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Open XML to DAISY v1 is Live!

Open XML to DAISY v1 is Live!

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Well, January 25th is upon us and I am happy to announce that if you head over to the project site on SourceForge, the first release (v1, alpha, M1, low grade dog food without gravy, etc) is ready to try out.  Keep in mind that it is going to have some holes right now but we know about a lot of them and already have plans to fix those.  That said; if you find bugs, PLEASE log them on SourceForge (again, I am going to call out the biggest contributors and maybe even send them a nice prize so please get involved).  Now without further ado, let’s drill into some details around this first release. 

What’s in it?

This first release isn’t going to hit all of the DAISY elements (yet) but we managed to hammer out a pretty good bucket.  The work that Sonata and DAISY are doing here is truly incredible.  Here is what we support in V1:

·         Dublin Core Metadata [R1]

·         UID metadata [R2]

·         Frontmatter,bookmatter and rearmatter mapping[R3]

·         Levels and Headings [R4]

·         Paragraphs [R5]

·         Tables [R7]

·         Lists  [R8]

·         Note’s and Note References  [R10]

·         Emphasis and Strong [R11]

·         Superscript and Subscript [R12]

·         Images [R14]

·         Validity [R16]

·         Captions [R18]

Now, if you ask me that’s not bad for a first pass.  But I also want to be completely up front about some of the issues we know are out there. We know there are some defects in v1 and you can find that list up on SourceForge.  It shouldn’t be that hard to fix most of these, but check them out if you find yourself running into a problem again and again.  There is also going to be a trouble shooting document available so try consulting that as well.  In fact, here is a list of everything up on the project site:

In this release we have uploaded the following:

1.       Setup for Microsoft Word 2007

2.       Setup for Microsoft Word 2003

3.       Setup for Microsoft Word XP

4.       Source Code

5.       Instruction Manual

6.       Authoring Guidelines

7.       Troubleshooting Guidelines

8.       Build verification testing results

9.       Open Defects

10.   Open Suggestions


I also want to point out that as a content author, you need to take some things into consideration to make a great DAISY file.  The canonical example of course is alt text.  Guess what, we can take your picture files and convert them over no problem, but if the alt text field isn’t populated, there isn’t any way to guess what your image might be (I am also not sure you want us guessing what your image is all the time anyway).  Because I brought this up, I should call out how to add alt text to an image or other objects in Office 2007.  It’s located in the size option when you right click on any image.  To get to this option via keyboard ensure that you have focus on an image or object and then the keystrokes are Alt, “J”,”P”.  That puts focus on the picture tools tab.  Then press “S”, “Z” to launch the size dialogue. Then hit the right arrow once and you are on the alt text option.  Don’t forget about things like using styles properly, logical document structure and so on (this is going to be another post).  Also, you will need the compatability pack if you are on anything prior to 2007.

I also want to call out the results of the first test cases.  I can’t say enough great things about the folks from the DAISY consortium and Sonata who are collaborating with us on this effort.  Check this out:



Current Project Phase

Testing of Timebox1

Overall Health


Total Test Cases Executed


Number of Test Cases Passed


Number of Test Cases Failed


Number of Test Case To be Tested


Number of Test Cases Not Executed



325 out of 328 test cases passed.  That’s pretty darn good (we are going after that pesky 1% that failed).  The details on the test cases will also be found on SourceForge so feel free to chomp on that as well.

So again, go here:  Play with it, bash it, and drop all your feedback so that we can make this as good as possible.  I hope you are pleased with this first drop and let me know if you have ideas.


  • Reed announced today that the first alpha build of the OpenXML to DAISY translator is now available up

  • Open XML to Daisy translator (Office Open XML WordProcessingML document to Daisy DTBook...

  • Every day I run across a great deal of useful data for Open XML, so I thought I'd share some of that:

  • Is the only output of the translator going to be a DTB xml file, or will it be able to produce a text only Daisy book as well?

  • HeyDavid,

    As of Today, it's going to be the DTB XML file.  That said, I think it's pretty easy to imagine that the logical next step is the whole bundle.  


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