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Article: Using Java to Crack Office 2007

by Floyd Marinescu on Jun 05, 2007 |
Historically, opening Office files from within Java has always been something of a problem because Office documents (principally Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) were stored in a binary format known to COM developers worldwide as the structured storage format.  Office 2003, introduced new XML formats unique to itself (such as WordML), which Java developers could use to read or write Office documents, but the formats were not well-documented, and Java developers frequently found themselves learning the WordML format through trial-and-error development. Various open-source projects stepped in to try and mitigate the situation, such as the POI framework from Apache, for reading and writing Excel documents, or various Java-COM solutions With Office 2007, Microsoft has made a significant part of these problems "go away". Without anything more complicated than the native JDK itself-in other words Java apps can now read and write any Office 2007 document, because Office 2007 documents are now nothing more than ZIP files of XML documents.

In  Using Java to Crack Office 2007, Ted Neward goes in-depth on the new Office file format and demonstrates reading it from Java.

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Nice!! by karan malhi

This was a really nice article. I also wish java had support for modifying an existing zip file, instead of reading the whole zip, adding an entry, writing the whole thing into a new zip with the new entry.

Re: Nice!! by Dariusz Borowski

Yeah, nice but a little bit too late. Speaking of an 'OpenDocument'Format reminds me on UNO. UNO is an API for Java to be able to work with a documents. Instead of ziping/unzipping the document it gives the chance to work with OBJECTS. Objects are Tables, Paragraphs, Pictures, Lines, words or even letters. It is able to manipulate, save, delete or what ever somebody wants to do with the document and at the end you can convert it into a different format.

It's not necassary to unzip the document to retrieve the xml file and then iterate through it. There is a much better way to do it. And you get a rid of reading XML tags by specific iteration or numeration.

Check this out: api.openoffice.org/docs/DevelopersGuide/FirstSt...

Cheers,
Dariusz

Accessing Word from Groovy is really easy by Peter Kelley

Yesterday I wrote some code to access a Word document from Groovy using the Scriptom extension that uses the JACOB Java-COM bridge. Quite frankly it beats the hell out of writing XML manipulation code in Java. 36 Lines to get the text out of all comments in a Word document including constant declarations and code comments.

Naturally Java can parse XML, but... by Colm Smyth

Clearly Java's ability to parse valid XML documents is not in question!

The issue with "cracking Office 2007" is not the fact that it doesn't have an XML format, it is the fact that it's format is a) a successor to an existing standard format, b) incomplete (missing required information), and c) not optimised for comprehension by third-party applications. The Wikipedia article includes a partial lists of criticisms.

BTW, in that section it's hardly surprising that governments quoted from existing sources; why rewrite a criticism if it is valid?

And on that basis, I do not rewrite them here but simply refer you to the link above, and to the Comparison of OpenDocument and Office Open XML formats.

Re: Naturally Java can parse XML, but... by Stefan Wenig

Colm, I guess we are all aware of the criticisms. It's just getting boring to be lectured about it whenever someone speaks about OOXML. For a lot of users, the single OOXML advantage of 100% compatibility with the old binary format is just so much more important than anything on the downside (a large part of which is only affecting developers of competing office suites). Can we please just get on with it and not get all political each and every time?

Re: Naturally Java can parse XML, but... by Doug Mahugh

Yes, the lectures have become quite boring and repetitive. There is a lot of opportunity for developers around the new formats simply because they're the defaults in Office, regardless of anyone's feelings on the politics of standards.

One thing worth noting is that all of the parts shown above aren't required, because Word writes out many optional parts every time. You just need the start part (document.xml), content types, and a relationships part to have a minimal hello-world document, and the start part only needs to have the body/p/r/t child elements, as shown in section 2.2 of Part 3 of the spec.

On a related note, there's a Java library for Open XML over on SourceForge (sourceforge.net/projects/openxml4j) that Julien Chable started. It's a good way for Java developers to get productive quickly.

existing open source project for java/open XML by c dubettier

Hello,

If you wish to use java to change/create word documents, there is already some tools. There is an open source project at sourceforge : www.openxml4j.org/
You can merge docs, create paragraph, TOC …
Currently there are 2 branches: As the main branch is under development, I would recommend you to look at the LEGACY branch which is used on my project without any problem. A merge of both branches are planned but it will not happen soon

Slight typo by Ted Neward

Sorry, folks, I just noticed a typo in the article; when it says, "it's pretty clear that the core piece of the document is the "" element..." it should (pretty obviously) read "it's pretty clear that the core piece of the document is the "document" element...".

Sorry about that.

Oh, and to the others who were pointing out the OpenOffice formats and that it's easy to access those file formats as well, I'd like to say I agree with you 100%,

Re: Naturally Java can parse XML, but... by Dash Bitla

Clearly Java's ability to parse valid XML documents is not in question!

The issue with "cracking Office 2007" is not the fact that it doesn't have an XML format, it is the fact that it's format is a) a successor to an existing standard format, b) incomplete (missing required information), and c) not optimised for comprehension by third-party applications. The Wikipedia article includes a partial lists of criticisms.

BTW, in that section it's hardly surprising that governments quoted from existing sources; why rewrite a criticism if it is valid?

And on that basis, I do not rewrite them here but simply refer you to the link above, and to the Comparison of OpenDocument and Office Open XML formats.


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Microsoft actually released a CTP version of OpenXML SDK by YewMing Chen

But unfortunately it is more .NET
So perhaps some of those .NET/Java interoperabilty would come handly.
channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=313246

Java and .NET interoperability by Arun Gupta

If you are interested in .NET interoperability, then you can use GlassFish V2 that provides Metro - the Web services stack! Check out a screencast at:

blogs.sun.com/arungupta/entry/excel_using_wsit_...

This shows how Excel 2007 can invoke a Secure and Reliable Web service endpoint deployed on GlassFish V2.

Great Article ! But ... by Vikram Roopchand

full power of the Office suite is in the APIs. Instead of manipulating XML, why not use the IDispatch interface directly..., I have created some samples using j-Interop (j-interop.sourceforge.net) , it's a pure java implementation of DCOM protocol, hence truly platform independent and the same thing is accomplished in less than 50 lines.

Thanks,
best regards,
Vikram

Re: Nice!! by Jenny Thompson

Hi Dariusz,
I am in need of Extracting the content of Word Document using java code. Can this be achieved by using Open Office? I m new to Open Office. If u r familiar with Open Office can u please give me an idea to start with? Can I get any sample code?

Thanks in advance,
Jenny

Using JAXB to unmarshall WordprocessingML to Java by Jason Harrop

The article envisions:
obtain the schema documents that describe the OpenXML format, and use those to generate a set of Java classes that more closely mirror the OpenXML document format. Then, developers could work with native Java classes, rather than "Document" and "Element" classes.

I've since done this successfully for a subset of WordML using JAXB - see my blog post for details. This will make it into the trunk of docx4j in due course.

Re: Nice!! by Dariusz Borowski

Hi Jenny! Sorry I just read your post. ;)

Let me know if you are still interested in extracting content out of a document.
Dariusz

Re: Nice!! by Krishna moorthy

Hi Dariusz,



I am interested in reading the microsoft word document. I tried with OpenOffice UNO, but couldn't find the right documentation.



The usecase (for generating reports)is to read the document, replace some parts with dynamic data and convert into pdf format. we are using Jasper for reporting but want to replace it with word document as the report contents are heavily modified by end users.



thanks

Re: Nice!! by Dariusz Borowski

Hi Krishna,

How does your document look like? Is the content wrapped in paragraphs or in tables as well?



It's very straight forward. You just need to iterate through your pages and pull out the content as you wish.



Here is a good reference how to get the content:
Using OpenOffice.org from Java Applications




If you need more information, just let me know.


Cheers!

java.util.zip by dinesh prabakaran

I have used java.util.zip to unzip a word 2007 document and added a new .xml file into the docprops folder and then zip it again to .docx document. now i could open the document using word no problem in it but when i retrieve it using .net it is the specified part is not there in the package.. what could be the problem ?..
Thank you.

Great by Fahim A.

Thanks for this article! Really great!

One Question by tapan mokha

Firstly great article.
Is there any way i can verify that this is a MS word document(.docx), what would be the name of the .xml file i am to look into to get this information(i assume this information would be a schema element defined in one of the .xml files).I need to verify it is in the correct format.
Thanks
Tapan

Excel 2007 data in XML was not proper by Usman Bat

The Excel 2007 data in XML was in the two files(When we unziped that files)
The numeric values was in the Sheet1.xml files and the text data are in the xl\sharedStrings.xml. So that i couldn't able to arrange that. And another problem was not in the Sequence Order also. I have to read the numeric and text data also from the EXcel 2007. Any Guys can help in this....

just help me by arvind dalal

can you please send me the complete code which is written above
because i am getting few errors while implementing it

give me complete code with included packages.

Re: Nice!! by Slim Makni

Hi,
Im' a beginner on java development and i need your help to run this source
thanks

Embed Excel/Powerpoint files in Word document by andr dk

Is it possible to embed excel(xls) or powerpoint(ppt) files using the above approach? I tried it but the preview image for OLE content is the same as in the original content of the docx file. Is there a way to preview emf image in Linux/java environment?

javadocx by Eduardo Ramos

You may find interesting javadocx a java library to generate MS Word documents from any data source. It has a LGPL version that you may download from www.javadocx.com

Best regards,

Eduardo

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