier and interactive collaboration (commenting support there is great)
    – Bordaigorl
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:14
  • 3
    I am sorry for you. Maybe it helps if you mentally separate the draft process with the finalization process. Use whatever tool do agree to get to a draft, Word, Google Docs, paper. Once it is (near) finally, make it LaTeX for your peace of mind, and let your advisor keep a crappy Word document with broken math and bibliography. Remember, most of the work is in drafting, not typesetting and be practical. Also, try with Authorea.com, which although experimental at this point, let's you abstract a bit from the Word vs. LaTeX debate.
    – alfC
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:21
  • 3
    As others haves said, translating more than once word <=> latex will only cause you grief. What format are you submitting in? If it's word, no more than your first draft should be in LaTeX. Once your supervisor starts editing a word version, stick with that. If you can Submit in LaTeX, your best option is manually transferring your supervisor's changes to a word document back to your LaTeX source. If you use an automatic conversion program, you'll spend more time correcting errors it introduces than you would have doing it by hand.
    – Tyler
    Jan 29, 2016 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


Summarising my comments: use Word. There is no method which can do LaTeX to Word interconversion in any way that is going to work for collaborative editing. The reality is it will be easier for you to use Word than for your advisor to (fail to) use LaTeX, and you need your advisor to be involved. There are solutions that allow one-off conversions after a fashion, but as the underlying idea of a word processor and a typesetting system are different they are at best partial solutions for single use.


Use pandoc, but not for converting between LaTeX and Word. Instead write in pandoc-flavored Markdown, with embedded LaTeX math if needed. In my experience, everything one should focus on while producing text can be represented in Markdown. You convert the Markdown to Word to give it to your advisor (works even for math), they can make changes and comments. The drawback is you have to incorporate their changes manually into the Markdown master document. When you submit, create LaTeX or Word from Markdown and apply the final formatting.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.