Dear LyX Users,

I've spent most of today struggling with the question of, "What is the
best way to convert a LyX/LaTeX document into a Word document?"

I've looked separately at latex2rtf (which works, but makes it very
difficult to customize the output) and going through html (via a variety
of routes).  One option that has me particularly excited is going
through docbook.  I've been playing with the Export->LaTeX and then
transforming the resulting LaTeX into docbook using tex4ht. Once in
docbook, it's pretty easy to transform it to MS Word.  (For more detail,
see: http://www.explain.com.au/oss/docbook/).

This has been working *really* well with the different test documents
I've been using.  Figures, tables, and non-English characters appear to
survive and structure is largely preserved.  (I don't actually care
about formatting as much.  If I want to preserve formatting, I usually
send a PDF.)  What makes me more excited, however, is that the content
can be likely be transformed *back*.  I still need to experiment and see
how well this works.

The problem, as you might guess, is that it is involved.  If I had to do
this type of processing on more than just a files, it would be a
tremendous PITA.  So, I'm looking for ways to automate it.  The first
automation step, it would seem, is to try and create a DocBook file from
LaTeX.  For the life of me, however, I can't seem to figure out how to
do this.

I've tried creating a new document converter for LaTeX (plain) ->
DocBook using tex4ht, and it appears to do something (I don't get any
errors); but it doesn't actually create any output files.  Does anyone
know why this might be?

(As a side question, LaTeX (plain) -> OpenDocument is completely broken
on Ubuntu 9.10.  It will produce a file, but when loaded into OpenOffice
3.1, it's just a blank page.  Has anyone else had this problem?)

Here are my settings:

>From format: LaTeX (plain)
To format: DocBook
Converter: mk4ht dblatex $$i
Extra flag: needaux

I've also experimented with leaving out the needaux, which results in
the same problem as described above.  I'm not getting any errors.

Any thoughts or ideas would be extremely appreciated.

Cheers,

Rob Oakes

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