Is there any way of transfering my excellent PDF file into plain HTML

Roland Smith rsmith at
Tue Oct 26 20:03:09 UTC 2010

On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 12:30:20PM -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 08:59:24PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> > On Tue, 26 Oct 2010 11:38:20 -0700, Liontaur <liontaur at> wrote:
> > > Related but slightly OT, I've never had much luck getting it the other way
> > > around, HTML to PDF. It's often off a bit. I can't remember off the top of
> > > my head what ports i've tried but yea. Either the images are wonky or my
> > > forms go wonky.
> > 
> > This is simply because HTML is not typesetting-capable. Depending
> > on the source of the PDF file, it may help to convert from THAT
> > format instead from PDF. E. g. if you have a .tex (LaTeX) file
> > that has been the source of the PDF file, you can use a converter
> > from LaTeX to HTML, often with acceptable results.
> > 
> > The HTML concept, especially when incorporating CSS for formatting,
> > _can_ be used to gain a bit typographic quality, e. g. by defining
> > parameters for "screen" and for "printed" media. Still it suffers
> > from things like maintaining good grey values, hypenation and
> > ligatures.

You can add proper justification to the list that HTML doesn't do well!

> 	Hmm. The ligatures that looked so great in my .tex/PDF output
> 	got lost.

Very few programs do ligatures well. If you're using unicode text, you can use
them directly in your text, like this: ff fi fl ffi ffl st

How well these look depends on the fonts used. I've got a whole list of handy
unicode characters on my webpage. See the entry marked 2010-10-16.

>       Only that somehow, HTML4 can read the hex code that
> 	abiword's html created.  :-)   Also, the `` and '' look great in
> 	Times.  I fixed the page numbers--all had to go away; I edited
> 	the chapter headings--all by hand.  What's left are the hundreds
> 	of broken paragraphs.

You might fare better by taking the TeX souce, run it though detex(1) and use
markdown [] do create HTML.

> 	What utility take a LaTeX file -> HTML?  ((Be nice to have both
> 	*strictly professional typeset* and then HTML.  I can add
> 	indents for AE style paragraphing, and much more.  Fix the
> 	hyphenation, etc.

Next to the obvious textproc/latex2html? :-)

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