PDFTOHTML: Format conversion utility

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 29 Aug 2005

Applies to:

  • SUSE Linux Professional 9.2
  • SUSE Linux Professional 9.3
  • Novell Linux Desktop
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

As a hobby, I do research on a variety of subjects. As part of my research, I often listen to recordings of speeches given by scholars of the different subjects. When a particular speech catches my undivided attention, I generally seek out the text of the speech so that I can put it into my study notes. Generally, I like to have this text in HTML. Once in a while, however, I can only find it as a PDF. So, the question here is: How do I convert a PDF file to an HTML file?

I was delighted to find that there was a slick little application that will do this for me. Even better, I found that this application is in YAST. The program is called pdftohtml. In my particular case, the PDF was encrypted and copy/paste protected. I found that this little utility was able to convert the PDF to an HTML file regardless of these restrictions.

To install this program, go into YAST and search for pdftohtml. When it appears, check the box next to it. Then, at the bottom of the YAST window, click ACCEPT:

YAST will then install the package.

Now, you can use the utility. Open up a terminal window, and change your directory to the location of your PDF file. Then run the pdftohtml utility. You should see something similar to this:

[1056][scott@work:~]$ cd novell
[1056][scott@work:~/novell]$ pdftohtml file.pdf

In this example, file.pdf is the file you want to convert. It then outputs a nicely formatted version of the file in HTML. Open Konqueror and browse to this same directory, and you will see all of the files:

You can then open the file that has the same name as your original PDF, but now has an HTML extension. It opens into a nice HTML page with an index of the pages down the left side for easy navigation. This is a nice application that does what it was designed to do, and does it well.

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