LaTeX and Microsoft Word

I posted the following to the LPLUG mailing list, but perhaps someone else out there might have some insight. I’ve tried latex2rtf, which didn’t undersatnd my very simple documents. (Choked on makeindex and setpapersize, and it went downhill from there.) And I’ve tried to go LaTeX -> HTML -> Word, which is an abomination.

Of course, the real problem here is people who insist on MSWord documents, when I already have a far superior document format. I have no doubts that if/when I ever do get a conversion, that I’ll get back a modified document, and have no clue what exactly was changed. So I’m going to a great deal of trouble to create additional trouble for myself. *sigh*


I write stuff in LaTeX. I do this because it is easy, looks professional, makes TOCs and indexes easy to maintain, and converts easily to formats I care about.

Unfortunately, invariably, when I write a document, someone demands that I then provide that document in Word, so that they can make small tweaks to it. This is aggravating for all the obvious reasons. Versioning goes out the window, diffs are impossible, applying changes to the
authoritative copy of the document is icky, at best, the resulting file is at least 10x larger than it needs to be, and I have to use bloatware to do further edits to the document.

And, the more annoying thing, the reason for this note, is that there’s no nice way to convert. Can anyone recommend a reasonable and simple conversion vector from LaTeX –> Word? Most/All of the LaTeX -> plain text conversions are terrible. And, even when they work, you lose all
semblance of formatting. I usually end up having to do a great deal of editing to get back to anything like what I started with, and the resulting document is never quite as professional-looking as what I did initially. I lose all cross references (see section ~ref{section_label}) and I don’t know any way around that.

I find this whole discussion really irritating, but I don’t see much way around the requirement. So any kind of crude conversion would be good, I guess, since I’m never going to get a resulting document that is as good as what I have to start with.