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Create your reference list and databases using Microsft Excel, Access or Filemaker using the suite of Handmark MobileDB plugins and desktop applications.

Text Document Conversion Tools and Utilities
This table alphabetically lists all of the text format conversion tools. If you know of any tools that should be added to or removed from this table, please let us know. Thanks.

Utility OS Inputs Outputs Remote? Interactive? Comments
AbiWord Linux Text
HTML
DOC N Y Full-function word processor saves to DOC format
AportisDOC PDF Converter Windows Acrobat DOC N N Limited to text w/no formatting
Bibelot Perl script Text DOC N N Alternate script
CES QuickWord Windows Text
MS-Word
DOC
QuickWord N N Has a drag-n-drop, convert-as-you-go desktop conduit
ClipSync Windows Text
Images
DOC
FireViewer
N N Acts as a drag-n-drop, convert-on-the-fly HotSync conduit
DocInOut Windows Text
DOC
CSV
HanDBase
JFile
Text
DOC
CSV
HanDBase
JFile
N N Integrates into Windows Explorer
Doc-on-Demand Web Text
HTML
DOC Y N  
Documents To Go Windows
MacOS
MS-Word
WordPerfect
WordPro
Text
DOC
AppleWorks
ClarisWorks
MS-Excel
Quattro Pro
Lotus 1-2-3
Proprietary:
WordToGo
SheetToGo

DOC

N N Retains formatting & allows document beaming & editing
DocReader Windows Text
DOC
Peanut
Text
DOC
N Y Removes formatting from Peanut-formatted documents
DropBook Windows
MacOS
Text Palm Markup Language (PML) N N Creates documents in PalmReader format
EasyDOC Reader Windows DOC Text N N Works much like Windows' 'Quick View' utility
eBookStudio Windows
MacOS
Text Palm Markup Language (PML) N N Creates documents in PalmReader format
ExpressReader Pro Windows MS-Word
Text
RTF
DOC
HTML
CSV
Text
DOC
N Y Advanced editing functions
ExpressReader DX Windows Text
RTF
DOC
Text
DOC
N Y Advanced editing functions
FastWriter Windows Text
RTF
MS-Word
HTML
DOC
MS-Word
DOC
N N Word files synchronize with desktop
HandDoc Editpad Windows Text
DOC
Excel
CSV
HanDBase
MS-Access
MS-Word
RTF
HTML
JFile
Text
DOC
CSV
HanDBase
Excel
MS-Access
N Y Advanced editing functions; can handle .zip files also
HandStory Windows Text
DOC
JPG
BMP
GIF
Doc
HandStory Image
(Proprietary)
Y N  
HML2Doc DOS Text
HTML
RichReader N N  
InstallBuddy Windows Text
RTF
MS-Word
DOC
Acrobat
Text
DOC
N N  
Interparse Windows Text, HTML, Doc Text, HTML, Doc N Y Allows for "FAST" repair of trashed format on text documents before uploading to PDA.
iSiloWeb Windows Text
HTML
iSilo Y N GUI driven; supports inline images
iSilo Maker Windows
MacOS
DOS
Linux
FreeBSD
Sparc
Text
HTML
iSilo Y N Command-line driven; supports inline images
Lilalu PalmDoc Machinery Web Text DOC Y N Very full-featured online conversion utility
Mac Palm Doc MacOS Text
DOC
Text
DOC
N Y  
MakeBook Windows
MacOS
Text Palm Markup Language (PML) N N Creates documents in PalmReader format
MakeDoc Windows Text
Doc
Text
Doc
N N Visual Basic Script converter. more info
MakeDoc8 DOS Text
DOC
Text
DOC
N N Command-line doc converter
MDoc DOS HTML
Text
DOC N N Takes a list of HTML files and converts to DOC format, stripping the HTML tags.
MakeDocDD MacOS Text
DOC
Text
DOC
N N  
MakeDocJ Java Text
DOC
Text
DOC
N N  
MakeDocW Windows Text DOC N N Very popular utility, one of the first
MakeIt Windows Text
HTML
DOC Y N Requires Internet Explorer
MakeTeal DOS Text
HTML
Text
TealDoc
N N Supports inline images
MobiPocket Publisher Windows Text
DOC
Text
DOC
MobiPocket
N N  
PDB.CNV Windows MS-Word
DOC
Text
MS-Word
DOC
N Y Requires MS-Word (is an Office add-on)
PDF2Doc Windows Text
Acrobat
DOC N N Requires Adobe Acrobat (not Reader)
pedit PalmOS DOC
MemoPad
DOC
MemoPad
N N Conversion on the Palm
Pilot Install Windows Text
HTML
DOC N N Acts as installer; also handles image formats (requires separate viewer)
Plucker Windows
Linux
OS/2
HTML
Text
Plucker Y N Supports text formatting and inline images; open-source
Primer Windows Text
Acrobat
Primer
(Proprietary)
N N  
Pyrite Publisher Linux Text
HTML
DOC
zTXT
Y N  
QuickLookup Dictionary Builder Windows Text
HTML
CHM
MXD N Y For making QuickLookup databases
RTF2Doc DOS Text
RTF
RichReader N N Supports inline images
Sitescooper Web Text
HTML
DOC
iSilo
RichReader
Y N  
SyncBuddy MacOS Text
DOC
JFile
MobileDB
Text
DOC
JFile
MobileDB
N N  
Syncplicity Web Web content MemoPad
AddressBook
To-Do
DateBook
Y N  
TealAgent Windows
MacOS
Text
HTML
TealDoc Y N  
TealDoc Windows Text
HTML
Other
TealDoc
TealInfo
Others
N N  
TomeRaider Windows Text
RTF
HTML
TomeRaider N Y  
TomeRaidit Windows Text
HTML
See below* N N * This is an pre-parser only -- it creates files that can be easily imported into the TomeRaider converter listed above
TWord Windows Text
RTF
RichReader
Text
RichReader
N Y  
txt2pdbdoc UNIX Text
HTML
DOC
Text
DOC
N N Requires C compiler and Perl 5
WavePDB Windows Text
HTML
DOC
Text
DOC
N Y Also enables storage of binary files on PalmOS device
Word DOC Converter Windows MS-Word
DOC
JFile
MS-Word
DOC
iSilo
RichReader
N Y  
WordSmith Windows MS-Word
DOC
Text
WordSmith N N  
WRTF2Doc Windows Text
RTF
Acrobat
RichReader N N  
XML2LIT Windows MSXML LIT
MobiPocket
TXT
HTML
N N  

Key:
OS = The operating system or environment
Inputs = The file formats accepted by the conversion tool (The tool might accept other formats not listed as inputs, but the output is likely to be junk)
Outputs = The file formats produced by the conversion tool
Remote? = Can input/source files be located remotely (e.g. on the Internet)?
Interactive? = Can you edit the document directly within the conversion tool?

Notes: Text is plain ASCII text (.txt). DOC is the PalmOS DOC format, not MS-Word's .doc files. RTF is Rich Text Format (.rtf).


Other Resources:


Tips on Converting Project Gutenberg files:

Project Gutenberg (PG) files are double-spaced. Removing these extra carriage returns can be tricky and monotonous if done manually. Using a good word processor, such as MS-Word, is the easiest and fastest way I've found. These steps using MS-Word will help you get 90% of the way through reformatting a PG file into a Palm-friendly text file:

  1. MS-Word uses ^p as the symbol for a paragraph mark. Search for all instances of ^p^p and Replace with ^p - this will remove the double paragraph spacing.

  2. Next, search for all instances of ^p^p again and Replace with @@@@ (we're using @@@@ as a placeholder and can be substituted with another unique set of characters if you wish). This removes all of the paragraph separations, but retains the end-of-line marks we need to remove next.

  3. Then, Search for all instances of ^p and replace with " " (a single space with no quotes around it). This will remove any incidental extra returns that only serve to artificially break up a line, and is important to making it look good on small PDA screens.

  4. Then, Search for all instances of @@@@ (yes, the marker you inserted) and replace with ^p^p . This serves to restructure the document into separate paragraphs, but each paragraph is now on a continuous line (this is preferable since the Palm OS handles line breaks itself automatically). Save as a plain MS-DOS Text document and convert into your preferred Palm OS text format using any of the tools in the table above.


Using MakeDoc for DOS:

Installing MAKEDOC8.EXE:

  • Download the program from here: DOWNLOAD.
  • Save the program to someplace in your executable path. Depending on your setup such directories as C:\DOS or C:\WINDOWS or C:\ or C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND are recommended.

Converting text files to DOC format:
For this example we will be converting 'My Diary' from a file named DIARY.TXT

  • Start a DOS session and change to the directory containing the document to be converted into DOC format. Note that only human readable files are appropriate for conversion. This includes source code, web page HTML, lists, Windows notepad type documents and others. Documents saved by high end programs such as Word, WordPerfect, and others however cannot be read by DOC readers. If you must convert such a document it must first be saved as text.
  • Enter at the DOS prompt: MAKEDOC DIARY.TXT DIARY.PDB "My Diary"
    For faster editing you may prepare the document without compression by entering:
    MAKEDOC -n DIARY.TXT DIARY.PDB "My Diary"
  • Run the standard Palm Application Installer program and select the newly created DIARY.PDB file for installation. After the next Hot-Sync, the diary file should appear on your Doc reader's list of files.

Converting back to DOS text format:
You may also want to convert a DOC file back to a DOS text format for use in another program or for printing.

  • Start a DOS session and change to the directory containing your DOC format file.
  • Determine the name given to your file. Under Windows 3.x this is the same as the name originally used for the file when it was installed (e.g. DIARY.TXT). Under Windows 95/NT, it may be named using the title given to the document (e.g. 'My Diary.pdb').
  • Enter at the DOS prompt: MAKEDOC -d DIARY.PDB DIARY.TXT
    This should result in a new file (DIARY.TXT) in the same subdirectory as the original DIARY.PDB file.


Adding DOC Bookmarks:

If you want to add bookmarks to a DOC document, this was taken from Aportis' FAQ at http://www.aportis.com/custcare/AportisDoc/custfaq.html:

Q: How do I put bookmarks in a text file before converting to AportisDoc format?
A: Choose an inconspicuous search string; for example, two consecutive spaces. Insert these search string characters throughout the file wherever you want to create a bookmark. Be sure to include them at the end of the file, surrounded by < and >. Convert the file as usual. Install on your PalmPilot. The first time AportisDoc reads the file, it will search through the file, creating a mark at each occurrence of the string. It will assign a name to each bookmark based on the 15 or so characters that follow the search string.

Q: How do I get AportisDoc to not scan through new files for bookmarks?
A: Uncheck the Scan for Bookmarks option in the main preferences box.


Adding RichReader Bookmarks:
Michael Arena, author of RichReader, provided this description of dealing with bookmarks in RichReader:

Several users have asked about how to insert bookmarks into Word documents and have them preserved in RichReader. Previously, I had only known that creating a Table Of Contents would automatically create a bookmark for each item in the TOC. I recently discovered (now that I have Word 97) that you can manually insert bookmarks without a TOC:
  1. Select the text for which you want to bookmark (NOTE: You must select at least one character. Also, bookmarks are (currently) limited to 15 characters).
  2. From the menu bar, choose Insert -> Bookmark...
  3. Enter a bookmark name (NOTE: this name is ignored by RichReader. The converter will use the text selected in step 1).
  4. Click the Add button
If you want to see the bookmarks you have created:
  1. From the menu bar, choose Tools -> Options...
  2. Select the View tab
  3. Select the Bookmarks checkbox
  4. Click the OK button
  5. Bookmarks will appear inside of square brackets: [ ]
In an upcoming release of RichReader, support will be added for bookmarks in HTML documents. Text inside "Header" tags will become bookmarks in RichReader. NOTE: For anchor tags, the name of the bookmark will be the NAME attribute of the tag, not the text between the tags.


 

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