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Re: Converting sxw files to ps or pdfs [Solved!]

On Thu, 2007-04-10 at 03:55 -0700, Bill wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I've got a problem with Open Office Writer. I've done a mail 
> merge that produces a ton of .sxw files. These need to be 
> faxed in bulk, but of course none of the fax programs can 
> handle bulk input. No prob. I wrote a looping script using efax 
> which uses ps/tiff input and that works. But I can't find a
> utility to convert OOo .swx files to ps. Any suggestions?
> I've googled my fingers off.

Hi folks,

I'll take moment here to reply to my own email so that those
who may come across it on Google or in the archives will
have an easier time in converting files from .sxw to .ps.

The proposed solutions weren't useful. I'd be delighted to 
see the scripts in AbiWord that would do this, but since it
doesn't support postscript that's somewhat difficult to 
imagine. As they say show me the code!

As for writing my own conversion utility using sed and tex, 
well that's easier 'sed' than '....done'. And why should I
make a feeble attempt doomed to failure when experts have
written utilities that do exactly what I need?

So without further empty rhetoric, let me tell you first
that both ghostscript and a2ps failed in this task as they
are based on pdf2ps which doesn't work very well. So don't
bother with such recommendations in this instance.

What did work was a little utility called batchconv from 
Laurent Godard of France located at:
You can download it and run it from your browser. It will
launch OO and allow you to select the files you want to
convert in a batch. Just what I needed. It produces 
standard .pdf files which you can check by viewing and 
printing them. Note that batchconv can operate in several

So now I was half way home. As I said pdf2ps is useless.
But I did find an alternate, pdftops, which worked well.
This utility is part of the xpdf package - at least on 
debian - so while you won't find a pdftops package, if 
you install xpdf you'll be able to run pdftops from the 
command line. Then it's man pdftops. 

One final note. Laurent pointed out another utility
which I didn't get around to trying. That's JODConverter 
at: http://www.artofsolving.com/opensource/jodconverter
It works with OO v2 and java and is scriptable.

So I hope this is of some practical use to people in the
same predicament as I was. 

Have a great day folks!


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