Updates from the Document Liberation Project


The Document Liberation Project (aka DLP) is working to free users and content creators from vendor lock-in. To achieve this, it develops and maintains libraries for reading documents in many different formats – including those generated by proprietary software. To learn more about the DLP, check our our short video.

In recent months, DLP developers have been working on updates and new features, so read on for all the details.

QuarkXPress import filter

Lithuanian coder Aleksas Pantechovskis (who we interviewed last year) has been working with David Tardon on a filter to read documents generated by the QuarkXPress desktop publishing application. He was doing this as a Google Summer of Code project, and added code for importing text boxes, shapes and other objects.

The image below shows an original QuarkXPress document on the left, and how it is converted into the open and standardised OpenDocument Format for use in LibreOffice and other software:

Aleksas and David have implemented the filter in a new library, libqxp – it supports QuarkXPress 3.1 – 4.1 documents at the moment.

PowerPoint and StarOffice

Meanwhile, Laurent Alonso has been improving a number of libraries for better compatibility with legacy documents. For instance, in libmwaw he has implemented an import filter for presentations created in Microsoft PowerPoint 2 (Windows), PowerPoint 4 (Mac and Windows) and PowerPoint for Windows 95. If you have old presentations in this format and need to retrieve the main contents, this filter will help you out.

In addition, he has updated libstaroffice, which is a library used to read files generated by StarOffice (which later became OpenOffice.org and then LibreOffice – see our timeline for the full history). Thanks to Laurent’s work, .sdc spreadsheet files preserve more of their formatting when imported, while .sda files created with StarOffice Impress are now converted as presentations.

Give us a hand!

As you’ve seen, DLP is helping users and content creators to free their data from old, legacy and proprietary formats. DLP libraries are used by many well-known applications such as LibreOffice, Inkscape and Scribus, so your contributions can help millions of people around the world.

And you don’t have to be a developer! While code contributions are always welcome, you can help us by reverse-engineering and documenting file formats, or sending us sample documents to analyse and test against the DLP libraries. Any help can really make a big difference, so see this page to learn more. We look forward to meeting you!

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