Gem to convert an HTML document into a Word document (.doc) format. This is intended for automated generation of Microsoft Word documents, given HTML documents, which are mmuch more readily crafted.

This gem originated out of, which creates a Word document from a Microsoft HTML document (created in turn by processing Asciidoc). The Microsoft HTML document is already quite close to Microsoft Word requirements, but future iterations of this gem will become more generic.

This work is driven by the Word document generation procedure documented in

The gem currently does the following:

  • Convert any AsciiMath and MathML to Word’s native mathematical formatting language.

  • Resize any images in the HTML file to fit within the maximum page size. (Word will otherwise crash on reading the document.)

  • Generate a filelist.xml listing of all files to be bundled into the Word document.

  • Assign the class MsoNormal to any paragraphs that do not have a class, so that they can be treated as Normal Style when editing the Word document.

  • Inject Microsoft Word-specific CSS into the HTML document. The CSS file used is at lib/html2doc/wordstyle.css, and can be customised. (This generic CSS can be overridden by CSS already in the HTML document, since the generic CSS is injected at the top of the document.)

  • Bundle up the images, the HTML file of the document proper, and the header.html file representing header/footer information, into a MIME file, and save that file to disk (so that Microsoft Word can deal with it as a Word file.)

Future iterations will convert generic HTML to Microsoft-specific HTML. For a representative generator of Microsoft HTML, see

  • Render footnotes

  • Render (editorial) comments


This generates .doc documents.

TO DO: compare with (much simpler, but generates Docx) and (generates Word doc as Ruby object, necessarily simpler).


require "html2doc"

Html2Doc.process(result, filename, stylesheet, header_filename, dir, asciimathdelims = nil)

is the Html document to be converted into Word, as a string.


is the name the document is to be saved as, without a file suffix


is the full path filename of the CSS stylesheet for Microsoft Word-specific styles. If this is not provided (nil), the program will used the default stylesheet included in the gem, lib/html2doc/wordstyle.css. The stylsheet provided must match this stylesheet; you can obtain one by saving a Word document with your desired styles to HTML, and extracting the style definitions from the HTML document header.


is the filename of the HTML document containing header and footer for the document, as well as footnote/endnote separators; if there is none, use nil. To generate your own such document, save a Word document with headers/footers and/or footnote/endnote separators as an HTML document; the header.html will be in the {filename}.fld folder generated along with the HTML. A sample file is available at


is the directory the document is to be saved to


are the AsciiMath delimiters used in the text. If none are provided, no AsciiMath conversion is attempted.

Note that the local CSS stylesheet file contains a variable FILENAME for the location of footnote/endnote separators and headers/footers, which are provided in the header HTML file. The gem replaces FILENAME with the file nane that the document will be saved as. If you supply your own stylesheet and also wish to use separators or headers/footers, you will likewise need to replace the document name mentioned in your stylesheet with a FILENAME string.