Technology Positioning Statement Report

1.2.4 Document Conversion Tools

Description: Specialized tools for conversion of code, text, graphics, speech or multimedia from one format or language to another.

Category: 1 - Authoring and Editing   Subcategory: 2 - Development Editing Tools
Old Category: End-User Tools - Productivity Elements - Speech Recognition


OmniPage Pro
VoiceXpress Pro


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Ease of use; ease of learning; format conversion capabilities; document management features.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: File format interoperability is not nearly as great a problem now as it was a few years ago, due to the inexorable trend toward standards-based formats and the hegemony of de facto standards from industry leaders such as Microsoft. However, there is still a need for some basic file translation/conversion tools to deal with the document formats that may originate from outside a single organization.

Microsoft Word, the industry leader, in version 2000 supports many advanced file conversion features. Word 2000 can generate HTML and XML files directly, including hyperlinks, but it can also import these files and convert them to (editable) Word .doc files, and hence can serve as a general-purpose web page editor.

Word 2000 does not directly support conversion from Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), but text and graphics from PDF files can be extracted via manual copy and paste methods, and placed into a Word document. BCL Computers makes a product that can automatically convert PDF files to .doc format. They also support a free web service to convert files from PDF and Office formats to HTML, at

SC Usage: Microsoft Office 2000 products, now installed on all SC desktops (and optionally on employees' home/notebook computers) can import and export an adequate variety of text and data formats. However, there is still a wide variety of bit-mapped graphics formats, so the Graphics Toolset initiative recommends the inclusion of deBabelizer, a powerful graphic format translation tool.

SC Application Impacts: Indirect. Microsoft Office products have advanced features that allow them to serve as the basis for general-purpose document management systems and processes within SC.

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Converting PDF files using Word
BCL Computers

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