latex2rtf is a translator program to convert LaTeX formatted text files into “rich text format” (RTF) files. RTF is a published standard format by Microsoft. This standard can be ambiguous in places, but RTF is supported by many text editors. Specifically, it is supported by Microsoft Word. This means that the conversion of a LaTeX document to RTF allows anyone with a copy of Word to convert LaTeX files to Word .doc or .docx files.
- Conversion of a wide range of input encodings
- Conversion of equations (unfortunately using the broken Microsoft implementation of EQ fields)
- Conversion of tables
- Conversion of graphics
- Conversion of cross-references
- Conversion of bibliographies
The Word-centric conversion of LaTeX files is because that is what I needed. Perhaps one day this will change, but because the Microsoft field extensions are poorly supported by Open Office (for good reason), the emitted RTF files tend to be Microsoft Word specific.
latex2rtf translates the text and as much of the formatting information from LaTeX to RTF. Be forewarned that the typeset output is not nearly as good as what you would get from using LaTeX directly. So, why bother translating? Consider,
- You use LaTeX and hate everything associated with Microsoft. Nevertheless, you have to share your documents with people who don't even know that there are alternatives.
- You know somebody who frequently sends you very fine LaTeX documents. Unfortunately, you are “on the other side” and need to work with this obscure LaTeX file.
- You like LaTeX and BibTeX. You interact with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, your main collaborator is an unrepentant Word user.
There are drawbacks to the conversion process. In fact, don't expect any LaTeX file to be converted as you would like, don't expect it to be converted without errors or warnings, and don't be especially surprised when it doesn't convert at all. LaTeX2RTF is known to have many bugs and many missing features. Paradoxically, this number seems to grow more and more with each day. However, we can categorically state that there are some special cases in which a LaTeX file will be translated to RTF satisfactorily by LaTeX2RTF — This was sort of disclaimer, ok? OK!