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openpack provides base functionality for working with the Open Office XML (OOXML) format in Python.


Openpack is a base library for OpenXML documents. It is used by the paradocx and XlsXcessive.


Openpack includes two utilities for working with OpenXML documents from the command-line, part-edit and zip-listdir.

These commands are additionally exposed as modules and may be invoked using python -m, e.g. python -m openpack.part-edit.


zip-listdir isn’t specific to OpenXML, and will work on any zip file. Since OpenXML documents are themselves zip files, however, it is useful to have when working with OpenXML:

> zip-listdir ../paradocx/data.docx
d _rels
d word

zip-listdir lists the files and directories and can be used to list sub-directories as well:

> zip-listdir ../paradocx/data.docx/word
d _rels


While zip-listdir enables inspecting the structure of the zip content of an OpenXML document, part-edit facilitates editing the various parts of those documents using the client’s text editor. For example, to edit the word/document.xml as found in data.docx from the previous example, simply invoke part-edit:

> part-edit ../paradocx/data.docx/word/document.xml

The program will attempt to use the default text editor to edit the file. If the default editor is not sufficient, the user may specify an editor by setting either XML_EDITOR or EDITOR environment variables.

part-edit will parse the zip file, locate the content within the zip file, extract that content to a temporary file, and then open that content in an editor. After the editor is closed, if the file was changed, the zip file will be updated with the new content.

The user may pass the optional --reformat-xml, in which case the XML will be pretty-formatted for easier human readability.

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