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       html2text - an advanced HTML-to-text converter


       html2text -help
       html2text -version
       html2text  [ -unparse | -check ] [ -debug-scanner ] [ -debug-parser ] [
       -rcfile path ] [ -style ( compact | pretty ) ] [ -width width  ]  [  -o
       output-file  ] [ -nobs ] [ -ascii | -utf8 ] [ -nometa ] [ input-url ...


       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

       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
       successful  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
       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

       Debian  version of html2text also can do input and output recoding (see
       /usr/share/doc/html2text/README.Debian for more info).  html2text tries
       to fetch encoding from HTML document. If encoding is not specified, you
       can use -ascii and -utf8 options.  Output is converted to user’s locale
       charset (LC_CTYPE).


              By  default,  Debian  version of html2text use ’meta http-equiv’
              tag for input recoding. This option cancels this behavior.

       -ascii By default, when -nometa is supplied, html2text uses  UTF-8  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.substitutes".

       -utf8  By  default, when -nometa is supplied, html2text uses ISO 8859-1
              for the input. Specifying this option,  UTF-8  is  used  instead
              (both for input and output). This option implies -nobs.

       -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. 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.

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

              Let  html2text  report  on  each  lexical  token  scanned, while
              scanning the  HTML  document.  This  option  is  for  diagnostic

       -help  Print command line summary and exit.

       -nobs  By  default,  original html2text renders underlined letters with
              sequences  like  "underscore-backspace-character"  and  boldface
              letters  like "character-backspace-character". Because of issues
              with  UTF-8,  Debian  version  of  html2text   doesn’t   produce
              backspaces, so this option really does nothing.

       -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
              standard 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
              formatting parameters documented in html2textrc(5).  To find out
              which  and  how  the  formatting parameter defaults are changed,
              check the file "". If this option is omitted,  style
              compact is assumed as default.

              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

              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.


              System wide parser configuration file.

              Personal  parser  configuration  file, overrides the system wide


       HTML 3.2 (HTML 3.2 Reference Specification -


       Debian version of html2text have no http support. Use html2text through
       pipes  with  curl  or  wget  instead.  See   README.Debian   for   more

       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.


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

       Current maintainer and primary download location is:
       Martin Bayer <>

       This  man  page  was  modified  for  Debian  by  Eugene  V.   Lyubimkin


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

                                  2008-09-20                      html2text(1)