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html2text(1)                General Commands Manual               html2text(1)



NAME
       html2text - an advanced HTML-to-text converter

SYNOPSIS
       html2text -help
       html2text -version
       html2text  [ -unparse | -check ] [ -debug-scanner ] [ -debug-parser ] [
       -rcfile path ] [ -style ( compact | pretty ) ] [ -width width  ]  [  -o
       output-file ] [ -nobs ] [ -ascii ] [ input-url ...  ]

DESCRIPTION
       html2text  reads  HTML  documents  from the input-urls, formats each of
       them into a stream of plain text characters, and writes the  result  to
       standard  output (or into output-file, if the -o command line option is
       used).

       Documents that are specified by a  URL  (RFC  1738)  that  begins  with
       "http:"  are retrieved with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (RFC 1945).
       URLs that begin with "file:" and URLs that do not contain a colon spec-
       ify local files. All other URLs are invalid.

       If  no  input-urls  are  specified on the command line, html2text reads
       from standard input. A dash as the input-url is  an  alternate  way  to
       specify standard input.

       html2text understands all HTML 3.2 constructs, but can render only part
       of them due to the limitations of the text output format. However,  the
       program attempts to provide good substitutes for the elements it cannot
       render.  html2text parses HTML 4 input, too, but not always as success-
       ful  as  other HTML processors. It also accepts syntactically incorrect
       input, and attempts to interpret it "reasonably".

       The way html2text formats the HTML documents is controlled  by  format-
       ting  properties  read  from  an  RC  file.  html2text attempts to read
       $HOME/.html2textrc (or the file specified by the -rcfile  command  line
       option);  if  that  file  cannot  be  read,  html2text attempts to read
       /etc/html2textrc.  If no RC file can be read (or if the  RC  file  does
       not override all formatting properties), then "reasonable" defaults are
       assumed. The RC file format is described in the  html2textrc(5)  manual
       page.

OPTIONS
       -ascii By default, html2text uses ISO 8859-1 for the output. Specifying
              this option, plain ASCII  is  used  instead.  To  find  out  how
              non-ASCII characters are rendered, refer to the file "ascii.sub-
              stitutes".

       -check This option is for diagnostic purposes:  The  HTML  document  is
              only  parsed and not processed otherwise. In this mode of opera-
              tion, html2text will report on parse  errors  and  scan  errors,
              which  it  does not in other modes of operation. Note that parse
              and scan errors are not fatal for html2text, but may cause  mis-
              interpretation  of the HTML code and/or portions of the document
              being swallowed.

       -debug-parser
              Let html2text report on the tokens being  shifted,  rules  being
              applied,  etc., while scanning the HTML document. This option is
              for diagnostic purposes.

       -debug-scanner
              Let html2text report on each lexical token scanned, while  scan-
              ning the HTML document. This option is for diagnostic purposes.

       -help  Print command line summary and exit.

       -nobs  By  default, html2text renders underlined letters with sequences
              like "underscore-backspace-character" and boldface letters  like
              "character-backspace-character",  which works fine when the out-
              put is piped into more(1), less(1), or similar. For other appli-
              cations,  or  when redirecting the output into a file, it may be
              desirable not to render character attributes with such backspace
              sequences,  which  can  be  accomplished  with this command line
              option.

       -o output-file
              Write the output to output-file instead of  standard  output.  A
              dash as the output-file is an alternate way to specify the stan-
              dard output.

       -rcfile path
              Attempt to read the file specified in path as RC file.

       -style ( compact | pretty )
              Style pretty changes some of the default values of  the  format-
              ting parameters documented in html2textrc(5).  To find out which
              and how the formatting parameter defaults are changed, check the
              file "pretty.style". If this option is omitted, style compact is
              assumed as default.

       -unparse
              This option is for diagnostic purposes:  Instead  of  formatting
              the  parsed  document, generate HTML code, that is guaranteed to
              be syntactically correct. If html2text has  problems  parsing  a
              syntactically  incorrect HTML document, this option may help you
              to understand what html2text thinks that the original HTML  code
              means.

       -version
              Print program version and exit.

       -width width
              By  default,  html2text  formats the HTML documents for a screen
              width of 79 characters. If redirecting the output into  a  file,
              or  if your terminal has a width other than 80 characters, or if
              you just want to get an idea  how  html2text  deals  with  large
              tables  and different terminal widths, you may want to specify a
              different width.

FILES
       /etc/html2textrc
              System wide parser configuration file.

       $HOME/.html2textrc
              Personal parser configuration file, overrides  the  system  wide
              values.

CONFORMING TO
       HTML  3.2 (HTML 3.2 Reference Specification - http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-
       html32),
       RFC 1945 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP).

RESTRICTIONS
       html2text provides only a basic implementation of the Hypertext  Trans-
       fer  Protocol (HTTP). It requires the complete and exactly matching URL
       to be given as argument and will not  follow  redirections  (HTTP  301/
       307).  Proxy servers are not supported.

       html2text was written to convert HTML 3.2 documents. When using it with
       HTML 4 or even XHTML 1 documents, some constructs present only in these
       HTML versions might not be rendered.

AUTHOR
       html2text   was   written   up   to   version   1.2.2  by  Arno  Unkrig
       <arnoATunkrig.de> for GMRS Software GmbH, Unterschleissheim.

       Current maintainer and primary download location is:
       Martin Bayer <mbayerATzedat.de>
       http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~mbayer/tools/html2text.html <>

SEE ALSO
       html2textrc(5), less(1), more(1)



                                  2004-01-14                      html2text(1)