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Manual Reference Pages  -  RTF2LATEX2E (1)


rtf2latex2e - convert RTF file to LaTeX format




rtf2latex2e [options ...] file.tex


rtf2latex2e converts a text file in rich text format (RTF) to a text file in LaTeX format. Text styles, symbols, equations, tables, and footnotes are handled. rtf2latex2e also extracts and saves any image files found inside the RTF file. The resulting LaTeX file and included images can be typeset using LaTeX but, of course, image formats unsupported by LaTeX will need to be converted to an image with a supported format. As of version 2.1 a bash script unoconv is used to convert Apple PICT and Microsoft WMF and EMF files to PDF format using OpenOffice/LibreOffice. JPEG and PNG image formats are not converted, but just emitted as files and included in the LaTeX document. The general idea is to allow the converted document to be processed with pdflatex. pict2pdf is used to convert Apple PICT to PDF files if it is present.


-b Single option that chooses options that for the best match between LaTeX and RTF formatting. (This fidelity is at the expense of readability and often the RTF makes poor choices for indentation and line spacing that are automatically provided by LaTeX.) This option is equivalent to '-e 1 -p 63 -t 7 -T 3'
-D Create a new directory named 'file-latex' and save the converted LaTeX and extracted images inside.
-e # Manage equation conversion. Multiple options (see below) can be combined by adding individual options together. For example, if you would like both the equations that have been translated into TeX as well as the images of the equations (because you don't trust rtf2latex2e ) then you might use '-e 3' so that you could see both in the typeset LaTeX file.
-e 1 Convert MathType equations (which includes basic Word Equation Editor equations) to LaTeX
-e 2 Include image of Math Type equations (which includes basic Word Equation Editor equations) in the LaTeX file
-e 4 Retain the intermediate .eqn files extracted for each equation. This is primarily useful as a debugging tool.
-e 8 Insert the name of the .eqn file into the text of the LaTeX file. Obviously this is most useful when the previous option is selected as well.
-f Create a fractional LaTeX document. The LaTeX preamble is omitted and the resulting file can be processed using \include{file.tex} in another document.
-h Help!
-n Option to produce a 'natural' LaTeX document that is easy to edit. This option discards a lot of paragraph mark-up and futzing with line spacing. Consequently the typeset results will probably look less like the original RTF file, but isn't that why you converted the file in the first place? This option is equivalent to '-e 1 -p 33 -t 12 -T 0'
-p # Manage paragraph conversion. The number is additive so if you want to preserve only indenting and line spacing then use -p 6
-p 1 Conversion of basic paragraph formatting to LaTeX structures. For example, enable mapping of 'heading 1' style to '\section{}'
-p 2 Retain paragraph indention of RTF document.
-p 4 Retain spacing between paragraphs as in RTF document.
-p 8 Retain paragraph line spacing of RTF document.
-p 16 Retain margins used in RTF document.
-p 32 Retain paragraph alignment (e.g., justified, left, right) in RTF document.
-P path path to support files (See FILES below). The directory that the files were originally installed is shown at the end of the help text from @code{rtf2latex2e -h}
-t # Manage text conversion. Combine options by adding them together. Why isn't there a way to retain the actual fonts (e.g., Helvetica)? Because that is hard.
-t 1 Retain text size of RTF document.
-t 2 Retain text colors in RTF document.
-t 4 Retain text formatting (bold, italic) of RTF document.
-t 8 Replace tabs with spaces (because tabs are useless in LaTeX).
-T # Manage table conversion. Table conversion kind of works, but the impedance mismatch between the way that RTF handles tables and LaTeX does them is horrific. Often it is
-T 1 keep column widths
-T 2 keep column alignment


There are a bunch of other files used by rtf2latex2e These are usually located in /usr/local/share/rtf2latex2e but may have been installed elsewhere by your packaging system. The files most amenable to tweaking by humans are
    latex-encoding   file used to map symbols to LaTeX commands
    r2l-head         LaTeX commands inserted in every LaTeX preamble
    r2l-map          mapping between RTF styles and LaTeX commands
    r2l-pref         default preferences for rtf2latex2e

The other files consist of tables to facilitate conversion of RTF commands and symbols.


rtf2latex2e foo              convert foo.rtf to foo.tex
rtf2latex2e -n foo           minimal excess mark-up
rtf2latex2e -e 15 foo        help identify failed equation conversion
rtf2latex2e foo-eqn003.eqn   debug third equation (after above command)
rtf2latex2e -D foo           put foo.tex and images in foo-latex
rtf2latex2e foo.rtfd         convert and put result in foo-latex


Some might consider RTF to be a bug. Markup for table conversion is still convoluted. Good free utilities for converting PICT and EMF files to EPS or PDF are not readily available for all platforms.


rtf2latex2e is GPL licensed (version 2) and available from SourceForge at

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