html2text - an advanced HTML-to-text converter
html2text [ -unparse | -check ] [ -debug-scanner ] [ -debug-parser ] [
-rcfile path ] [ -style ( compact | pretty ) ] [ -width width ] [ -o
output-file ] [ -nobs ] [ input-uri ... ]
html2text reads HTML 3.2 documents from the input-uris, formats each
into a stream of plain text characters (ISO 8859-1) and writes the
result to standard output (or into output-file, if the -o command line
option is used).
Documents that are specified by an URI that begins with "http:" (RFC
1738) are retrieved with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (RFC 1945).
URIs that begin with "file:" and URIs that do not contain a colon specify
local files. All other URIs are invalid.
If no input-uris are specified on the command line, html2text reads
from standard input. A dash as the input-uri 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. It also accepts syntactically incorrect input and attempts to
interpret it "reasonably".
The way in that html2text formats the HTML documents is controlled by
formatting 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
-help Print command line summary and exit.
Print program version and exit.
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
-check This option is for diagnostic purposes: The HTML document is
only parsed and not processed otherwise. In this mode of operation,
html2text will report on parse errors and scan errors,
which it does not in other modes of operation. Notice that parse
and scan errors are not fatal for html2text, but may cause misinterpretation
of the HTML code and/or portions of the document
While scanning the HTML document, html2text reports on each lexical
token scanned. This option is for diagnostic purposes.
While scanning the HTML document, html2text reports on the
tokens being shifted, rules being applied, etc. This option is
for diagnostic purposes.
Attempt to read the file specified in path as RC file.
-style ( compact | pretty )
Style pretty changes some of the default values of the formatting
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.
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
Write the output to output-file instead of standard output. A
dash as the output-file is an alternate way to specify the standard
-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 output
is piped into more(1), less(1), or similar. For other applications,
or when redirecting the output into a file, it may be
desirable not to render character attributes with such backspace
sequences, which can be specified with this command line option.
System wide parser configuration file.
Personal parser configuration file, overrides the system wide
HTML 3.2 (HTML 3.2 Reference Specification - http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-
RFC 1945 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP).
html2text undergoes considerable effort to parse syntactically incorrect
input, but is not always as successful as other HTML processors.
If you have the possibility to correct the HTML source code, you may
want to use the -unparse or -check options to find out what exactly
html2text's problem is.
html2text provides only a basic implementation of the Hypertext Transfer
Protocol (HTTP). It requires the complete and exactly matching URI
to be given as argument and will not follow redirections (HTTP 301/
html2text was written up to version 1.2.2 by Arno Unkrig
<firstname.lastname@example.org> for GMRS Software GmbH, UnterschleiBheim.
Current maintainer and primary download location is:
Martin Bayer <email@example.com>
html2textrc(5), less(1), more(1)
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