[OS X TeX] Using NeoOffice (OpenOffice) as a table editor for LaTeX

Ramón Figueroa-Centeno ramonf at hawaii.edu
Thu Apr 16 18:40:40 CEST 2009


Here is the best way I know to visually create LaTeX tables.

1. Create a new Text Document in NeoOffice <http://www.neooffice.org> that contains your table (and preferably just your table).
2. Save the document as an RTF file.
3. Run rtf2latex2e (via the Terminal) on the resulting RTF file.

The resulting tex file, will have the table and it will retain merged cells (vertically and horizontally) and alignments. No other visual table editor I know can do cells merged vertically.

Some notes:

1. If you use Microsoft Office, the resulting RTF confuses rtf2latex2e (indeed if you want to convert a Word document to LaTeX, I would open it in NeoOffice and save it as an RTF there and then use rtf2latex2e; or directly export to LaTeX).
2. You can export to LaTeX from NeoOffice, but the resulting tex is very complicated, e.g., a long preamble is created, and cells merged vertically are not preserved.
3. You can use a Spreadsheet in NeoOffice to do computations, etc., but the resulting table must be pasted in a Text Document so that it can be exported to an RTF.
4. rtf2latex2e is smart to only use \usepackage{multirow} if the table has cells merged vertically.
5. Unfortunately, rtf2latex2e does not understand equations entered with the NeoOffice equation editor. If you want to use these export directly to LaTeX from NeoOffice. Personally, I rather use place holders for any equations and then edit the TeX code directly.
6. Unfortunately, rtf2latex2e does not correctly translate cell borders in all circumstances. If you are having trouble with borders export directly to LaTeX from NeoOffice.


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