Inject Python calculations into Word and LaTeX documents with ease!
doCal is a tool that can be used to send calculations that are written in python to Word or LaTeX documents. It evaluates equations in a separate python script from the document and replaces hashtags in the document that indicate where the calculations should be with the results of the evaluation. It comes with a powerful python expression to LaTeX converter built-in, so it converts the calculations and their results to their appropriate LaTeX forms before sending them, which makes it ideal to make academic and scientific reports.
Quick note: in this document, shell means
cmd (command prompt) or
powershell for Windows users and
bash for Linux and MacOS users.
A basic understanding of Python in general is necessary to have a smooth experience here. If you want to work with a little more advanvced stuff, like arrays and matrices, more knowledge about python is necessary.
It must be obvious by now but you should have Python installed on your system.
You can check that by opening your shell (see above) and typing the command
python and hitting Enter. If it writes the version number and other info
about your python installation, you already have it installed. If the version
number starts with 2, you should probably install python 3 (the latest). If you
have python 3 or above, you're good to go. If either you don't have Python 3
or you don't have Python at all, you should go to Python's
homepage and install it, making sure to check the box
"add python to path" during installation.
If you want to work with word documents, you should have Pandoc installed on your system (and in your path). Because docal internally only works with tex files and when a word file is given, it internally converts it to tex, modifies it and converts it back to word, using pandoc.
To install this package, (after making sure that you have a working internet connection) type the following command and hit Enter.
pip install docal
Or if you have the source
pip install .
- The user writes the static parts of the document as usual (Word or Latex) but leaving sort of unique hashtags (#tagname) for the calculation parts (double hash signs for Wrod).
- The calculations are written on a separate text file with any text editor (Notepad included) and saved next to the document file. For the syntax of the calculation file, see below. But it's just a python script with comments.
- The tool is invoked with the following command:
[calculation-file] [input-file] [output-file]so for example,
docal calcs.py document.tex document-out.texwill be valid.
- Then voila! what is needed is done. The output file can be used normally.
The syntax is simple. Just write the equations one line at a time. What you write in the syntax is a valid python file, (it is just a script with a lot of assignments and comments). The following should be a good starting point.
## foo.py ## necessary for scientific functions from math import * #foo # The first side of the first triangle is x_1 = 5 #m # and the second, y_1 = 6 #m # Therefore the length of the hypotenuse will be, z_1 = sqrt(x_1**2 + y_1**2) #m #bar # Now the second triangle has sides that have lengths of x_2 = 3 y_2 = 4 # and therefore has a hypotenuse of z_2 = sqrt(x_2**2 + y_2**2) #m,13 # Then, we can say that the hypotenuse of the first triangle which is #z_1 long # is longer than that of the second which is #z_2 long.
Now, looking at the above example line by line,
- The first part (starting with double hash signs) serves as a real comment that does not do anything in python or in docal.
- The second is a python import statement, to make things such as sqrt, sin, pi available.
- The line that only contains a hashtag is treated as a message that what follows, until the next tag or the end should be sent to the document and at this particular place. That's why tags are necessary in the document. It looks for those tags in the document and replaces them with the modified versions of the calculations and paragraphs below it.
- The lines starting with single hash characters are taken as parts of running text (paragraphs).
- The lines with equal signs are treated as calculations. when they end with comments, the part after the hash character is treated as options for that calculation. (in the first three cases, we want to display the unit m displayed besides the variables that we assign to. And in the last equation, the additional 13 is taken as thouth the user wants only the first and the last steps displayed.)
- The last two comments (treated as paragraphs), have tags in them, which are interpreted as variable references and thus are substituted by formatted values of those variables.
The output of the above example, inserted into a plain word file, containing only two tags, ##foo and ##bar will look like the following figure.
- You cannot use python statements that need indenting. This is because docal reads the script line by line and uses exec to make the necessary assignments, and since you can't continue an already indented code with exec, that will result in an error. If you have an idea to overcome this problem, feel free to contact me.
- Add unit awareness. Currently the units don't take part in the number manipulations. They just appear besides the values when a variable is referenced. This means the numbers will be the same with or without the units.
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