vilistextum - html to ascii converter


vilistextum [OPTIONS] [inputfile |-] [outputfile | -]


vilistextum is a html to ascii converter specifically programmed to get the best out of incorrect html.


inputfile,- resp. outputfile,-
replace inputfile with '-' for reading from standard input, likewise outputfile with '-' for writing to standard output.
-a, --no-alt
don't output anything for IMG tags even if they have an ALT attribute. Implies --no-image.
-c, --convert-tags
Some of the tags will be converted to special characters.
-e, --errorlevel NUMBER
Increase level of verbosity for error messages.
-i, --defimage STRING
IMG tags without alt attribute are output as [STRING]. Default: Image.
-l, --links
Numbers the links in the document and creates footnotes of each link at the end of the file. Similar to 'lynx -dump'. Relative URIs are not resolved and won't be printed.
-k, --links-inline
print the links directly after the html tag.
-m, --dont-convert-characters
The entities from windows1252 (€ - Ÿ and their proper entity names) will not be converted.
-n, --no-image
don't output [Image] for IMG tags that have no ALT attribute.
-p, --palm
This outputs text more suitable for reading on a PDA. Palm textreaders do their own word wrapping, so the width is set to infinity and the program doesn't right justify or center the text.
-r, --remove-empty-alt
if there is an empty ALT attribute in a IMG tag (eg <IMG href="..." alt="">), don't output '[]'.
-s, --shrink-lines [NUMBER]
If there are more than number empty lines, output only NUMBER. Default: 1.
-t, --no-title
Don't output title of the HTML document
-w, --width NUMBER
Maximum width of the output text. Default: 72.
-h, --help
print a list of the command line options.
-v, --version
output version information and exit

MULTIBYTE OPTIONS (Only available if compiled with multibyte support)

-u, --output-utf-8
instead of the character set of the html document, everything will be output as utf-8.
-x, --translit
use the //TRANSLIT feature of libiconv. Consult the iconv manual for details.
-y, --charset CHARSET
if the HTML document doesn't provide a character set in the meta tags, use CHARSET.


The rendering of tables is not very good.
The handling of OL is incomplete. The program treats it as UL and more than 10 nested lists confuse it.
Text is never justified.


Please report bugs to


Vilistextum was written by Patric Mueller <>.
It may be freely distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 2. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY for this program.


iconv(3), lynx(1), links(1), w3m(1)