M2 is really a big jump ahead. Let me describe some of the highlights.

Twofold Interoperability

Of course, the main purpose of the binary translator is to provide for interoperability between the binary (legacy) Word documents and the new OpenXML world. However, it also proves to be interoperable on the platform level: The binary translator is not bound to the Windows platform only; it also runs on any platform supporting Mono.

Cross Platform Interoperability -- Use Case

To mention just one use case: You prefer to run Linux on your servers and you want to implement a service on your servers which translates from doc to docx. No problem, just run the binary translator with Mono.

Broadening the Scope

The binary translator is not only a tool for translating your documents from doc to docx but also your templates from dot to dotm. Such a translation includes:

  • styles,
  • macros,
  • autotext entries
  • and even toolbar settings

Of course, the internal document type and the extensions are probably set, i.e. the translation of a doc file containing macros results in a docm file (and not in a docx file).

What Else?

Most of the defects reported on SourceForge are fixed (some will be added in the near future, see Next Steps below :-). The shape implementation is now complete (except shapes, which won’t be supported such as the Action* buttons).

The “StructuredStorage” library which was the basic component for reading structured storage files is now also able to create such storages. This extension was necessary for creating macros and OLE objects in the OpenXML documents.

Field handling, in particular for form fields, was improved and revision marks (track changes) and comments are now translated.

An installation routine (MSI) makes it easier for you to install the binary translator under Windows.

Next Steps

Some features still need some more finetuning, e.g. charts and SmartArts. This will be for sure taking into account in November. In addition we are planning to extensively test all the new features of the binary translator before making the final release available beginning of December.

Please let us know your feature requests and feedback.

Have fun!