# LA2MML - LaTeX to FrameMaker Converter

This is a program to convert LaTeX files into FrameMaker's mml format. The program is known to run on Unix platforms and on the Macintosh. Reasonable results can be obtained for most LaTeX files.

## Overview

LA2MML takes on a LaTeX source file and outputs a FrameMaker compatible file, in MML format. It was created by Nigel Horspool (nigelh@csr.uvic.ca), from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Executing the command

% la2mml doc.tex

will convert the LaTeX file named "doc.tex" into a FrameMaker file named "doc.mml". If a file name argument is omitted, LA2MML acts like a Unix filter, reading from the standard input and writing the result to the standard output.

The current version of la2mml supports both the original LaTeX macros plus the new LaTeX macros described in edition 2 of Lamport's book (i.e. the LaTeX2e macros).

The conversion program attempts to translate every standard LaTeX construct that can be reasonably described by a mml file. Some constructions (such as two-dimensional mathematical expression layouts) are simply impossible to translate. Other constructs are only represented approximately. Some known deficiencies in the translation are:

• The LaTeX picture environment is rendered as an empty frame in the FrameMaker document;
• Complicated mathematical expressions, those laid out in two dimensions, will be converted into a linear string of symbols;
• Footnotes are converted into parenthesized text embedded in the document;
• New commands created with the \newcommand or \def commands are ignored. Uses of these commands, like any that LA2MML has no translation for, are left untranslated in the FrameMaker document. Similarly, new environments created with the \newenvironment command are ignored;
• Floating figures and tables are collected and output at the end of the FrameMaker document;
• Only LaTeX symbols that have equivalents (or close equivalents) in the Times and Symbol family fonts are translated. Other symbols are left untranslated;
• Cross-references in the LaTeX document are ignored. Two column output commands are ignored. Commands that adjust spacing between paragraphs or alter indentation are ignored;
• LaTeX tabbing and tabular environments are rendered in FrameMaker using an <ETable> paragraph tag whose tab stops are positioned at equally spaced intervals;
• Items appearing after a use of \multicolumn will not be preceded with an appropriate number of tab characters;
• Non-elementary table items (such as parboxes) will not be translated properly;
• All \documentstyle options except the optional style german are ignored. Articles, reports, chapters, etc., are all rendered using the same collection of FrameMaker paragraph formats. The created document is always created using 10pt characters for normal text.

## Cool Stuff

Frame Maker automatically detects files with .tex extension and filters them using LA2MML before opening them. So if you want to edit a LaTeX file in Frame Maker, simply open it as if it were a normal FM file.

## References

The only documentation available are a README file and a brief 2-page manual written by the author. The "Overview" section above was based on both, so that's probably all you will want to know.

You can obtain the executables from the following ftp sites: csr.csc.uvic.ca or godot.csc.uvic.ca. The files of interest are la2mmlv3.tar.Z (C source code archive file) and la2mml.sea.hqx (executable Macintosh version).

The first file contains all the source code to build the program on your computer. You will need the uncompress program, the tar utility program and an ANSI C compiler. These are usually available on Unix systems. (I use the Gnu C compiler, gcc, as my ANSI C compiler.) If you have a Macintosh, you can simply grab the second file above. If you un-binhex it, it will give you a self-extracting archive which converts itself into the la2mml program plus the documentation files.

## VASC Contact

Marcel Bergerman, mbergerm@cs.cmu.edu

## History

01/30/96 Updated by Marcel Bergerman. Included information on how to obtain the executables by ftp

12/14/94 Updated by Marcel Bergerman. Included reference to automatic conversion of .tex files when opened by Frame Maker

10/18/94 Created by Marcel Bergerman