Many times, when working with documentation, it would be helpful if we could use code to read, create and manipulate files to make processes more efficient.
In many organizations, Microsoft Word files are used for reporting and different processes, and from time to time, we need to update the data stored in these files.
Having to update these files manually can be a nightmare. With Python, we can write a program that does these manipulations for us, and save a lot of headache and time.
Using python-docx, we can easily manipulate Word files using Python.
How to Iterate over Everything in Word Document using python-docx
The key to iterating over everything in a Word Document using python-docx is the use of the following function from the python-docx github issues section:
import docx from docx.document import Document from docx.text.paragraph import Paragraph from docx.table import _Cell, Table from docx.oxml.table import CT_Tbl from docx.oxml.text.paragraph import CT_P def iter_block_items(parent): """ Generate a reference to each paragraph and table child within *parent*, in document order. Each returned value is an instance of either Table or Paragraph. *parent* would most commonly be a reference to a main Document object, but also works for a _Cell object, which itself can contain paragraphs and tables. """ if isinstance(parent, _Document): parent_elm = parent.element.body # print(parent_elm.xml) elif isinstance(parent, _Cell): parent_elm = parent._tc else: raise ValueError("something's not right") for child in parent_elm.iterchildren(): if isinstance(child, CT_P): yield Paragraph(child, parent) elif isinstance(child, CT_Tbl): yield Table(child, parent)
The code above will give us each element in a Word Document, including those included in the rows and cells of the table. Then, we can iterate over a given Word document as so:
doc = docx.Document("/path/to/your/word.docx") for block in iter_block_items(doc): if isinstance(block,Table): #this is a table #do something here else: #this is a paragraph #do something else here
Something that I find useful when working with Word documents is keep track of the block around the current element. For example, I might want to keep track of the previous block so that if the previous block is something important, I can add styling or content around it.
doc = docx.Document("/path/to/your/word.docx") for block in iter_block_items(doc): if isinstance(block,Table): #this is a table #do something here else: #this is a paragraph #do something else here previous_block = block
Hopefully, this helps you with automating a Microsoft Word document process using Python.