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I have a few Word documents, each containing a few hundred pages of scientific data which includes:

  • Chemical formulae (H2SO4 with all proper subscripts & superscripts)
  • Scientific numbers (exponents formatted using superscripts)
  • Lots of Mathematical Equations. Written using mathematical equation editor in Word.

Problem is, storing this data in Word is not efficient for us. So we want to store all this information in a database (MySQL). We want to convert the formatting to LaTex.

Is there any way to iterate through all the subcripts, superscripts and equations within a Word document using VBA?

share|improve this question
    
Have you thought about extracting the xml data from within the document it self? All Microsoft Documents 2007+ (.docx) are basically compressed xml files. You can retrieve those using an xml parser. –  KronoS Aug 1 '12 at 1:24
    
@KronoS: holyshit! I didn't know that. That would make my life a lot simple. can you brief me little bit more? How to uncompress them? –  claws Aug 1 '12 at 18:01
    
it was too long to post as a comment, so I added as an answer. –  KronoS Aug 1 '12 at 18:35

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Yes there is. I would sugest using Powershell as it handles Word files quite well. I think i will be the easiest way.

More on Powershell vs Word automation in here: http://www.simple-talk.com/dotnet/.net-tools/com-automation-of-office-applications-via-powershell/

I have digged a little deeper and i found this powershell script:

param([string]$docpath,[string]$htmlpath = $docpath)

$srcfiles = Get-ChildItem $docPath -filter "*.doc"
$saveFormat = [Enum]::Parse([Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word.WdSaveFormat], "wdFormatFilteredHTML");
$word = new-object -comobject word.application
$word.Visible = $False

function saveas-filteredhtml
    {
        $opendoc = $word.documents.open($doc.FullName);
        $opendoc.saveas([ref]"$htmlpath\$doc.fullname.html", [ref]$saveFormat);
        $opendoc.close();
    }

ForEach ($doc in $srcfiles)
    {
        Write-Host "Processing :" $doc.FullName
        saveas-filteredhtml
        $doc = $null
    }

$word.quit();

Save it as .ps1 and start it with:

convertdoc-tohtml.ps1 -docpath "C:\Documents" -htmlpath "C:\Output"

It will save all the .doc file from specified directory, as the html files. So i have a doc file in which i have your H2SO4 with subscripts and after powershell convertion the output is following:

<html>

<head>
<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Word 14 (filtered)">
<style>
<!--
 /* Font Definitions */
 @font-face
    {font-family:Calibri;
    panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;}
 /* Style Definitions */
 p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
    {margin-top:0in;
    margin-right:0in;
    margin-bottom:10.0pt;
    margin-left:0in;
    line-height:115%;
    font-size:11.0pt;
    font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
.MsoChpDefault
    {font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
.MsoPapDefault
    {margin-bottom:10.0pt;
    line-height:115%;}
@page WordSection1
    {size:8.5in 11.0in;
    margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;}
div.WordSection1
    {page:WordSection1;}
-->
</style>

</head>

<body lang=EN-US>

<div class=WordSection1>

<p class=MsoNormal><span lang=PL>H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub></span></p>

</div>

</body>

</html>

As you can see subscripts have their own tags in HTML so only thing that is left is to parse the file in bash or c++ to cut from body to /body , change the to LATEX and remove the rest of HTML tags afterwards.

Code from http://blogs.technet.com/b/bshukla/archive/2011/09/27/3347395.aspx


So i've developed a parser in C++ to look for HTML subscript and replace it with LATEX subscript.

The code:

#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <string>
#include <sstream>
#include <vector>

using namespace std;

 vector < vector <string> > parse( vector < vector <string> > vec, string filename )
{
        /*
                PARSES SPECIFIED FILE. EACH WORD SEPARATED AND
                PLACED IN VECTOR FIELD.

                REQUIRED INCLUDES:
                                #include <iostream>
                                #include <fstream>
                                #include <string>
                                #include <sstream>
                                #include <vector>

            EXPECTS: TWO DIMENTIONAL VECTOR
                     STRING WITH FILENAME
            RETURNS: TWO DIMENTIONAL VECTOR
                     vec[lines][words]
        */
        string vword;
        ifstream vfile;
        string tmp;

         // FILENAME CONVERSION FROM STING
        //  TO CHAR TABLE

        char cfilename[filename.length()+1];
        if( filename.length() < 126 )
        {
                for(int i = 0; i < filename.length(); i++)
                                cfilename[i] = filename[i];
                cfilename[filename.length()] = '\0';
        }
        else return vec;

         // OPENING FILE
        //
        vfile.open( cfilename );
        if (vfile.is_open())
        {
                while ( vfile.good() )
                {
                        getline( vfile, vword );
                        vector < string > vline;
                        vline.clear();

                        for (int i = 0; i < vword.length(); i++)
                        {
                                tmp = "";
                                 // PARSING CONTENT. OMITTING SPACES AND TABS
                                //
                                while (vword[i] != ' ' && vword[i] != ((char)9) && i < vword.length() )
                                        tmp += vword[i++];
                                if( tmp.length() > 0 ) vline.push_back(tmp);
                        }
                        if (!vline.empty())
                                vec.push_back(vline);
                }
                vfile.close();
        }
        else cout << "Unable to open file " << filename << ".\n";
        return vec;
}

int main()
{
        vector < vector < string > > vec;
        vec = parse( vec, "parse.html" );

        bool body = false;
        for (int i = 0; i < vec.size(); i++)
        {
                for (int j = 0; j < vec[i].size(); j++)
                {
                        if ( vec[i][j] == "<body") body=true;
                        if ( vec[i][j] == "</body>" ) body=false;
                        if ( body == true )
                        {
                                for ( int k=0; k < vec[i][j].size(); k++ )
                                {
                                        if (k+4 < vec[i][j].size() )
                                        {
                                                if (    vec[i][j][k]   == '<' &&
                                                        vec[i][j][k+1] == 's' &&
                                                        vec[i][j][k+2] == 'u' &&
                                                        vec[i][j][k+3] == 'b' &&
                                                        vec[i][j][k+4] == '>' )
                                                {

                                                        string tmp = "";
                                                        while (vec[i][j][k+5] != '<')
                                                        {
                                                                tmp+=vec[i][j][k+5];
                                                                k++;
                                                        }
                                                        tmp = "_{" + tmp + "}";
                                                        k=k+5+5;
                                                        cout << tmp << endl;;
                                                }
                                                else cout << vec[i][j][k];
                                        }
                                        else cout << vec[i][j][k];
                                }
                                cout << endl;
                        }
                }
        }
        return 0;
}

For the html file:

<html>

<head>
<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Word 14 (filtered)">
<style>
<!--
 /* Font Definitions */
 @font-face
        {font-family:Calibri;
        panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;}
 /* Style Definitions */
 p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
        {margin-top:0in;
        margin-right:0in;
        margin-bottom:10.0pt;
        margin-left:0in;
        line-height:115%;
        font-size:11.0pt;
        font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
.MsoChpDefault
        {font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
.MsoPapDefault
        {margin-bottom:10.0pt;
        line-height:115%;}
@page WordSection1
        {size:8.5in 11.0in;
        margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;}
div.WordSection1
        {page:WordSection1;}
-->
</style>

</head>

<body lang=EN-US>

<div class=WordSection1>

<p class=MsoNormal><span lang=PL>H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub></span></p>

</div>

</body>

</html>

The output is:

<body
lang=EN-US>
<div
class=WordSection1>
<p
class=MsoNormal><span
lang=PL>H_{2}
SO_{4}
</span></p>
</div>

It's not ideal of course, but treat is as proof of concept.

share|improve this answer

You can extract the xml directly from any office document that is 2007+. This is done in the following fashion:

  1. rename the file from .docx to .zip
  2. extract the file using 7zip (or some other extraction program)
  3. For the actual content of the document look in extracted folder under the word subfolder and the document.xml file. That should contain all content of the document.

enter image description here

I created a sample document, and in the body tags I found this (note I quickly put this together, so the formatting might be a little off):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="true"?>
<w:body>
    -<w:p w:rsidRDefault="000E0C3A" w:rsidR="008B5DAA">
        -<w:r>
            <w:t xml:space="preserve">This </w:t>
        </w:r>
-       <w:r w:rsidRPr="000E0C3A">
            -<w:rPr>
                <w:vertAlign w:val="superscript"/>
            </w:rPr>
            <w:t>is</w:t>
        </w:r>
-       <w:r>
            <w:t xml:space="preserve"> a </w:t>
        </w:r>
            -<w:r w:rsidRPr="000E0C3A">
                -<w:rPr>
                    <w:vertAlign w:val="subscript"/>
                </w:rPr>
                <w:t>test</w:t>
            </w:r>
        -<w:r>
            <w:t>.</w:t>
        </w:r>
    </w:p>
</w:body>

It appears that the <w:t> tag is for text the <w:rPr> is the definition of the font and the <w:p> is a new paragraph.

The word equivalent looks like this:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

I have been looking at a different approach from that pursued by mnmnc.

My attempts to save a test Word document as HTML were not a success. I have found in the past that Office generated HTML is so full of chaff that picking out the bits you want is near to impossible. I have found that to be the case here. I have also had a problem with equations. Word saves equations as images. For each equation there will be two images one with an extension of WMZ and one with an extension of GIF. If you display the html file with Google Chrome, the equations look OK but not wonderful; the appearance matches the GIF file when displayed with an image display/edit tool that can handle transparent images. If you display the HTML file with Internet Explorer, the equations look perfect. The HTML references the WMZ files so I assume Internet Explorer contains an extension to display WMZ files which are apparently Windows Media Player skins although WMP claims they are corrupt.

Additional information

I should have included this information in the original answer.

I created a small Word document which I saved as Html. The three panels in the image below shows the original Word document, the Html document as displayed by Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Html document as displayed by Google Chrome.

Original word, Html displayed by IE and HTML displayed by Chrome

As explained earlier the difference between the IE and Chrome images is the result of the equations being saved twice, once in WMZ format and once in GIF format. The Html is too large to show here.

The Html created by the macro is:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN" 
                   "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
</head><body>
<p>Some ordinary text.</p>
<p>H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub>.</p>
<p>Abc &amp; def &gt; ghi &lt; jkl</p>
<p>x<sup>3</sup>+ x<sup>2</sup>+3x+4=0.</p><p></p>
<p><i>Equation</i>  </p>
<p>Mno</p>
<p><i>Equation</i></p>
</body></html>

Which displays as:

Html created by macro as displayed by IE

I have not attempted to convert the equations since the free MathType Software Development Kit apparently includes routines that convert to LaTex

The code is pretty basic so not many comments. Ask if anything is unclear. Note: this is an improved version of the original code.

Sub ConvertToHtml()

  Dim FileNum As Long
  Dim NumPendingCR As Long
  Dim objChr As Object
  Dim PathCrnt As String
  Dim rng As Word.Range
  Dim WithinPara As Boolean
  Dim WithinSuper As Boolean
  Dim WithinSub As Boolean

  FileNum = FreeFile
  PathCrnt = ActiveDocument.Path
  Open PathCrnt & "\TestWord.html" For Output Access Write Lock Write As #FileNum

  Print #FileNum, "<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC ""-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN""" & _
                  " ""http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd"">" & _
                  vbCr & vbLf & "<html xmlns=""http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"" " & _
                  "xml:lang=""en"" lang=""en"">" & vbCr & vbLf & _
                  "<head><meta http-equiv=""Content-Type"" content=""text/html; " _
                  & "charset=utf-8"" />" & vbCr & vbLf & "</head><body>"

  For Each rng In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges

    NumPendingCR = 0
    WithinPara = False
    WithinSub = False
    WithinSuper = False

    Do While Not (rng Is Nothing)
      For Each objChr In rng.Characters
        If objChr.Font.Superscript Then
          If Not WithinSuper Then
            ' Start of superscript
            Print #FileNum, "<sup>";
            WithinSuper = True
          End If
        ElseIf WithinSuper Then
          ' End of superscript
          Print #FileNum, "</sup>";
          WithinSuper = False
        End If
        If objChr.Font.Subscript Then
          If Not WithinSub Then
            ' Start of subscript
            Print #FileNum, "<sub>";
            WithinSub = True
          End If
        ElseIf WithinSub Then
          ' End of subscript
          Print #FileNum, "</sub>";
          WithinSub = False
          End If
          Select Case objChr
            Case vbCr
              NumPendingCR = NumPendingCR + 1
            Case "&"
              Print #FileNum, CheckPara(NumPendingCR, WithinPara) & "&amp;";
            Case "<"
              Print #FileNum, CheckPara(NumPendingCR, WithinPara) & "&lt;";
            Case ">"
              Print #FileNum, CheckPara(NumPendingCR, WithinPara) & "&gt;";
            Case Chr(1)
              Print #FileNum, CheckPara(NumPendingCR, WithinPara) & "<i>Equation</i>";
            Case Else
              Print #FileNum, CheckPara(NumPendingCR, WithinPara) & objChr;
          End Select
      Next
      Set rng = rng.NextStoryRange
    Loop
  Next

  If WithinPara Then
    Print #FileNum, "</p>";
    withpara = False
  End If

  Print #FileNum, vbCr & vbLf & "</body></html>"

  Close FileNum

End Sub
Function CheckPara(ByRef NumPendingCR As Long, _
                   ByRef WithinPara As Boolean) As String

  ' Have a character to output.  Check paragraph status, return
  ' necessary commands and adjust NumPendingCR and WithinPara.

  Dim RtnValue As String

  RtnValue = ""

  If NumPendingCR = 0 Then
    If Not WithinPara Then
      CheckPara = "<p>"
      WithinPara = True
    Else
      CheckPara = ""
    End If
    Exit Function
  End If

  If WithinPara And (NumPendingCR > 0) Then
    ' Terminate paragraph
    RtnValue = "</p>"
    NumPendingCR = NumPendingCR - 1
    WithinPara = False
  End If
  Do While NumPendingCR > 1
    ' Replace each pair of CRs with an empty paragraph
    RtnValue = RtnValue & "<p></p>"
    NumPendingCR = NumPendingCR - 2
  Loop
  RtnValue = RtnValue & vbCr & vbLf & "<p>"
  WithinPara = True
  NumPendingCR = 0

  CheckPara = RtnValue

End Function
share|improve this answer
    
Great work. Will it work for multiple files or do you have to place it within the file you want to convert? –  mnmnc Jul 31 '12 at 7:28
    
@mnmnc. Thank you. I think your solution is impression although it is probably clear that I do not believe a solution that starts with Microsoft Html will work. As a result of a Stack Overflow question, I am working on converting Excel to Html because Microsoft's PublishObjects creates Html unacceptable to most (all?) smartphones. I have little experience with Word VBA; I am best with Excel and Outlook VBA and I used to be good with Acess VBA. These all allow a macro in one file to access other files so I am sure the same is true for Word. –  Tony Dallimore Jul 31 '12 at 15:48

The simplest way to do this is just the following lines in VBA:

Sub testing()
With ActiveDocument.Content.Find
 .ClearFormatting
 .Format = True
 .Font.Superscript = True
 .Execute Forward:=True
End With

End Sub

This will find all the superscripted text. If you want to do something with it, just insert it into the method. For example, to find the word "super" in a superscript, and turn it into "super found" use:

Sub testing()

With ActiveDocument.Content.Find
 .ClearFormatting
 .Format = True
 .Font.Superscript = True
 .Execute Forward:=True, Replace:=wdReplaceAll, _
 FindText:="super", ReplaceWith:="super found"
End With

End Sub
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