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I'm preparing a book to be published and keeping everything in .docx files. Other than text the files include graphs (jpeg) and lots of equations typed in MathType. Since MS Word is not fully appropriate to balance text and shapes according to book format, some pages are having spacings at the bottom after some text, and then comes a shape on the next page. I know that LaTeX is very good at formatting, so is it possible to convert MS Word documents (or PDF documents, since I can easily convert them to PDF) into LaTeX format so that I can handle my work in LaTeX from now on?

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Have you google'd this problem? I believe there are multiple tools that do what you want. –  Jonno_FTW May 14 '10 at 7:44
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No I didn't. Instead I wanted to ask experienced SuperUsers for convenience. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 14 '10 at 8:23
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Mehper: LaTeX is no magic bullet. Typesetting and layout is as much an art as it is craft and while LaTeX may have a few sensible defaults and well-written packages there is much it can't do automatically. Just a note of warning, but pouring LaTeX on your document won't magically make it better. Not by itself. –  Joey May 15 '10 at 7:10
    
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is the first result from google and seems to offer the features you want:

http://www.grindeq.com/

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Late to this party but have you tried looking at the stackoverflow question? If you are a complete newbie to latex it looks like wordtolatex and gaussnewton seem best choices.

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I don't know about equations, but there are several rtf to LaTeX converters that should also handle the graphs.
Be aware that LaTeX has a pretty steep learning curve, especially if you want to control the layout as much as you need to for a book. Its great once you have the knowledge, but it may be a struggle to get there. Does your publisher really expect you to do all of the layout? I thought that most of them did the layout themselves using some fairly expensive software packages.

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I also thought like you but they expect the authors to handle the layout, and they want the whole work in a final single pdf file. I wish they did it because it will cost me too much time to struggle with the layout and formatting. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 14 '10 at 14:29
    
Keith: Many publishers have pushed layout and typesetting to the author by now. Perhaps they thought that since DTP software is readily available it would ultimately be cheaper. The reality is usually that the outcome is far worse than any crime any typographer has ever committed. And agreed on that using LaTeX with little to no experience or formal training in typography won't result in stellar results either. In this case I'd probably just stick to Word instead of noticing after a week or so of migrating to LaTeX that I have the same problems, and I still don't know how to solve them. –  Joey May 15 '10 at 7:08
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docx2tex is the best. It's free software, based on .NET, and works well. You may be able to get this to work with Mono on non-Windows machines: it uses just the System.IO.Packaging .NET class, which has recently been implemented in Mono.

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