I write my papers in LaTeX and always reference the same, giant .bib file for citations (natbib+bibtex or biblatex, depending on journal or document requirements).

If this is your mode of operation, how do you collaborate with those who work in Word? Do you keep a parallel Endnote/Zotero file?

Clarification The purpose is so that I can contribute my sections in MS Word; not convert colleagues to LaTeX or always be the manager of the master document as project needs often dictate that someone else (MS Word user) will be managing the master document. E.g., there are cases in which I am the only LaTeX user out of 20+ collaborators.

  • What kind of collaboration do you have in mind? Do you just want to generate a Word document out of your source or is there something else?
    – wilx
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 11:47
  • Related: How can I convert my TeX-illiterate coworkers to LaTeX? Commented May 24, 2016 at 11:55
  • If the bibiliography is the only technical barrier to the collaboration you could just agree to manage it. Your colleagues might welcome that. Commented May 24, 2016 at 13:00
  • I use tex4ht to convert to ODT, open in LibreOffice, export to DOC or DOCX. If I needed to add references to a common document, I'd cite them in a scratch document, generate a bibliography and the convert that or cut-and-paste if it was only a couple and style by hand.
    – cfr
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 2:25
  • @cfr I don't know if you are aware but pandoc does convert reference (when tex4ht doesn't)(see my answer for details). I used to work with tex4ht and I change to pandoc. I noticed also the formating was better handled with pandoc.
    – ppr
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 12:59

3 Answers 3


When I have to work on MS Word documents, I wrote my part in a LaTeX file as usual (and enjoy my emacs+AUCTeX shortcuts). Then I convert the document using pandoc to odt and copy/paste my document into the official one (usually a .docx). It probably possible to convert directly to Docx (pandoc seems to support it)

The big avantage of pandoc is it can take the references cited in our document from the big .bib file and display it in a odt/docx file. You will not have plenty style related options but it does the job.

pandoc test.tex -o output.odt --bibliography /my/bibliography.bib -s

Here is a MWE in another answer for that.

If you use Emacs, RefTeX has also a useful option which allows you to create automatically a small .bib file with all the references cited in a specific LaTeX file. This is very nice for sending to publishers only relevant references. You have to call this command when visiting the LaTeX file :

M-x reftex-create-bibtex-file

Currently I am converting my latex generated pdf as Word documents. I use the pdf export function in Adobe reader to convert the pdf into word files. It works better than using LaTex2RTF tools.


One way to collaborate with Word users (85% of the academic population uses Word, by the way: source) is to use a tool like Authorea (disclaimer, I work at Authorea) which lets you create documents that combine rich text elements and LaTeX elements (as well as markdown, d3 figures, data, etc). One important benefit is that in Authorea LaTeX is rendered to the web (not need to compile to PDF) and as such Word users can comment on it the way they would comment on a printed page. More here

  • 4
    According to your profile you are associated with authorea, you might want to add a disclaimer about this in your answer.
    – moewe
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 16:07

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