Reading Time: 3 minutes
I’m realizing the more I’m converting to a fully functional GUI user, the less I’m doing coding or any interesting stuff…
I remembered of the old glorious times, when I was full time console user and got a memory on a nifty trick I was so used to back in the day.
Back then I was quite often writing shell scripts which were fetching (html) webpages and converting the html content into a plain TEXT (TXT) files
In order to fetch a page back in the days I used lynx – (a very simple UNIX text browser, which by the way lacks support for any CSS or Javascipt) in combination with html2text – (an advanced HTML-to-text converter).
Let’s say I wanted to fetch a my personal home page https://pc-freak.net/, I did that via the command:
$ lynx -source https://pc-freak.net/ | html2text > pcfreak_page.txt
The content from pc-freak.net got spit by lynx as an html source and passed html2pdf wchich saves it in plain text file pcfreak_page.txt
$ elinks -source https://pc-freak.net/blog/ | html2text > pcfreak_blog_page.txt
By the way back in the days I was used more to links , than the superior elinks , nowdays I have both of the text browsers installed and testing to fetch an html like in the upper example and pipe to html2text produced garbaged output.
Here is the time to tell its not even necessery to have a text browser installed in order to fetch a webpage and convert it to a plain text TXT!. wget file downloading tools supports source dump as well, for all those who did not (yet) tried it and want to test it:
$ wget -qO- http://pc-freak.net | html2text
Besides being handy in conjunction with text browsers, html2text is also handy for converting .html pages already existing on the computer’s hard drive to a plain (.TXT) text format.
One might wonder, why would ever one would like to do that?? Well I personally prefer reading plain text documents instead of htmls 😉
Converting an html files already existing on hard drive with html2text is done with cmd:
$ html2text index.html >index.txt
To convert a whole directory full of .html (documentation) or whatever files to plain text .TXT , cd the directory with HTMLs and issue the one liner bash loop command:
$ cd html/
html$ for i in $(echo *.html); do html2text $i > $(echo $i | sed -e 's#.html#.txt#g'); done
Now lay off your back and enjoy reading the dox like in the good old hacker days when .TXT files were fashionable 😉