I was posed with a challenge yesterday and fortunately, the challenge was cancelled. Let me explain why I say "fortunately". At my day job, my boss wanted me to convert a document produced in LaTeX to a Word document. I work with LaTeX in Kile and this isn't an option that seems available. The native output of my little set up is PDF but the PDF to Word doc conversion options didn't look promising either.
As I said, the immediacy of the challenge was cancelled and another solution was found, but the request could come up again and I thought it would be nice to find an answer now while I have a bit of time on my hands. Long story short, I haven't found a way to convert LaTeX to a Word doc format, but there is a way to open a PDF and save it as a Word doc, using KWord.
I did a fair amount of searching and finally discovered an article at the EmbraceUbuntu.com blog. It's older information...almost three years old, but I thought I'd see if the solution works, since it promises to be able to open a PDF, save it as an odt or doc, and preserve the formatting. This last part is important, because I really need tables in the PDF to still be tables in the doc.
I dutifully installed KWord on my Ubuntu machine and gave it a shot. While the latest incarnation of KWord does a more or less OK job of preserving format, it is far from perfect. Here are my examples. The first image is the sample PDF page I chose to work with. No, it doesn't have tables, but I'll get to that in a minute.
I looked at the example of the process in the 2007 blog article vs. what I performed, and the steps and features seem identical. While it looks like KWord (as part of KOffice) is continuing to be developed and maintained, this particular feature doesn't appear to have changed much, if at all, in the past almost three years.
I guess I can't complain too much. This is the closest I've come to solving my little problem, but if converting a PDF to a Word doc is a task on someone's plate at KOffice, I humbly request that it get a little more attention. It would be a big help. Honest.
Afterword: I regularly use OpenOffice.org Writer to convert odt and doc files to PDF and it works just great. Too bad the abundant resources being fed into OOo development can't also be used to include reversing the process.