RE: Can an XML authoring tool import MS Word Docs?

Subject: RE: Can an XML authoring tool import MS Word Docs?
From: "Ed Nixon" <ed -dot- nixon -at- LynnParkPlace -dot- org>
To: "'Ron Rhodes'" <RRhodes -at- fourthchannel -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 08:56:23 -0500

I think you are looking for a ghost in asking for the capability to import
DOC files to XML via a menu option.

You might be able to do something using WordPerfect version 9.0. It does a
pretty good job of importing DOC or RTF files. It also has a reasonably
functional XML/SGML editing capability. Getting from imported DOC/RTF to the
XML format, however, is dependent on associating styles with XML tags. This
is incredibly complicated and unreliable using 'Import' functionality.

You might want to consider one or both of two approaches:
1. Tools built into or around Word that provide XML/SGML functionality. One
company the says it can do this is I4I in Toronto. They have a tool kit for
customizing Word according to your XML document type definitions. I have no
experience with this software, however. One of the major content management
companies advertises a similar tool in conjunction with its repository
software. I'm afraid the name has slipped my mind.

The inherent unreliability of wordprocessors in relation to editing strictly
structured content is almost insurmountable, however.

2. Conversion software: there are a number of options here. For example, the
Omnimark company sells a programming/scripting tool that has been used to
convert RTF files to XML. There is an Omnimark utility for doing just that
available. The Omnimark programming language is now available for free with
certain restrictions.

Alternatively, products like Majix, HTML Transit, DynaTag can be configured
to convert named styles to target XML tags. However, some of these tools
create exposures with respect to XML validation issues.

In general, getting from proprietary wordprocessor formats to XML is a major
project in itself. If you don't think it through and plan it out properly,
you can end up drowning in costs particularly with conversions of any size.
In my experience, this is the major issue of day when you consider moving to
XML. Few decision makers seem to understand the issues or the amount of
investment involved in the transition.

Regards. ...edN

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-19740 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-19740 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of
> Ron Rhodes
> Sent: Friday, November 05, 1999 7:58 AM
> Subject: Can an XML authoring tool import MS Word Docs?
> To All:
> Does an XML authoring tool exist which enables a tech-writer
> to import Word
> documents? I downloaded test-drove xMetal and it does not
> have an import
> feature.
> Suggestions?
> Ron
> rrhodes -at- fourthchannel -dot- com
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