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I'm able to view an epub file in, say, okular, select all the text and copy-paste into a text editor. I'd like a command line method - anyone know of such a thing?

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I'd recommend You to use some firefox epub-reading extension instead of an okular. –  Adobe Mar 31 '12 at 15:49
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I don't know if Calibre is worth installing for your job, but if you have it you could use the powerful ebook converter:

ebook-convert input.epub output.txt

Output format is deducted from output file extension

I imagine there could be some XML tools/scripts (XSLT) that can transform epub in text as epub is basically XHTML in ZIP archive

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Calibre (and it's "ebook-convert") is very powerful tool indeed! Thanks! –  drevicko Feb 10 '12 at 7:28
    
nice question and nice answer –  simon Aug 21 '12 at 12:28
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Maybe Calibre can suit your needs?

http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/faq.html#what-formats-does-app-support-conversion-to-from

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  hhlp Mar 23 '13 at 10:49
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