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Introduction to Tex2RTF

Tex2RTF is a free, cross-platform document conversion utility. It accepts a standard LaTeX subset, and can generate output in any of the following formats;

* ordinary RTF
* Windows Help hypertext RTF
* wxHTML Help (the wxWidgets GUI library help file format)

Tex2RTF was originally written in 1995 by Julian Smart, a developer of the then 'wxWindows' project. Julian is still an active developer on the 'wxWidgets' project -- which is the current evolution of the old 'wxWindows' initiative. The current Jazz++ developers wish to publicly thank Julian for all his fine work, and allowing us to create a fork of his code in the current Jazz++ source tree.

Jazz++ and Tex2RTF

A brief history of Jazz++ and tex2rtf

In the beginning when the Jazz++ project was started, the decision was made to utilize the then available wxWindows GUI library. Naturally enough, the original developers of Jazz++ went on to incorporate a lot of the features from the wxWindows GUI library into Jazz++ itself, and the Jazz++ binary had a dependance on the external program 'wxhelp' being available to display Jazz++'s builtin help information. The then Jazz++ source code also relied upon the tex2rtf converter to produce files suitable for 'wxhelp' to use, along with the generation of other user documentation in various formats inside the Jazz++ source tree.

In fact, the wxWindows source also relied on the tex2rtf utility being present, to build the included wxWindows documentation and (wx)help files for the GUI library itself, and it may be the case that the tex2rtf utility was created specifically for that purpose, and this is why it became part of the old wxWindows source tree. Following on from this, the wxWindows release would supply the tex2rtf utility, to be installed in the system path, so that others developing wxWindows based projects had this converter available to generate their project's own wxhelp and other documentation files.

The present day

Over the years, wxWindows became wxWidgets, and ongoing development within the wxWidgets project has seen a shift away from using it's own self-supplied tex2rtf utility for document conversion, in favor of other document converters and/or formats being used today. Although the tex2rtf source is still part of the current wxWidgets tree, it is not used by wxWidgets anymore, and talk on the wxWidgets developers list suggests to us that the tex2rtf source may be removed from wxWidgets altogether at some future time. Even now, the tex2rtf utility is not defaultly built or installed as part of the current wxWidgets installation process any more....which is unfortunate, because the developers of the current Jazz++ project still wish to use this utility for document conversion tasks inside the current Jazz++ source tree.

Into the future

The current Jazz++ project's leader, Pete Stieber, has a vested knowledge and interest in the tex2rtf utility itself -- as it so happens, he uses it at his place of work, as well as in the Jazz++ documentation build process. After a short discussion, the current Jazz++ developers decided to investigate whether it was possible to create a fork of the tex2rtf inside the Jazz++ source tree itself. After consulting with the tex2rtf's original author Julian Smart, and obtaining his kind approval and blessings, the tex2rtf utility has now become part of the Jazz++ source tree.

If you have any questions about tex2rtf, join one of our mailing lists and send us an email -- I'm sure Pete can answer any queries you have regarding tex2rtf.

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