Automating document typesetting

As a long time typography nut and a lawyer it made my day to discover the book and website today.

At my small firm, we were discussing ways to improve the typographic quality of our documents (starting with the memo’s advising governments).

I have used LaTeX to write a PhD thesis in the past and I’ve always been frustrated by the fact that the documents my firm produces in MS Word look subpar to what can be done with LaTeX. However, I vividly remember the fiddling it took to get my files to compile…

So, essentially, my question is this: if I could get my colleagues to adhere to a strict template in MS Word, do you think it’s possible to get to a point where anyone without technical experience could robustly convert the .docx file to a beautifully typeset PDF, using LaTeX and pandoc in the background? I am thinking of a drag and drop page on our own website.