In a recent class on Typesetting we were assigned a task to typeset an entire book, preferably an Open Book, using your favorite typesetting Program in a few days time. Typesetting is not easy especially when you do it in LaTeX and with the skill going rusty it was a hot pot of dilemmas that I think should not be a part of this post at all.
The book I choose was in ePub format and desperately needed to be converted to latex files so I can typeset them in overleaf or sharelatex or texworks as a matter of fact. I have moved in the favour of these online compilers as I no longer have to fiddle with searching the included
.sty that are so robotic to seek and use. I really wish there was some kind of package manager for latex too. Like pip for python.
I Wish !
ePubs are essentially a zipped archive of
.html files following a specific numbering scheme or format. So the task was essentially to convert the
.tex. I did try a few things with python trying the
beautiful soup things. It did not taste well. I had to search other things.
I had heard of pandoc while I was writing my thesis few years back too but it felt to complex that time but now it was a necessity I just can’t ignore. Its interesting how the perceived complexity of a act changes with necessity. Pandoc is the Swiss army knife when handling documents. It can do anything. It took me a while to figure out it was a CLI tool. ( It happens )
It could translate the html page almost perfectly to be used in overleaf. Only some italics were not getting done properly for which I used
sed and compiled it all in a shell script to iterate over the entire folder and in a blink I had a directory full of tex files ready for the next stage.
The work was only 10% done as a lot of widows needed new husbands and orphans needed parents, I hope you get what I mean !
Just in case you too are a fan of LaTeX , the code I used and wrote is here.
Long Live LaTeX !