It’s true, there is more to life than just .doc files — there are .xls and .ppt files to worry about.
xlhtml and its cohort ppthtml take some of the fun of working with proprietary closed-source office file formats, and whirl them around until they make HTML pages.
I have to admit that I touched up the HTML on one file, because the original spreadsheet had a black background and the final product wasn’t quite visible.
But other than that small point, which was specific to the sample spreadsheet I downloaded, what you see is what xlhtml will get you. No muss, no fuss, piece of cake, easy as pie.
There have been quite a few file format converters in this little adventure, and I daresay there may be even more before the journey is through.
Where some other converters took the low road and just extracted the information held in xls or ppt files, xlhtml and Co. do the right thing and convert them into proper HTML pages, where the table format comes through perfectly.
Unfortunately, xlhtml and ppthtml fall down in the same way as many of their brethren — years out of date, there’s not much aside from turn-of-the-century formats they can handle.
So if you’re looking to convert that Microsoft Commercial Office Professional Gold Pack Business Edition 2016 file into a nifty HTML page to astound your boss, it may take a different tool.
Which makes me wonder … why do most of these file converter tools seem to fall flat after 2006 or so? For some reason the jump to docx with Word 2007 seems to be the jumping-off point for most file converters — not all, but most.
I daresay the shift to docx occurred alongside the rise of OpenOffice.org and the golden years of Ubuntu, as well as the ascent of multiprocessor home machines. Call me crazy, but I bet the prevalence of higher-powered machines and better graphical software support in free software systems inadvertently led to a decreased need for text-based document conversion tools.
When I write K.Mandla’s Big Book of Text-based Linux Software History, I’ll devote a whole chapter to it. I promise. 😉