Word, RTF, PDF output tools?

I have a project where I need to create output in HTML, plaintext, Word doc, RTF, and PDF formats. The Word doc options seems particularly annoying.

A clean solution would be something that allowed these different outputs from the same source in XML, Markdown, or something like that.

The requirements are that it must run on UNIX, it must work with Word 2000 and forward, so the 2003 WordprocessingML format won’t cut it, and I prefer free and open source solutions. Something that has a good API in Ruby is nice, but not required.

Do you have any pointers to help me get started?


Openoffice.org can do this, but I am not sure how perfectly the integration is. I have a simple solution that exec's openoffice and runs a macro for every conversion. That is not very efficient but works with any conversion openoffice.org supports. Something like this http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=11890 There is a daemon for Openoffice.org 2.0 http://udk.openoffice.org/python/python-bridge.html I haven't tried to make that work yet.
By Dave Bauer on Wed, Dec 28, 05 at 13:37 · Reply
Hi Lars, I didn't know that you are also writing Ruby these days. Well, about Rich text output. While ago I had to generate on .NET similar thing XML2OfficeFormat and I end up to do everything in RTF because even if you are in .NET enviroment DOC format is a peace of s*** do develop. Though, WordML would have been nice but not many people uses Office 2003 so I end up to work only with RTF. Why would you want to have DOC-format when you already have RTF? Unless you plan to create some macros in it use RTF1.7 it can do pretty much everything that doc format, you can set all default view when opening in Word etc. Unfortunally I could not find any tools for RTF when I convert XML to RTF (except one Perl script that analyze RTF files). But perhaps StyleVision could help you to work on this take a look http://www.altova.com/products_xsl.html it also nicely integrates with XMLSpy. Both have trial on the webpage.
If you want a wysiwyg editor OpenOffice is a nice solution. If you want divide presentation and contents you can try latex or docbook + emacs with docbook-utils you can use intuitive tools docbook2html or docbook2rtf. You know that emacs is a very powerful editor and psgml-mode is very nice.
By davidam on Wed, Dec 28, 05 at 13:37 · Reply
We are using altovas stylevision to create the xsl files to use with Apaches FOP (http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/fop/). This will give you PDF and RTF which is good enogh for our clients.
By Lars Buur on Wed, Dec 28, 05 at 13:37 · Reply

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