I've obtained some books in the form of XML files. This XML seems to be output of an Abbyy program (presumably based on OCR of actual books).

I'm looking for software for these files be converted into something readable. I'd prefer PDF output but HTML or e-book formats are OK if it will permit reading the text.

I cannot use anything proprietary or commercial. It must be some OSS ware that works on Linux, preferably from the Ubuntu repository.

Web-searching is useless as it just brings up endless results about either using Abbyy commercial-ware, or converting to XML, or from PDF, or doing OCR.

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    – Izzy
    Apr 15, 2019 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


There is a project on GitHub which converts abbyXML into hOCR. hOCR itself is XHTML, which means, that you could display it in the browser, right away, by simply loading it. You will need an XSL-T processor to do the transformation, however. The recommended one, these days, would be SaxonHE, which is the open-source edition of Saxon.

Converting the XML into PDF is also possible, but that requires knowledge about XSL-T and XSL-FO as well as programming your own XML pipeline. The pipeline would need to be:

abbyXML -> XSL-T -> XSL-FO -> FOP -> PDF

with FOP being an XML Formatting Objects processor, of which ApacheFOP would be an open-source solution.

Last, it is possible to style XML with CSS, and then load it in the browser. However, I guess, that creating CSS for XML file, describing OCR, would be a lot of work.

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