LaTeX, then pandoc

I write manuscripts with LaTeX. Yes, it might old-fashioned, compared to Markdown—which I also use—but it fits my needs. I appreciate its handling of references (I mean, from the literature), and of the cross-references. Figure 1 always means figure 1! Unfortunately, I am a bit of an outlier in my discipline, biology, to keep it general. All my colleagues I’m supposed to write manuscripts with rely and the good old Word.

Recently, a friend told me about pandoc. The website presents pandoc as a “universal document converter”. And it is! I tried it at first on a simple LaTeX document, with a bit of text, one figure, one table, one reference, and one cross-reference. It did a perfect job. I was not worried and I kept writing my manuscript. I should have actually checked regularly if pandoc was still able to digest my manuscript, as it was getting bigger and bigger, and more complex. I realised that after adding the final point, and then I got worried…

I ran pandoc again, with the exact same settings that worked three weeks earlier on the very simple document, and I was waiting for the fatal crash… But no. Everything went fine. I felt a mixture of surprise, shock and joy.

So if you need to convert document from one format to another, check if pandoc can do it. And thank you pandoc!

Posted by Benjamin

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