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Is there anybody there, who uses this combination as the pipeline of document production in his/her work? IF so what are the common bugs/imperfection that one should expect.

From a latex-noob point of view, it seems faster and easier to work(collaborate) on a paper in Microsoft Word (For months) and then use a plugin or some other quick converter to make it into a latex on the last week(ideally a day) if there exist a smooth conversion tool to get to .tex format?

a reliable/acceptable converting should address the journal template/format, tables, table of content, footnotes, margins, figures, equations and bibliography. Is there a bulletproof conversion out there, and if not why?

  • 1- I edited the question, hope now it makes sense why it is an academic-related question. collaborating and quick creation on the doc is much easier that latex, but the final product of a scientific report is much better looking in latex(especially if some math involved). 2- I am not sure who else other than academician would use latex or would be curious to know about the reliability of such quick methods otherwise, I would add it on those forums. – Amir Apr 16 '17 at 19:01
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    Whatever you do, don't do it on the last day. – henning Apr 16 '17 at 19:38
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    It would help if you tell us what discipline you work in. Also, what makes you think that there are any tools that convert content (including I assume math equations) from Microsoft Word to LaTeX? Can you point to an example of such a tool so we can get a sense of how such a conversion workflow might work? – Dan Romik Apr 17 '17 at 16:10
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    If you work in a field that expects papers to be written in LaTeX, why not learn LaTeX? – Stella Biderman Apr 17 '17 at 17:14
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    @DanRomik For instance, Pandoc. – Massimo Ortolano Apr 17 '17 at 17:26
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The most probable answer to what acceptable is the conversion from word to LaTeX is probable too little. The main reason is that word is more based in local format (visual appeareance) rather than semantic tags.

For instance, you need to specify that a group of specific paragraphs are the abstract. LaTeX made this using an instruction like \abstract{ ... text ...}. A converter needs to look in styles to learn the meaning of the text fragment against its list of heading, leyends, abstract, section, subsection, etc.

But if what you want is have a simpler medium to wrote and rewrote contributions to the text, provided that you have a a solution to create graphics in jpg, png or pdf format and a transfer the more complex tables to LaTeX way, you can use Pandoc to convert from word to LaTeX.

  • I like this fundamental explanation of how these two are treating the content and its composition. And Pandoc seems like an interesting Swiss Army as well. How do you assess tools (Lyx, OfficeLibre, etc) or formats (RTF, HTML, XML) that Microsoft word can save-to in this probable pipeline? – Amir Apr 18 '17 at 21:44
  • @Amir. You should save word in docx, because this is the understood format for Pandoc. If you want to move between Word docx and LibreOffice odt, try to not make styles changes from the standards used, until the very end. You can also use some web based solutions that take out of author's sight, those problems and allows other authors contributions and version control in a different way that word does (draft, authorea, penflip, sharelatex, overleaf, online latex eq editor, etc.). I should add that LyX is interesting and easy to use. – djnavas Apr 19 '17 at 21:30
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MS-Word to LaTeX in general

There is quite a few Word to TeX converters out there but none of them worked well for my case. This is mainly because a load of spatial constraints imposed by Word making it difficult (though not entirely impossible) to reproduce in plain LaTeX generically.

For Journals

A big NO; it is not recommended you use Word to LaTeX converters for journal manuscript submission for the following reasons:

  • Most journals usually have LaTeX templates with pre-coded class files and have a mandatory requirement to use the same.
  • Tailoring a Word file to a LaTeX format for a specific journal is counter-intuitive. You would be spending more time on the presentation than the actual matter -- something that LaTeX was invented to prevent.
  • It makes copy editing even more troublesome. The class files provided by the publishers would contain tools that would assist not only the author but also the publisher to add further information (such as volume and issue number). Automated converters usually don't use prescribed journal class files.

Points to note

It might be a bit difficult at first but as you practice more at it, you would certainly feel that it is much more rewarding and efficient to write your papers, reports, and thesis in LaTeX than Word.

Moreover, most of which you noted: journal format, table of contents, footnotes, margins, figures, equations and bibliography is much easier in LaTeX than in Word (IMHO).

This is from my first-hand experience and heard the same from nearly all of my colleagues who moved to LaTeX -- all of who had to switch to LaTeX from Word just because of a journal requirement.

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