I’m co-organizing a scientific meeting at the end of May. The abstracts are all in.
We get them in an Excel file, and I was working on a Perl script to parse the file to create a LaTeX file with the abstracts, so we could have nicely formatted versions for review. (I’m using Spreadsheet:XLSX for the first time; it’s really easy. Why have I always converted Excel files to CSV before parsing them?)
I spent way too much time trying to deal with special characters. I was looking to do a search-and-replace for all possible Unicode characters (for example, to change
\xE9 aka e into
\xD7 aka × into
But then I discovered that XeTeX supports Unicode, so there’s no need to do these sorts of substitutions.
xelatex in my
Makefile, and I’m done. I think.
Update: Now that I think about it, CSV is way more convenient than XLS(X) for simple data files, as you don’t have to traverse with the whole
$cell -> (Val) business. But working with the Excel file directly is easier when the cells may contain lots of text with commas and such, like my abstracts.