A few weeks ago I needed to convert an academic paper written using LaTeX into a Microsoft Word document. My preferred way of doing this would be to use pandoc.
In the past I have used pandoc in the command line. On checking my (reasonably) new laptop, it appeared that I didn’t have access to it on the command line but I knew it had to be installed as part of the RStudio install.
This led me to check if there were any
pandoc() functions within any of the packages and I found that, as I suspected, there are a bunch of them, mostly in the rmarkdown package. To demo, we can use it to check with
pandoc is installed
and check which version is available.
Now that we’re happy we can access pandoc, we can use
pandoc_convert() to do the actual conversion. My LaTeX document also used a BibTeX file and so the conversion could be a little more complicated. The command line syntax is explained nicely here and we can implement it in
R even more easily as we don’t actually need to specify the BibTeX file (it is picked up from the LaTeX file).
pandoc_convert(input = "my_paper.tex", output = "my_paper_converted.docx", citeproc = TRUE)
In my case, the conversion worked really well and I will be trying this in the future to allow quick conversions between LaTeX (my preferred option for writing papers) to help with collaboration.