pdftotext - Portable Document Format (PDF) to text converter (version 3.00)


pdftotext [options] [PDF-file [text-file]]


Pdftotext converts Portable Document Format (PDF) files to plain text.

Pdftotext reads the PDF file, PDF-file, and writes a text file, text-file. If text-file is not specified, pdftotext converts file.pdf to file.txt. If text-file is '-’, the text is sent to stdout.


-f number
 Specifies the first page to convert.
-l number
 Specifies the last page to convert.
-r number
 Specifies the resolution, in DPI. The default is 72 DPI.
-x number
 Specifies the x-coordinate of the crop area top left corner
-y number
 Specifies the y-coordinate of the crop area top left corner
-W number
 Specifies the width of crop area in pixels (default is 0)
-H number
 Specifies the height of crop area in pixels (default is 0)
-layout Maintain (as best as possible) the original physical layout of the text. The default is to 'undo’ physical layout (columns, hyphenation, etc.) and output the text in reading order.
-raw Keep the text in content stream order. This is a hack which often "undoes" column formatting, etc. Use of raw mode is no longer recommended.
 Generate a simple HTML file, including the meta information. This simply wraps the text in <pre> and </pre> and prepends the meta headers.
-enc encoding-name
 Sets the encoding to use for text output. This defaults to "UTF-8".
-listenc Lits the available encodings
-eol unix | dos | mac
 Sets the end-of-line convention to use for text output.
-nopgbrk Don’t insert page breaks (form feed characters) between pages.
-opw password
 Specify the owner password for the PDF file. Providing this will bypass all security restrictions.
-upw password
 Specify the user password for the PDF file.
-q Don’t print any messages or errors.
-v Print copyright and version information.
-h Print usage information. (-help and --help are equivalent.)


Some PDF files contain fonts whose encodings have been mangled beyond recognition. There is no way (short of OCR) to extract text from these files.


The Xpdf tools use the following exit codes:
0 No error.
1 Error opening a PDF file.
2 Error opening an output file.
3 Error related to PDF permissions.
99 Other error.


The pdftotext software and documentation are copyright 1996-2004 Glyph & Cog, LLC.


pdftops(1), pdfinfo(1), pdffonts(1), pdftoppm(1), pdfimages(1),

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