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Making selections before conversion #34

dagwieers opened this Issue · 11 comments

8 participants


In some cases users would like to make selections before doing the conversion, this could be useful in order to:

  • select a specific sheet in a spreadsheet to convert (currently only the first sheet is converted)
  • select a specific range in a spreadsheet to convert
  • select a specific range of pages to convert

The difficulty here is two-fold:

  • how do we describe the various pieces for doing the selection
  • how do we instruct LibreOffice to perform the description of what the user needs

So a lot of discussion around this is needed to understand the various requirements and implementation bits. Feedback welcome


I had a desperate need to export specific sheets from many spreadsheets recently and modified unoconv to do my bidding. I'm not suggesting that this is a good approach for specifying the sheet to convert, but it has really helped me out in a pinch. Below is the patch of what I've done (this is against debian wheezy's unoconv):

>         self.sheet_name = None
<             opts, args = getopt.getopt (args, 'c:Dd:e:f:hi:Llo:np:s:T:t:v',
>             opts, args = getopt.getopt (args, 'c:Dd:e:f:hi:Llo:np:s:S:T:t:v',
<                  'pipe=', 'port=', 'server=', 'timeout=', 'show', 'stdout',
<                  'template', 'verbose', 'version'] )
>                  'pipe=', 'port=', 'server=', 'timeout=', 'sheet=', 'show',
>                  'stdout', 'template', 'verbose', 'version'] )
>             elif opt in ['-S', '--sheet']:
>                 self.sheet_name = arg
>             if op.sheet_name:
>                 sheets = document.getSheets()
>                 sheets.moveByName(op.sheet_name, 0)

In case it proves useful to anyone in the interim, I've applied zonaj's changes to a fork of unoconv.

No pull request at present, since --sheet='sheet-name' probably isn't the best solution in the long term. It's been quite helpful, however.


Yes, it's interesting to see how it's done on a per-sheet basis. But I think we need to have a more general --select option that allows you to specify:

  • page or pagerange
  • sheet or sheetrange
  • sheet+cellranges
  • slides or slideranges

It cannot be that hard.


Let me also add, that I prefer a solution that is not limited to spreadsheets. The same is useful for selecting pages or slides during conversions using the same option.


Apart from this generic use-case (i.e. making selections before doing the export), there may be more flexible option by allowing people to write plugins/extensions to unoconv that we can maintain separately. unoconv could allow to run such a plugin/extension between the import and export phase where the user can make manipulations (search-and-replace, content-modifications, selections, disabling/enabling options, formatting, ...)

A hint into that direction is available from #40, and apart from the selection functionality that appeals to most users, I would like to implement this plugin/extension mechanism independently. For this I opened a new ticket #84, which in my opinion is more important than any other existing feature request :-)


:+1: for this.

I took the @zopa / @zonaj fork and updated it to the current version of master:


@freewil , thanks - it really works) Why you didn't create the pull request?


Based on the discussion above, it doesn't sound like it would be considered merge-worthy.

@dagwieers If i submit the PR, will you merge it?


I have this need. I am not sure if I really understand whether my need is solved by the above. I want a simple unoconv command line to convert ALL slides to some image format to my output directory. The above seems to discuss some possibly useful subparts but unless I am missing it I do not see the solution to what I really need and I that I am sure many others need as well. It is very important to me that it be a cli solution. Is this possible and if so how?

@bitifet bitifet referenced this issue in mirrorx/unoconv

Ability to address sheets by its position. #1


I had the same problem and zonaj's branch was really useful.
Also I made a few improvements (maybe they could be useful for anyone) in my own github repo. I just sent a pull request:

NOTE for Ubuntu/Debian users: I also had a small headache because official (and thereby zonaj's) versions doesn't work "out of the box" in Debian/Ubuntu. It throws a confusing error message saying that couldn't find libre/openoffice (while I have working ubuntu's unoconv version installed). ...This is not real. It is caused because Ubuntu/Debian's default python interpreter is 2.x instead of 3.x. Ubuntu's unoconv changes the script shebang from 'python' to 'python3' to address this., if you use Debian/Ubuntu, you would need to also change it or invoke the interpreter explicitly by typing 'python3 unoconv ...'.

EDIT: In Debian works fine with Python 2.x. The actual problem in ubuntu was the lack of python-uno package. Debian has both: python-uno and python3-uno, but Ubuntu comes only python3-uno. This is why they changes shebang of its unoconv package.


I make zonaj's changes, result:

# unoconv3 -d spreadsheet -f html --sheet='Físico' 2.xlsx
  File "/usr/bin/unoconv3", line 856
    sheets.moveByName (op.sheetname, 0)
IndentationError: unindent does not match any outer indentation level
@dagwieers dagwieers modified the milestone: Release 0.8, Release 0.9
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