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Created September 16, 2015 10:23
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Convert a Word Document into MD

Converting a Word Document to Markdown in One Move

The Problem

A lot of important government documents are created and saved in Microsoft Word (*.docx). But Microsoft Word is a proprietary format, and it's not really useful for presenting documents on the web. So, I wanted to find a way to convert a .docx file into markdown.

Installing Pandoc

On a mac you can use homebrew by running the command brew install pandoc.

The Solution

As it turns out, there are several open-source tools that allow for conversion between file types. Pandoc is one of them, and it's powerful. In fact, pandoc's website says "If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife." Pandoc can convert from markdown into .docx, and it also works in the other direction.

Example

Say you have the Council Rules in a Word Document named "test.docx." (For a real-life example, visit http://github.com/vzvenyach/Council_Rules/). Now, you run the following at the command line:

pandoc -f docx -t markdown -o test.md test.docx

Out is a beautiful markdown file. Admittedly, there's a bit of junk at the top with the Table of Contents. I deleted this when I rendered it nicely with strapdown.js. In the end, here's my nicely rendered version of the Rules.

@DeChrist
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DeChrist commented Oct 5, 2015

And for the lazy ones there is a Word plugin that hides the CLI:
http://www.writage.com/
Warning: This is preiew software and I could not find an attached license model so this is likely closed-source (but relies on PanDoc).

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