tex4ht / mk4ht Broken (Problem Solved).

As of 05/26/2018 :

I have just been experimenting with a GUI front-end to LaTeX, that is called ‘LyX’, and it tries to be a WYSIWYG LaTeX Editor.

LyX tries to give editing capabilities for LaTeX documents, using an editor style similar to most word processors. Mind you, this task cannot always succeed 100%, because by its nature, LaTeX will encode the logical structure of a document-to-be-typeset, while conventional word processors try to control the appearance of documents.

And so one feature that LyX does have, is to import and export documents of various formats, most of which revolve around different LaTeX coding-styles, or around ‘rendering’ our LaTeX document to such formats as PDF or DVI, just because those two output-formats have arbitrarily emerged as standard publishing formats. DVI is really only interesting as a legacy Linux graphics format.

And so what some people will want to do, is convert documents from LaTeX either to OpenDocument format, or even to MS Word Format. These formats are initially visible in the Export Menu, if the user has command-line tools such as ‘mk4ht’ installed.

What can frustrate some people who are new to Linux, is that the command-line itself may be defective in some way, meaning that it malfunctions, and in my own experience, trying to get ‘mk4ht’ to work can be futile, when it does not work out-of-the-box. And then, trying to fiddle with the GUI of LyX is also to no avail, because the GUI can finally only work as well as the command-line, back-end that it has detected.

So instead of trying to repair ‘mk4ht’ – which, if it was working, could just as easily be tested from the command-line:

mk4ht oolatex somefile.tex


(Edited 05/27/2018 : )

I would propose that any readers of this blog, who have run into such a problem, and who are running Debian / Stretch, try instead, to install a Debian package called “pandoc”, as well as “pandoc-citeproc”. When LyX recognizes these programs as installed, they will become available as ways to export to or import from .DOCX as well as .ODT formats.

(Updated 05/28/2018, 1h00 … )

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