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MS Words to HML in Coldfusion

Posted on 2014-10-10
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Last Modified: 2014-10-16
We have developed an intranet running on Coldfusion. The administrator now wishes to update the intranet’s content using MS Words. In other words, the administrator will prepare the content of the intranet in MS Words (.docx), and a Coldfusion program should pick up the .docx file and post it to the intranet’s content. Can the .docx document be converted automatically to HTML using ColdFusion so it can be uploaded to the intranet ? Or is there a better way to go about this ?
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Question by:Errol Farro
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by:_agx_
_agx_ earned 250 total points
ID: 40373204
EDIT:

(No points ... just a few thoughts about MS Word ...)

>> The administrator now wishes to update the intranet’s content using MS Words

Honestly ... I would strongly suggest they rethink that. Anytime a program converts from format A to B, there's usually some degradation in the final result.  It could be minor, but MS Word is complex. If the admin starts getting fancy, it's not easy to predict how the content will be translated when it gets to HTML.  Not to mention the html auto-generated by most programs is utter rubbish ... and almost certainly not cross-browser compatible.  The html is usually massive and not something you'd ever want to try and debug.

To answer the original question, no CF doesn't have any built in support for converting MS Word to HTML.  If you must use it from CF, you'd have to find some 3rd party tool and invoke it from CF - or possbily have the user export the doc to HTML using the MS Word application itself.
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by:Errol Farro
ID: 40373283
How about if the user convert the Word document to PDF and then have Coldfusion read the PDF an populate the intranet's content ? Can Coldfusion read the PDF and subsequently convert it to HTML ?
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Big Monty earned 250 total points
ID: 40373289
agree with the previous suggested, word will just be a pain in the butt to work with and translate. I would see if your admin is up for having a simple page they can visit and enter in their content in a WYSIWYG editor, such as ckEditor. That way, you can process the content from an editor that is specific to the web.
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by:_agx_
ID: 40373332
EDIT:

>> Can Coldfusion read the PDF

It can read the "text" of pdf's, but all you get is plain text ie content not formatting

>> ... and subsequently convert it to HTML ?

No, CF doesn't have any built in support for converting other formats .doc, .pdf, etc... to HTML.  Even if it did, that would probably just exacerbate the loss of fidelity, since now you're doing two conversions instead of one.

I think BigMonty's on the right track with using a WYSIWYG editor. A CMS approach would be manageable, wouldn't require external tools and would allow the admin to update the content dynamically and avoid some of the conversion problems/limitations.
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by:_agx_
ID: 40374183
While I appreciate the points, if decided to go with a WYSIWYG editor - that was actually BigMonty's suggestion :). So feel free to split the points.  Not sure if you can re-open/re-assign yourself. If not, just use the Request Attention link at the bottom of the question and a moderator would be happy to do it for you.
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by:Errol Farro
ID: 40374234
I agree with you. If it is possible, I will split the points
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by:Big Monty
ID: 40375657
Meant to respond to this earlier.. While I appreciate the consideration for points, it's not a huge deal for me. I'm just more concerned that you get the help you needed :)
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by:_agx_
ID: 40376961
@BigMonty - Cool. Agreed points aren't the real focus, but if your suggestion was used, only fair to give credit where credit is due :) Also, marking your comment as part of the answer makes it easier for the next guy to quickly spot the solution.

@Errol Farro - Thanks for re-opening it!
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