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Possibly useful utility



Hi All,

I thought it was about time I started offering up some of my rough and
ready elisp code which others might find useful. To start of, I
thought I'd offer my little package for converting different file
types into text and viewing within emacspeak. This little package
allows you to view .doc, .pdf, .ps, .ppt files as text with a single
key press. It uses fairly standard Linux utilities (see commentary in
file). I've also setup things so that if the file is .htm or .html, it 
will use the browse-url package to display the rendered version of the 
file, rather than the raw file contents. I'n my setup, the
tx-dired-view-file function is bound to f6, so when in dired, hitting
f6 will cause the file under point to either be converted to text and
displayed or if it is html, displayed with your browser - otherwise,
it just calls dired-view-file (same as hitting v within dired). 

Any feedback on improvements, style or bugs always welcome. While I've
been hacking away at elisp for quite some time, I don't usually get
more than an hour here or there and have never really done much more
than some semi-fancy customizations and some bug squashing. I've made
considerable changes over the weekend - in fact, the code doesn't look
anything like what I've actually been using for some months, so there
could be some really bad bugs - use at your own risk. 

Raman, if you have time, I'd value any feedback you can provide. 

Tim
-----------------------------------------------------------------
;;; Start
;;;      Filename: tx-convert.el
;;; Creation Date: Sunday, 25 July 2004 06:40 PM EST
;;; Last Modified: Sunday, 10 April 2005 07:28 PM EST
;;;        Author: Tim Cross <tcross@pobox.une.edu.au>
;;;   Description: Collection of functions to convert doc/pdf/ppt/ps files
;;;                to text from within dired
;;;
;;; Copyright (C) 2005. Tim Cross <tcross@une.edu.au>
;;; All Rights Reserved.
;;;
;;; This file is not part of GNU Emacs, but the same permissions apply.
;;;
;;; GNU Emacs is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
;;; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
;;; the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
;;; any later version.
;;;
;;; GNU Emacs is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
;;; but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
;;; MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
;;; GNU General Public License for more details.
;;;
;;; You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
;;; along with GNU Emacs; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to
;;; the Free Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
;;;
;;; Commenta
;;; The simple idea wiht this very basic bits of code bits was to make
;;; life just a little bit easier and require me to convert files in a 
;;; shell prior to being able to view them within emacspeak and have them 
;;; make any sense. 
;;;
;;; You need the following packages (or at least utilities which will
;;; do the same thing). Most of these are fairly standard with many Linux 
;;; distros these days. 
;;; The wv utilities which contain wvText for converting MS Word docs
;;; The xpdf utilities which include pdftotext for converting PDF to text
;;; The Ghostscript package which contains pstotext for converting PS to text
;;; The ppthtml utility for converting MS Power Point files to html
;;; A configured and working browse-url setup. I use w3m as my browser
;;;
;;; Installation 
;;; Pretty straight forward. Place this file somewhere in your load path 
;;; and put a (require 'tx-convert) in your .emacs. You may want to byte
;;; compile this file.
;;; I bind the function tx-dired-view-file to a key in dired so that I 
;;; can view any of the 'special' files with a single key press e.g.
;;;(add-hook 'dired-mode-hook
;;;		  (function (lambda ()
;;;					  (local-set-key [f6] 'tx-dired-view-file))))
;;;
;;; This is the first bit of elisp I've allowed out into the world and 
;;; while I am really learning to love both elisp and cl lisp, I'm still 
;;; very much a novice. Therefore, there IS bugs and probably some pretty 
;;; poor style within this stuff. Feedback, bug reports and suggestions 
;;; always welcome. 
;;;
;;; Emacpseka Users Note - I've not attempted to enhance this code to provide 
;;; better spoken or audio icon feedback. When the code matures a bit and
;;; once I get some feedback, I will see if a re-worked version can be 
;;; included in emacspeak. In the meantime, feel free to use 'advice' to 
;;; improve things. 
 
(defvar tx-msword-to-text-prog "/usr/bin/wvText"
  "Program used to convert Word document to plain text.")

(defvar tx-pdf-to-text-prog "/usr/bin/pdftotext"
  "Program used to convert PDF files to plain ttext.")

(defvar tx-ps-to-text-prog "/usr/bin/pstotext"
  "Program used to convert PS files to plain text.")

(defvar tx-ppt-to-html-prog "/usr/bin/ppthtml"
  "Program used to convert PowerPoint slides to HTML.")

(defun tx-do-file-translate (cmd arg1 arg2)
  "Do the actual conversion of a word doc."
  (message (format "Cmd %s Arg1 %s Arg2 %s" cmd arg1 arg2))
  (if (= 0 (shell-command (format "%s %s %s" cmd arg1 arg2)
						  "*Translate Output*"))
	  t
	nil))

(defun tx-expand-quote-filename (filename)
  "Quote shell meta characters and expand filename."
  (shell-quote-argument (expand-file-name filename)))
 
(defun tx-doc-to-text (word-doc)
  "Convert MS Word document to text and display."
  (interactive "fView MS Word doc file: ")
  (let ((output-file (concat word-doc ".txt")))
	(if (and (file-readable-p word-doc)
			 (tx-do-file-translate tx-msword-to-text-prog
								   (tx-expand-quote-filename word-doc)
								   (tx-expand-quote-filename output-file)))
		(view-file output-file)
	  (error "Could not translate %s from MS Word format to text" word-doc))))

(defun tx-pdf-to-text (pdf-file)
  "Convert a PDF file to plain text and view it."
  (interactive "fView PDF file: ")
  (let ((output-file (concat pdf-file ".txt")))
	(if (and (file-readable-p pdf-file)
			 (tx-do-file-translate tx-pdf-to-text-prog
								   (tx-expand-quote-filename pdf-file)
								   (tx-expand-quote-filename output-file)))
		(view-file output-file)
	  (error "Could not translate %s from PDF to text" pdf-file))))

(defun tx-ps-to-text (ps-file)
  "Convert a PS file to plain text and view it."
  (interactive "fView PostScript file: ")
  (let ((output-file (concat ps-file ".txt")))
	(if (and (file-readable-p ps-file)
			 (tx-do-file-translate 
			  tx-ps-to-text-prog
			  (concat "-output " (tx-expand-quote-filename output-file))
			  (tx-expand-quote-filename ps-file)))
		(view-file output-file)
	  (error "Could not translate %s from PS to text" ps-file))))

(defun tx-ppt-to-html (ppt-file)
  "convert a PPT file to HTML and view it."
  (interactive "fView PPT file: ")
  (let ((output-file (concat ppt-file ".html")))
	(if (and (file-readable-p ppt-file)
			 (tx-do-file-translate 
			  tx-ppt-to-html-prog
			  (tx-expand-quote-filename ppt-file)
			  (concat "> " (tx-expand-quote-filename output-file))))
		(browse-url-of-file (expand-file-name output-file))
	  (error "Could not translate %s from PPT to HTML" ppt-file))))

(defun tx-dired-view-file ()
  "View files within dired, possibly requiring translation."
  (interactive)
  (let ((dired-file (dired-get-filename)))
	(cond
	 ((string-match "\\.doc$" dired-file)
	  (tx-doc-to-text dired-file))
	 ((string-match "\\.pdf$" dired-file)
	  (tx-pdf-to-text dired-file))
	 ((string-match "\\.ps$" dired-file)
	  (tx-ps-to-text dired-file))
	 ((string-match "\\.ppt$" dired-file)
	  (tx-ppt-to-html dired-file))
	 ((string-match "\\.htm$\\|\\.html$" dired-file)
	  (browse-url-of-file dired-file))
	 (t
	  (dired-view-file)))))


(provide 'tc-convert)

;;; End

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