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[Discuss] LibreOffice and .docx files

On Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:46:21 +0000
Mike Small <smallm at> wrote:

> Nancy Allison <nancythewriter7 at> writes:
> > Hello, all.
> >
> > I painfully conclude that I must install Word on my Ubuntu 16.04
> > machine. I need to be able to handle Word files consistently.
> >
> > So I opened Synaptic Package Manager and searched for Microsoft
> > Word. No luck.
> >
> > What do I do? How do I get it installed?
> >
> > I know, it pains me! But I don't see a way around it. All
> > suggestions gratefully received!
> >
> > --Nancy
> >  
> Okay, you said "all suggestions," remember that.
> So here goes: The sooner you (and whatever network of people forcing
> your hand here) can migrate away from Microsoft Word AND Libreoffice
> or Openoffice and over to something like LaTeX the better off you will
> be. 

Careful. Although I agree 100% with your underlying thesis, keep in
mind that LaTeX was created as a 1 to 1 match with the paper document.
It contains all sorts of stuff that a generic document doesn't want or

In a perfect world, a document would contain nothing but plain text and
styles applied to strings and paragraphs of that plain text. It would
contain nothing directly influencing appearance. The definition of the
styles would map styles to appearance, and would probably appear in a
separate file.

Xhtml would be a much better universal writing format than LaTeX, and
it could be translated to LaTeX fairly easily.

I once started creating the ultimate, easy human readable, easy human
writeable format. I called it Stylz. I haven't finished it, but you can
read about it here:

If and when I finish Stylz, writing a full-featured styled document in
a text editor will be fast and trivial.

> You'll need to learn LaTeX of course (a wrapper for it named Lyx
> may help smooth the learning curve,

The LyX project had the best shot at creating a great tool for writing
universal documents, but so far they've failed miserably. Their
exported html and xhtml is so convoluted that you can't use it to write
a flowing text eBook that will conform to Apple's or Amazon's
standards. LyX's html and xhtml export mechanisms prematurely convert
styles to appearances, have deprecated tags such as <a name=>, have
different paragraph styles for first paragraphs, just to give first
paragraphs a distinct appearance.

Steve Litt 
December 2017 featured book: Thriving in Tough Times

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