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About Microsoft Word HTML

Word HTML is used by Metanorma to generate DOC output.

Word HTML, and the Word HTML version of CSS, are restricted compared to the HTML and CSS you are likely familiar with. Word HTML is a subset of HTML 4; Word HTML CSS has a weakened set of selectors, and a range of Microsoft-specific extensions (prefixed with @ or mso-).

The weakened set of selectors means you cannot assume that classes are inherited by their children; normal CSS would apply formatting on a div class to its child paragraphs, for example, but Word HTML would expect you to repeat that class definition for p.


Some of the necessary caveats are listed in The styling of lists in particular is quite different to normal CSS, and requires a Word-specific selector to define list styles (the :ulstyle ` and `:olstyle ` parameter of `

Word HTML and CSS is not well-documented (even though there is a 1500 page manual from Microsoft); fortunately saving Word documents to HTML will reveal the Word HTML and Word HTML CSS that can be used to generate the same formatting.

The stylesheets need to follow the conventions of Word HTML, and should be formulated by saving Word documents as HTML, and extracting their CSS stylesheets.

Note that the CSS is prefixed with a set of font definitions; these too should be obtained by saving Word documents as HTML.


For more on why Word HTML is used, instead of OOXML or HTML 5 embedded into DOCX, see