Trending December 2023 # How To Automate Document Conversion With Unoconv In Linux # Suggested January 2024 # Top 18 Popular

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Installing unoconv is child’s play, as a stock Ubuntu install will include LibreOffice out of the box. Then, getting unoconv is as simple as the following command:


apt-get install

unoconv Usage

With a straight-forward syntax, unoconv will help you make short work of any large conversion job.

First, it’s useful to know what sorts of files you can convert. You could open LibreOffice to check, but unoconv provides you a nice option to list these in the terminal:



You may need to scroll up a bit, as the list is pretty extensive. In order to convert from one format to another, you’ll need to use the following flags:

The “-f” flag will indicate what you’re requesting as the final output. For example, “-f pdf” will convert whichever file(s) you include in the command to PDF format.

The “-o” flag allows you to specify a different path for the converted files (however, this is optional, as the default is the current directory).

The command to convert all the MS Word (2000/2003) documents in the current directory (whether two or a hundred) to Open Document Text format and place them in the “proper_format” directory beneath the current directory would be as follows:







.doc Other Useful Unoconv Tips

Here are some other things to be aware of when using unoconv:

You can use the “-t” flag, followed by a path to a file, to apply that file as a template to all the files you convert.  These files should be the template format of whatever file type you’re converting to… for example, if (as in the example above) you’re converting a group of files to ODT format, the template files should be in ODT.

As mentioned above, unoconv uses LibreOffice to do the conversion… meaning that when you execute it from the command line, it needs to start an instance of LibreOffice, with all the waiting that sometimes entails.  So the command may take longer than you’d expect when you issue it.

If you’d like to avoid this delay, you can use the “-c” flag to connect to an instance of LibreOffice you might already have running.

Using unoconv can be a great time saver if you have a large project and need to reformat a long list of files to a proprietary format. The ability to automate document conversion is yet another reason to give your terminal a little respect.

Image credit: Paperwork Pile by BigStockPhoto

Aaron Peters

Aaron is an interactive business analyst, information architect, and project manager who has been using Linux since the days of Caldera. A KDE and Android fanboy, he’ll sit down and install anything at any time, just to see if he can make it work. He has a special interest in integration of Linux desktops with other systems, such as Android, small business applications and webapps, and even paper.

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How To Automate Your Marketing With Social Media Monitoring Tools

In today’s day and age, markets can change direction in the blink of an eye and huge trends can show up overnight only to die down a few weeks later. Plus, customers are better informed and require more than just your good intentions to pay attention to your brand. 

Therefore, businesses must adapt to the crazy fast pace of the market and find new ways to cope with the coming and going of the trends. That’s where

marketing automation

truly shows its value as it takes over routine tasks and frees up time for ingenuity, creativity, and strategy. 

But you can’t have marketing automation without the right tools. Luckily, the offer is incredibly diverse with smart automation tools that can help improve the customer experience while also shedding hours off your schedule. However, it can be a bit confusing when trying to decide which tools work the best for your needs. 

For instance, did you know you can use

social media monitoring tools

to automate and enrich your campaigns? Here’s how:

Use Social Listening

Social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about topics of interest to you online. With the right tools, you can learn more about your customers’ opinions about your brand, products, and more. 

You can check brand mentions across all platforms, so you don’t waste any marketing opportunities. Brand mentions mean people are talking about you, therefore, you have to make sure you’ll be a part of the conversation. 

Plus, you can use social media monitoring tools to take a peek at your competitors’ strategies and campaigns. After all, inspiration can come from a wide range of sources, right?

Overall, social listening is great for your marketing because it keeps you up to date with popular topics and lets you know what’s trendy on the market. 

Gain Valuable Insight

Luckily, some of these tools also have analytics built into the system, which means you can create default and customized reports to better understand trends and currents. With the right data, social media can paint an accurate picture of your customer, which is incredibly valuable information especially in today’s day and age.  

24/7 Customer Support

Customer support is the one service you know for sure it can improve your chances on the market when done right. When customers and interested buyers reach out, you must reply quickly and swiftly to keep their satisfaction levels high. 

Luckily, nowadays you don’t have to hire a call center company to cover basic interactions. Intelligent chatbots are not new technology, but small and medium-sized brands are not extremely keen on using them. 

However, with minimal initial investment and the data provided by social media monitoring tools, you can set up user-friendly chatbots that can take over routine questions and even basic actions. Plus, chatbots can stay active 24/7 and they use AI algorithms to learn from the collected data how to better talk with your customers. 

Quick note

: There are plenty of AI tools you can use to up your marketing and

social media strategy

. Also, these tools are quite affordable even for small brands, so there’s absolutely no need not to use them. 

Wrap Up

How To Embed A Document In A WordPress Post

At best, you can post a link to the document making it available for users to download. That works well, but sometimes you want users to view the document on your site without having them download it to use it elsewhere.

There’s an easy way to add this functionality to your WordPress website, and that is by using the Embed Any Document plugin which allows you to embed any document of the following file types:

Microsoft Word (docx, docm, dotm, dotx)

Microsoft Excel (xlsx, xlsb, xls, xlsm)

Microsoft PowerPoint (pptx, ppsx, ppt, pps, pptm, potm, ppam, potx, ppsm)

Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)

Text files (txt)

TIFF Images (tif, tiff)

Adobe Illustrator (ai)

Scalable Vector Graphics (svg)

It uses the Google Docs viewer or Microsoft Online (whichever you prefer) to display the embeds on your website.

Follow the instructions below to install and configure this plugin on your website.

How to Embed Any Document in a WordPress Post

5. A popup should appear on your screen. In the free version you have the option to upload a document or add it from a URL. If you want to embed a document stored in Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box, you’ll have to purchase the pro version to unlock those features. A possible workaround is to grab the document from your cloud storage and upload it using the “Upload document” option.

7. Finally, save the post and preview it to see how the embedded document looks on your website.


Here are some others plugins that allow you to embed a document on your site.

Google Docs Embedder – Similar to Embed Any Document, it allows you embed documents in a wide variety of formats

Google Drive Embedder – Helps you embed documents stored in Google Drive

Wrap Up

Ayo Isaiah

Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.

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How To Recover A Word Document

You spent hours writing a document and then, all of a sudden, your PC crashes. Thousands of words, hours of effort: gone in an instant. Unfortunately, this is an entirely possible scenario that can sometimes occur when you’re writing or editing a Microsoft Word document, especially if you haven’t saved your file.

Thankfully, like Google Docs, Word can and will autosave your documents, even if you haven’t saved it yourself. Word will also try to help you recover changes to a file or recover corrupted documents. If you’re struggling, here are some of the steps you can follow to recover a Word document before you lose it entirely.

Table of Contents

Using Word’s Document Recovery Features

If Word crashes without saving your document, don’t panic! If you’re using a recent release of Microsoft Word, you may be in luck, as Word’s built-in auto recovery features may have saved your progress automatically.

This feature means that you can, in many cases, recover a crashed Word document up to the last autosave point (usually every 10 minutes). While it won’t work for every document, it could help you to recover files when Word is forced to close.

Searching For Word Backup Files Manually

Word will automatically locate any auto-recovery files, but this only works if you’re trying to recover Word documents under normal conditions. You may, for instance, be trying to recover documents from a folder on a failed PC.

To do this, open Windows File Explorer. Word autorecovery files are typically saved in the C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOfficeUnsavedFiles folder (replacing username with your own account username). If there are no files here, try the C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWord folder (replacing username) instead.

Changing The Frequency Of Word Auto Recovery Saves

By default, Word should automatically save a copy of a document every 10 minutes. You can change this setting yourself to increase the frequency of these autosaves, but this will have an impact on performance for much larger documents.

With your autorecovery settings updated, Word should start to automatically save documents you’re editing more often. You can then recover a Word document as standard using the methods shown above.

Recovering a Corrupted Word Document

Auto-recovery is great for recovering progress you’ve made on Word documents that you weren’t able to save directly. If you want to recover a corrupted Word document that you’ve previously saved, however, you’ll need to follow different steps.

These steps aren’t foolproof, but if a Word document has become corrupted, you may be able to use them to repair it or extract the contents into a new document.

Using OneDrive For Document Storage

If these steps don’t work, however, you may need to brace yourself for the fact that your progress has lost and your file isn’t recoverable. While it isn’t a fix, you could use OneDrive as a save location for any future documents to help reduce this risk.

Using OneDrive doesn’t provide a guarantee that future Word documents won’t or can’t become corrupted. It may help you recover Word documents if the local file is lost or damaged, however, especially if your PC fails and you’re forced to reinstall Windows. 

If a hard drive fails, you can quickly load up Word files from your OneDrive cloud storage instead, saving you time.

Planning And Creating Better Documents In Microsoft Word

Knowing how to recover a Word document can help you save hours of your time, but the best fixes are the ones you put in place before you start working. Saving a file to OneDrive (or using Word Online) will help to make sure that your Word files are safe as you make changes to it, making it much easier to recover if your PC fails.

How To Install Windows In Virtualbox In Linux

There are several reasons a Linux user would want to create a Windows virtual machine, and VirtualBox is easily one of the most popular hypervisors available for Linux. It’s simple to use, easily accessible, and extremely flexible in what it allows you to do with your virtual machines. In this guide, you’ll learn how to install Windows in VirtualBox in Linux.

Tip: other than Windows, you can also install macOS in Virtualbox.

Installing VirtualBox

There are two ways to install VirtualBox in Linux. The first is to go to the website and download whichever package works for your system. Follow the steps below:

Follow the download prompts, and the package installer should automatically install the package.

However, there are some challenges with that. Generally, just installing the RPM or DEB will miss building the kernel modules necessary, which can bring up many errors. The way to get around that is to install VirtualBox from your distro’s repository. This is usually a simple command to install, depending on your distribution.

For Ubuntu and its derivatives:




virtualbox virtualbox-guest-additions-iso Downloading Windows 11

For those who may not be aware, Windows 11 is actually free to download and use. You can’t use it in a production environment without paying for it, but if it’s purely for personal purposes, it’s fair game.

Download Windows 11 by going to Microsoft’s Windows Download page.

Tip: aside from installing Windows from an ISO, you can also download an official VM image for Windows that comes already configured for VirtualBox.

Note: the download may take a while, especially on a slow network connection, as the ISO image is almost 5GB in size.

Do you know: other than VirtualBox, you can also install Windows 11 in Raspberry Pi.

Creating the Windows 11 Virtual Machine

Type “Windows 11” in the “Name” section. That will automatically choose the “Version” to “Windows 11 (64-bit).” From there, name it anything you want.

Go to the “Username and Password” group and write the credentials you want for your Windows 11 account.

Go to the “Additional Options” group. Change the values in both the “Hostname” and “Domain Name” textboxes. For this, you can write any value that you want as long as the Domain Name is two characters long.

Go through the menu and set whatever you’d like for the configuration of the virtual machine. I’d recommend at least 4096MB memory and creating a 60GB virtual disk.

After you are done creating your virtual machine, VirtualBox will automatically start and install Windows 11 in the background.

Once Windows is installed, you may notice that it’s complaining about inadequate video drivers and that you’re limited to a very small screen. To fix all that, you will need to install VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in Windows

You can choose to reboot now or do it later.

With that done, the Guest Additions are installed, and you can experience true 3D acceleration, screen size selection, and many of the other great benefits that come with using VirtualBox Guest Additions, like shared clipboards and file sharing from Host to Guest and back.

Note that the VM is now full screen.

Tip: learn how to share USB and network devices in VirtualBox.

Transferring Files from Linux to Windows 11

Another benefit of enabling VirtualBox Guest Additions is that it allows you to seamlessly transfer files between your host Linux machine and Windows 11. This can be helpful if you are using your VM for data processing and need a way to push and pull files from your guest operating system. To get started, follow the steps below:

Creating a Permanent Shared Folder in VirtualBox

While using the File Manager utility allows you to transfer files from your host to your guest OS, there are instances where you might need a more permanent channel between them. To this end, VirtualBox provides a “Shared Folder” feature, which is used to create a link between your two machines.

Select the folder that you want to use in your host OS from the File Picker menu.

Good to know: while a Share Folder allows you to back up files inside your VM, you can also make an OVA file in VirtualBox, which will create a reproducible image that you can reinstall at anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions Why does my Windows 11 VM keep crashing on startup?

While this can be due to a number of issues, the most common cause for this is a BIOS setting that disabled your machine’s virtualization features. To fix this issue, go into your system’s BIOS and enable any setting that contains either an Intel VT-x/VT-d or AMD-V.

How do I fix my VM, as it’s slow and sluggish when running?

This is most likely due to a lack of available system resources in your host machine. As such, you can fix this by making sure that VirtualBox is the only heavy program that is running whenever you boot a guest operating system.

Why am I getting a UEFI Shell whenever I boot my Windows 11 ISO?

This happens whenever VirtualBox tries to load a guest operating system using UEFI. By default, VirtualBox only uses UEFI as a fallback mode for pickier operating systems and will not boot Windows 11 under UEFI.

Image credit: Unsplash. All alterations and screenshots by Ramces Red.

Ramces Red

Ramces is a technology writer that lived with computers all his life. A prolific reader and a student of Anthropology, he is an eccentric character that writes articles about Linux and anything *nix.

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Use Array Formulas With Google Forms Data To Automate Calculations

In this article, you’ll see how to use Array Formulas with Google Forms data to automatically calculate running metrics on your data.

Have you ever tried to use a formula in the column adjacent to your form responses to do calculations? You’ve copied it to the bottom of your sheet, maybe even included an IF statement for the blank rows, and now you want it to auto-calculate whenever new responses come in.

Sadly, this approach doesn’t work.

When a response is collected through the form it adds a new row under your existing data, and any formulas in adjacent columns get bumped down a row rather than being calculated. Bummer!

However, this is a perfect use case for an Array Formula. (If you’ve never heard of an array formula before, check out: How do array formulas work in Google Sheets.)

In the example above, I’ve set up a simple Google Form, which asks a user to submit a single number between 1 and 100. The form responses are collected in columns A and B of a Google Sheet (timestamp and number respectively).

The other columns contain Array Formulas with Google Forms data to calculate various metrics e.g. running totals, %, average, etc. (all made-up for the purposes of this example).

Using Array Formulas with Google Forms data, we create a single formula in the top row of Sheet, which will automatically perform calculations on any new rows of response data from the Google Form.

Note: in general, and especially if your forms are complex, you should consider keeping the response data in its own sheet and doing any data analysis in a separate sheet.

How to use Array Formulas with Google Forms data What’s the formula?

Array Cumulative SUM: To get the total of all values in column B, enter this formula in the top row (e.g. cell C2):






It uses an IF function to check whether column B is blank or not, and displays a sum only for non-blank rows.

Array % of TOTAL: To calculate the % of values in column B, enter this formula in the top row (e.g. cell D2):








Array Average: To calculate the average of all values in column B, enter this formula in the top row (e.g. cell E2):






Array IF: To create categories for values in column B, enter this formula in the top row (e.g. cell F2):

All of these will expand to fill out the entire column, displaying values for any rows that have numbers in column B. They will auto-update when new data arrives through the Google Form.

Can I see an example worksheet?

Yes, here you go.

Here’s the link to the Google Form so you can see the formulas auto-update.

How does this formula work?

Let’s run through how the first of these array formula examples, the SUM example, works.

The way to think of it is that in the first row, we effectively have this formula:






This regular formula checks if cell B2 is blank or not.

If it’s blank then the ISBLANK formula returns TRUE and our IF formula outputs a blank cell.

However, if cell B2 has a number in it (from the Form), then we put the total of column B into cell C2. The syntax SUM(B2:B) ensures that we include ALL numbers in column B into our total calculation.

Now consider the next row, where our formula effectively becomes:






It’s identical except we’re checking row 3, so whether B3 is blank or not, and outputting the IF result into cell C3.

Finally, we turn it into an array formula by putting a range into the IF ISBLANK test, and wrapping with the ArrayFormula syntax:






You only enter this formula once, into cell C2 (or whatever your top row is) and it will auto-fill the whole column.

Whenever a form response is added to the Sheet, a new number appears in column B and that cell is no longer blank. Hence the array formula updates to display the SUM value into the adjacent cell in column C.

Related Articles

This post takes you through the basics of array formulas in Google Sheets, with example calculations and a worksheet you can copy.

This post takes you through the basics of array formulas in Google Sheets, with example calculations and a worksheet you can copy.

This article describes 18 best practices for working with data in Google Sheets, including examples and screenshots to illustrate each concept.

This article describes 18 best practices for working with data in Google Sheets, including examples and screenshots to illustrate each concept.

Learn how to remove duplicates in Google Sheets with these five different techniques, using Add-ons, Formulas, Formatting, Pivot Tables or Apps Script.

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