I use catdoc to preview Word documents from the command line. Is there something similar for HTML?

In other words I would like to do cathtml Webpage.html | less and get more or less a man page look output.


5 Answers 5


One solution is to use lynx -dump, as in

lynx -dump file.html


echo "<div>this is a div</div>" | lynx -dump -stdin


Use w3m -dump, it respects the page layout. It is awesome.

sudo aptitude install w3m
w3m -dump file.html
echo "<div>x</div>" | w3m -dump -T text/html

You can set the number of columns of the terminal for getting the better layout, for example, if you are using a full-window terminal, 200 can be a good try:

w3m -dump -cols 200 file.html

You can use html2text to look into an HTML document from command line.

sudo apt-get install html2text
html2text Webpage.html | less

but not exactly a look similar to man pages, it depends on the html input, of course.


You could use w3m which should already installed - if however it isn't

sudo apt-get install w3m

An example command syntax:

w3m -dump askubuntu.com | less

It can be used with both URL's as well as file-based html files

w3m -dump index.html | less

enter image description here


There are these so-called text html browsers, of which I have successfully tested Lynks and eLinks. Of which elinks has became my favorite.

Anyway, they are different than a "web page previewers" as you suggest in your question. They are more like active real time browsers, which carries on lots of useful features for an easy web browsing and of course, you can also use it for local/remote web pages preview.

Information about Lynks is in the wikipedia and can be reached clicking here. The information related to the elinks is here.

My elinks screenshot for you to see elinks in action:

enter image description here

  • Nice! Looks very good indeed. Aug 24, 2011 at 4:02
  • Ah - so obvious! After I wrote this question I used w3m, that solved it. Sep 2, 2011 at 5:46

You can combine a use of html2text and mdless.

html2text Webpage.html | mdless

Alternativly plus curl to download the file first

curl https://askubuntu.com | html2text | mdless

The curl does download the file in the stdin of html2text. This gives mdless the markdown which will be shown like a pager.

It is not the same as the man pages. And you can't click on links like on real browser, for that use w3m or elinks

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