Reading, creating, editing, converting and, in general, processing Office documents at scale is quite difficult. There has never really been a good technical option to do this well – there is always one of three problems:
- Compatibility – Most tools out there are very limited, and can only handle some features in Word, but fail when complex content such as SmartArt, Tables of Contents, Tables-in-Footers, etc. are thrown at them. In addition, these tools are often only available for a limited set of programming languages.
- Fidelity – Small and large differences between how Word, Excel and PowerPoint display and process files vs. how they are handled by other tools leads to low-fidelity conversion. The spacing is wrong, or the headers are wrong, or the arrow that points at the key content is gone. Very frustrating, and unpredictable.
- Ease of use, and speed of development – The tools out there tend to be complex, hard to learn, and even brittle/easy to break.
Taken together, this is not a great place to be. We are talking about the leading business document file formats – the language of business. Surely the tooling could be better?
The Document Conversion and Processing API makes it incredibly easy to work with documents. Convert common current and legacy file formats, like DOCX/DOC, XLSX/XLS, PPTX/PPT into PDF with a single API call. Need to make a change first? This is done easily as well. Add/remove/overwrite or modify headers, tables, paragraphs, images, and more. Re-order content. Replace strings or placeholders with dynamic content, effectively using the Office document as a template – this can be great when the templates need to be built by business users. Merge multiple separate documents together into one document, again with a single line of code. Validating documents to ensure they are correct with a single line of code.
And again, native SDKs are available for all of the major web and mobile programming languages. This represents a huge improvement over the current state of the art.