[texhax] Converting LaTeX files into MS Word

David C. Walden dave at walden-family.com
Wed Nov 22 22:02:35 CET 2006

>From: peralta <peralta at cc.usu.edu>
> > I am about to begin writing a book for a publisher.
> > The publisher says they prefer to receive
> > the text in Word

My guess is that the publisher wants a Word file as input to
InDesign or QuarkXPress and doesn't intend to typeset your book in Word
(this was my experience with the last two books I wrote), so (as
someone else suggested) it is worth talking to the publisher to
find out what the publisher's actual process is and what they actually
need from you.

My insight and experience tells me to not struggle with doing
what the publisher is not interested in doing:

1.  If they are willing to take a finished PDF and you are
     willing to create a fully-designed and typeset PDF, then
     use LaTeX if you are interested in learning it.

2.  If they are willing to take LaTeX as input (sounds like they
     are not) and you are willing to learn LaTeX, do that.


3.  If you for like using LaTeX for developing the book and
     are then willing to provide the text as plain-text-in
     Word files and the math is fairly separate from the
     text, do that.  It's easy enough to do a little editing,
     cutting, and pasting to convert text in LaTeX into plain
     text in Word.  Then I would treat the equation lines as
     "illustrations", give the publisher copies of the PDF pages with
     the equations, and let the publisher figure out how to typeset
     these "illustrations" in InDesign or whatever the publisher
     is converting the Word files into.

4.  If the math is not fairly separate from the text or you aren't
     willing to do the work noted in point 2, I'd just write the
     manuscript in Word, give them the math in some format, and
     let them typeset the book.

The commercial program TeX2Word does work (not as hands-off as Word2TeX
because the former can have so much more variety) but my guess is
you probably will have to do some significant editing once you get it
to Word.

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