Archive for the ‘OpenXML’ Category

docx4j/pptx/xlsx online code generation

May 15th, 2013 by Jason

Just launched is http://webapp.docx4java.org

You should be able to see it in the menu at the top right of this website (if not, reload the web page…).

There are three things you can do with it right now:

• Explore your docx/pptx/xlsx and its representation in docx4j

• Convert  docx to PDF or XSL FO

• Merge docx files (eg cover letter plus contract) into a single docx, using Plutext’s MergeDocx. Or the same thing for pptx files, using MergePptx.

Here I want to focus on the first of these.

After you’ve uploaded your docx/pptx/xlsx, the first thing you see is like docx4j’s PartsList sample:

Here, I’ll click in the left hand column to look at the main document part, document.xml

When I do that, I see the XML:

No surprises there.

But notice the hyperlinks.  Here I’ll just click on the first w:p.

What you get back, is Java source code to create that complete structure:-

As you can see from the image above, both styles of code (as described in docx4j’s Getting Started document) are produced for you.  With a bit of luck, you can cut/paste either into your IDE (Eclipse or whatever), and just run with it!

To actually see the created object in an Office document, you’ll still need to add the created object to a part.  See Getting Started, or the cheat sheet for how to do that.

I hope this helps you to create/modify your Office documents more efficiently,with docx4j!

Do let us know what you think in the comments, or in docx4j’s forums.

docx4j 2.7.0 released

July 8th, 2011 by Jason

I’m pleased to announce the release today of docx4j 2.7.0.

What is docx4j?

docx4j is an open source (Apache v2) library for creating, editing, and saving OpenXML “packages”, including docx, pptx, and xslx.  it is similar to Microsoft’s OpenXML SDK, but for Java rather than .NET.   It uses JAXB to create the Java objects out of the OpenXML parts.

Notable features for docx include export as HTML or PDF, and CustomXML databinding for document generation (including our OpenDoPE convention support for processing repeats and conditions).

The docx4j project started in October 2007.

What’s new?

This is mainly a maintenance release; things of note include:

  • Improvements to Maven build
  • ContentAccessor interface
  • AlteredParts: identify parts in this pkg which are new or altered; Patcher
    which adds new or altered parts.
  • Support for .glox SmartArt package (/src/glox/)
  • JAXB RI 2.2.3 compatibilty
  • OpenDoPE support improvements

Where do you get it?

Binaries: You can download a jar alone or a tar.gz with all deps or pick and choose.

Source: Checkout the source from SVN (use the pom.xml file to satisfy the dependencies eg with m2eclipse, or download them from one of the links above)

Maven: Please see forum for details (since XML doesn’t paste nicely here right now).

Dependency changes

Antlr is now required for OpenDoPE processing; this gives us better XPath processing.  The required jars are:

Getting Started

See the “Getting Started” guide.

Thanks to our contributors

A number of contributions have made this release what it is; thanks very much to those who contributed.

Contributors to this release and a more complete list of changes may be found in README.txt

A request to docx4j users

If you are happily using docx4j, it would be great if you could reply to this post with some words of recommendation for others who might be wondering whether docx4j is a good choice. I know there are thousands of you out there :-)

Some users have been kind enough to make such statements already; these may be found on the trac homepage.

Of course, there are a number of other ways you can contribute back.  Please consider doing so, especially if you think you might find yourself looking for support from volunteers in the docx4j forums.

Feedback on docx4j 2.7.0 release candidate?

June 28th, 2011 by Jason

docx4j 2.7.0 release candidate is now available at http://dev.plutext.org/docx4j/docx4j-2.7.0-rc1.jar

This will form the basis of the 2.7.0 release. In fact, unless there are significant issues over the next week or so, this will become the 2.7.0 release! So please try it out and report back, positive or negative…

It is mainly a maintenance release, but things of note include:

* Improvements to Maven build

* ContentAccessor interface

* AlteredParts: identify parts in this pkg which are new or altered; Patcher
which adds new or altered parts.

* Support for .glox SmartArt package (/src/glox/)

* JAXB RI 2.2.3 compatibilty

For contributors to this release and a more complete list of changes, please see http://dev.plutext.org/svn/docx4j/trunk … README.txt

There are 2 new dependencies (required for OpenDoPE processing): antlr-runtime-3.3.jar and stringtemplate-3.2.1.jar For convenience, copies of these can be found in the same dir as the rc jar.

Thanks very much to everyone who contributed to this release (candidate!).

And please consider clicking one of the buttons below to circulate news of the release.

Microsoft’s data binding patent

November 20th, 2010 by Jason

I just stumbled across
United States Patent 7730394, Data binding in a word-processing application

Its Microsoft’s patent on data bound content controls.

Its a useful description of how it works.

I’m not sure it’s worthy of a patent though.  They reference a  lot of prior art, but not my March 2004 paper  “XForms for Contract Semantics”, which contains the following binding example:

<p>
In consideration of the payment of <xforms:output ref=”lineitems/item/price”/>, <xforms:output ref=”supplier”/> agrees to deliver
a <xforms:output ref=”lineitems/item/name”/> to <xforms:output ref=”customer”/> on or before <xforms:output ref=”deliverydate”/>.
</p>

Interestingly to me, Wolters Kluwer referenced my paper in their “Document creation system” patent, but that’s a side note.

I’m a big fan of data-bound content controls.

So much so, in fact, that I’d like to see the same stuff included in ODF and implemented in OpenOffice .. umm .. maybe I mean LibreOffice these days!

That would obviously be more likely if Microsoft didn’t lodge patents for stuff like this.  Who can blame them, you might say, with things like i4i happening to them?  Well, my response is that they should be using their considerable corporate muscle to lobby for patent reform.  In the absence of such efforts, you can only conclude that the innovation inhibiting patent system suits Microsoft, event though they take the odd hundred million dollar hit from it.

docx4j v2.6.0 released

November 19th, 2010 by Jason

I published docx4j 2.6.0 yesterday.

For details, see the forum. This post introduces TraversalUtil, which makes it easier for you to find and change the bits of a docx you want to manipulate.

If you are working with an existing docx, you often need to get a particular bit of the document, and change it somehow.

If you know you want to change the 6th paragraph, say, that’s easy.

But if you want to find all occurrences of some item, which could occur at various different levels of the hierarchy (for example, paragraphs can appear not just in the document body, but also within table cells, and in content controls)?

docx4j offers a couple of different tools to make this easy.

XPath

XPath is a succinct way to select the things you need to change.

Happily, from docx4j 2.5.0, you can do use XPath to select JAXB nodes:

MainDocumentPart documentPart = wordMLPackage.getMainDocumentPart();

String xpath = "//w:p";

List<Object> list = documentPart.getJAXBNodesViaXPath(xpath, <strong>false</strong>); 

These JAXB nodes are live, in the sense that if you change them, your document changes.

There is a limitation however: the xpath expressions are evaluated against the XML document as it was when first opened in docx4j.  You can update the associated XML document once only, by passing true into getJAXBNodesViaXPath. Updating it again(with current JAXB 2.1.x or 2.2.x) will cause an error.

To workaround this bug in JAXB, you can marshall it, and then unmarshall the result using either:

    public org.docx4j.wml.Document unmarshal( java.io.InputStream is ) 

    public org.docx4j.wml.Document unmarshal(org.w3c.dom.Element el)

Both of those will re-create the binder.

Not the most efficient, so consider voting for JAXB bug 459

But now we have an alternative…

TraversalUtil

New to docx4j 2.6.0 is a class TraversalUtil, which is a general approach for traversing the JAXB object tree in the main document part (though it can also be applied to headers, footers etc).

For example, to get a list of hyperlinks, you can do something like:

PHyperlinkFinder finder= new PHyperlinkFinder();
new TraversalUtil(paragraphs, finder);

static class PHyperlinkFinder extends CallbackImpl {

        List<P.Hyperlink> links = new ArrayList<P.Hyperlink>();  

        @Override
		public List<Object> apply(Object o) {

			if (o instanceof P.Hyperlink)
				links.add((P.Hyperlink)o);

			return null;
		}
	}

This approach is used extensively in the MergeDocx extension I discussed in my previous post. It is now also the basis of the OpenMainDocumentAndTraverse sample, so see that for another example of how to use it.

The example above simply finds relevant bits of the docx; you could also modify the objects encountered if you want.

Merging Word documents

November 14th, 2010 by Jason

I’ve written a utility to merge docx documents in Java.  “Merge” as in concatenate/join/append, as opposed to diff/merge (although docx4j does include code to do a diff, if you are looking for that instead).

With the utility, you can take 2 or more Word documents, and join them into one.

Edit Feb 2014. MergeDocx is now part of Plutext’s Docx4j Enterprise Edition.

As Eric White’s blog explained:

This programming task is complicated by the need to keep other parts of the document in sync with the data stored in paragraphs. For example, a paragraph can contain a reference to a comment in the comments part, and if there is a problem with this reference, the document is invalid. You must take care when moving / inserting / deleting paragraphs to maintain ‘referential integrity’ within the document.

With this utility, merging/concatenating documents is as easy as invoking the method:

public  WordprocessingMLPackage merge(List&lt;WordprocessingMLPackage&gt; wmlPkgs)

In other words, you pass a list of docx, and get a single new docx back.

Edit March 2014. You can try the MergeDocx and/or MergePptx functionality via the demo webapp.

This utility takes care of the niggly edge cases for you:

You can also use my MergeDocx utility to process a docx which is embedded as an altChunk.

Without this utility, you had to rely on Word to convert the altChunk to normal content.

That meant you had to round trip your docx through Word, before docx4j could create a PDF or HTML out of it.

Now you don’t.

To process the w:altChunk elements in a docx, you invoke:

public WordprocessingMLPackage process(WordprocessingMLPackage srcPackage)

You pass in a docx containg altChunks, and get a  new docx back which doesn’t.

But wait a minute .. if you can merge Word documents using this tool, why would you ever put an altChunk (containing a docx, as opposed to HTML) into the docx in the first place?

Ordinarily you wouldn’t, you’d just merge with this tool instead.  But there are at least 2 possibilities:

  • some upstream process put the altChunk there, and now you want to process it in docx4j
  • OpenDoPE.  The Open Document Processing Ecosystem convention is being extended in a v2.3 to allow other documents to be injected, and a natural thing is to convert an injection instruction to an altChunk.  Edit Feb 2014: docx4j 3.0.1 can also bind an XML element containing a base64 encoded docx, inserting it into the docx as an AltChunk.  MergeDocx can then convert that content into “real” docx content, suitable for including in a table of contents, or generating HTML or PDF.  The binding is two-way, so user edits in Word can be injected back into the XML (eg for persisting to a database).

There is one place my code differs significantly from how Word processes an altChunk, and that is in section handling.  When Word processes an altChunk, it seems to largely remove sectPr.  So for example, columns will disappear.  But it also might merge headers, so the resulting header contains stuff from the headers of both documents!  My code doesn’t do that: by default, it includes each section, and headers go with sections.

docx4j v2.3.0 released

February 23rd, 2010 by Jason

I’m pleased to announce the release of docx4j v2.3.0

docx4j is an open source (Apache license) project which facilitates the manipulation of Microsoft OpenXML docx (and now pptx) documents in Java, using JAXB.

The main features of this release are support for pptx files, and improvements to HTML export (via NG2), and PDF export (via XSL FO).

For further details, please see the release announcement.

docx4j v2.1.0 released

November 11th, 2008 by Jason

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve released v2.1.0 of docx4j.  Get it from our downloads page.

docx4j is an open source Java library for manipulating OpenXML WordprocessingML documents, released under the Apache software licence. docx is the default file format in Word 2007 in Microsoft Office 2007, and part of an ISO standard (more or less unchanged).

v2.1.0 is mainly a maintenance release.

Attention has been paid to ease of use of hyperlinks, images, and headers/footers.

The HTML output has been redone to use the XSLT from the OpenXMLViewer project; it can be configured to save images as files, and automatic list numbers are handled.

This release should also work under Java 1.5, now that I have re-built fop-fonts.  I had contributed TTC (true type collection) handling code to FOP, and it was accepted, so fop-fonts now uses that (ie the patch which makes fop-fonts is that much smaller).