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rtf2TeX and rtf2LaTeX

last update: Feb 14, 2011

The information provided here is for those who are interested in the history.

First, Paul Dubois <dubois "at" primate.wisc.edu> wrote an RTF reader and converter to plain text or troff. The version is dated April 1991.
See RTF utilities homepage (external link).

a) Based on this reader, Robert Lupton <rhl "at" astro.princeton.edu> wrote the rtf2TeX converter. Last revision date: May 1992

He comments on this as follows (README-file):
citation begin>>
This is a first attempt at an RTF to TeX converter. The parts that handle fonts and such like seem to work pretty well, although they could be improved, but the table handling is a problem. I had a good deal of trouble trying to figure out what particular rtf control codes were supposed to do; this makes it hard to convert them into TeX. I have tried to produce good TeX, but this is not easy due to the sloppy way that many RTF writers generate redundant font and other changes.
Many things are not handled at all, more due to my lacking motivation than to their intrinsic difficulty. For example, I don't support double columns, but it would be easy enough to do (I'd generate a control sequence to do it, and add the TeX code required to the TeX_defs file. I even have the TeX somewhere...).
<<citation end

So far the beginning of the README file. Later he commented:
citation begin>>
Most (all?) RTF is hopelessly unstructured
(the equivalent of \bf \it Hello \rm World \bf He \it \rm said. )
and the code that I wrote tries valiantly to convert this to something sensible, in this case
{\it Hello\/} World {\bf He} said.
It is this attempt to make the output TeX usable that makes the code complicated...
I did not try to convert equations or tables as I could find no adaquate description of either; I don't think that it would be very hard.
<<citation end

Available on CTAN sites, dir .../support/rtf2tex

b) Based on these two, Erwin Wechtl wrote the rtf2LaTeX converter.
Last revision date: Aug. 1993

He comments on this as follows (README-file):
citation begin>>
rtf2LaTeX is a filter built on Paul DuBois' RTF reader that converts RTF (Microsoft's Rich Text Format) into LaTeX. rtf2LaTeX expends a good deal of effort in an attempt to make the resulting LaTeX maintainable and modifiable.
<<citation end

At the moment converts text elements, but no formulas and no graphics.
C-source and an executable for MSDOS are available on CTAN sites, dir .../support/rtf2latex

c) In 1999, Ujwal Sathyam took Paul Dubois' rtf reader source and adapted it to handle later versions of rtf. To distinguish this branch from the others, it was named rtf2latex2e.
In 2000, Steve Swanson from Mackichan Software (http://www.mackichan.com, makers of Scientific Word and Workplace) added the capability to convert Equation Editor and MathType objects.
In the further course of development, many more features were added, e.g. the capability to convert several types of embedded graphics.
Release 1.0fc2 was finished in May 2001 and remained as such until 2010.

In Dec. 2010, Scott Prahl resumed development on rtf2latex2e, resulting in a first 2.0 release in Jan 2011.

Available on CTAN sites, dir .../support/rtf2latex2e


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