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When students submit papers electronically as .docx files, I prefer to convert them to .pdf files with a single format with a nice font. This makes them easier and more pleasant to read (and cuts down on trickery with fonts sizing, kerning, line spacing, and so on). Here’s an easy way to do this: You’ll need to have rename, pandoc, and LaTeX (with xelatex) installed. Here’s the easy, three-step process:


Here are some of the pieces of software that I regularly use. Much, but not all, of this is available freely. You should be aware that, although some of this is super-easy to use, there is a learning curve, sometimes quite steep, in places (e.g., LaTeX). Software Management Tools Homebrew. This allows you to install very useful commandline tools on Mac OS X with simple commands, such as brew install <applicationname>.


Last year around this time, I was working on a paper and it was requested that I submit it to the professor in .docx format for easier commenting. I hadn’t really built this into my workflow at the time (always going from .org or .tex straight to .pdf), and so I decided to figure out how to do it. Now exporting to .docx isn’t really too much of a problem with Org-mode, since you can export to an LibreOffice .



  • Clark R. Donley
    Department of Philosophy
    New North
    Georgetown University
    Washington, DC 20057
  • Office Hours for Fall 2018:

    Mondays (9:30-10:30am)
    Wednesdays (4:00-5:00pm)
    By appointment

    Lauinger Library, Second Floor