[Tutor] Hoping to benefit from someone's experience...

Marc Tompkins marc.tompkins at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 05:31:56 CEST 2008

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 7:18 PM, <python at bdurham.com> wrote:

> Recommendation: Find a very old version of Word (Word 95) to generate
> your RTF 'templates'. The older versions of Word generate much simpler
> RTF that is forward compatible.

Excellent advice!  Unfortunately, my case is a bit different...

All incoming files (from the transcribing company) will be coming in as RTF
and formatted properly - or at least they will if my instructions were
clearly understood.  In any case, future files are not my problem.  My
problem is transcriptions from the past year or so, maybe more - the
practice moved to a new software package, and it remains to be seen how much
history they want/need to load into the new EMR.  (It's not a primary-care
practice, so there's a lot of patient-base turnover.)

The files I have to deal with were generated by Word 2003, and now have been
converted to RTF by OpenOffice 2.4.  I just need to shove a (mostly) blank
page in at the beginning, with a slug of summary info, so that the import
utility can digest the file.
I've done it by hand on a few files now
 - open in Word*,
 - insert a section/page break at the top of the document
 - go to the second header and uncheck "Same as Previous"
 - go to the first header and delete it
 - close the header and enter the slug info
       (doctor is easy, as the files are separated into folders by doctor,
          but patient ID and date need to be determined for each file)
 - save
 - feed it to the import utility

*Although I have OpenOffice installed, and I used it - in Ubuntu - for the
batch conversion, I haven't yet checked to see whether this task is simpler
or more complicated in Writer.
** I just did.  Viva open source and all, but they've got a loooong way to
catch up in ease of use - at least for this task...  <dons flameproof suit

Since I have 10,000 or so files to do, the job screams for automation, and
Python is my favorite tool.  So hope springs eternal...

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