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What compromises must I make?

As a LaTeX user, you need to be aware that some commands or facilities don't transfer to other formats, either because they are not supported by the target format or because the converter does not support them. Maths formatting is a good example of an unsupported feature.

Sometimes LaTeX facilities must be accessed in a slightly different way to support the variety of formats, particularly hypertext formats where LaTeX references are often replaced by hypertext jumps (but must still look right in printed documentation). Tables don't transfer well to RTF and HTML (and not at all to wxHelp) but an attempt is made to approximate tables so long as special row commands are used, instead of the usual end of row delimiter.

Bibliographies are handled quite well since the utilities can read in .bib files and resolve citations. Numbers are used in citations; the references are not yet sorted alphabetically.

Pictures are handled in a limited way: if the PSBOX macro package is used, an \image command can be used to place Encapsulated PostScript files in LaTeX, and Windows RGB-encoded bitmap files or placeable metafiles when converting to RTF.

Nested file inclusion is handled with \input, \include and \verbatiminput, and the comment environment is supported. However, using \input to include macro packages is not advisable. If you do this, make sure you add a line in the Tex2RTF initialisation file to ignore this file, unless it's a simple LaTeX file that conforms to Tex2RTF restrictions. The file psbox.tex is the only file ignored by Tex2RTF by default.

Because of the way LaTeX is parsed, some syntax has to conform to a few simple rules. Commands such as \bf and \it need to occur immediately after a left brace, and have a block of their own, since the text within their scope is regarded as its argument. This syntax means the same thing as using \begin ... \end, which is usually a one argument command (the argument is the text between the \begin and \end). See Space.

As a Windows hypertext help writer, you don't have access to all RTF commands but you'll be able to get most of what you want. In particular, any LaTeX document you write will automatically be a hypertext document, because the converter takes advantage of the hierarchy of sections. Further jumps can be placed using the commands \label, \helpref, \helprefn, and \popref. Tex2RTF outputs help files that may be read linearly using the << and >> buttons, with an additional Up button for ease of navigation.

When writing HTML, multiple files are generated from one LaTeX file since browsing HTML works best with many small files rather than a few large ones.

wxHelp files are least well supported since there is no formatting support, only font style, sizes and colours. Still, some hypertext help support on UNIX/X platforms is better than none. wxHelp is now being rewritten (March 1996) to use HTML files.

Sometimes you will use a local macro package that is unrecognised by the converters. In this case, you may define a custom macro file where macros are defined in terms of supported LaTeX commands and text. Even if the result is not the same as in LaTeX, you can probably end up with something adequate, and at least avoid undefined macro errors. See Initialisation file syntax for further information.