I use the following command to print a directory structure to a file:

tree -h somepath/ > tree_of_somepath.txt

tree gives a nice colorized output on the terminal, but as expected this cannot be redirected to a text file. I would like to print the output of tree to a pdf file and preserve the color.

Any ideas?

  • If you don't need the color (as the OP does), you can still get usable tree output using tree -n -d --charset unicode > file. It's definitely not as pretty, but I use it with a monochrome laser printer when I'm herding my data files, etc..
    – Joe
    Jul 15, 2015 at 21:18

1 Answer 1

  1. Install the following dependencies:

    sudo apt-get install aha wkhtmltopdf
  2. Save your tree command output to html with aha:

    tree -C -h | aha > foo.html

    From the tree man page, -C forces colorization:

        -C     Turn colorization on always, using built-in color defaults
               if the LS_COLORS environment variable is not set. Useful to
               colorize output to a pipe.
  3. Finally export the html to pdf with wkhtmltopdf:

    wkhtmltopdf foo.html foo.pdf


cd /tmp
tree -C -h | aha > foo.html
wkhtmltopdf foo.html foo.pdf
xdg-open foo.pdf

enter image description here

  • Perfect, though I omitted the --black to save some toner, when it lands on paper ;)
    – Bruni
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:54
  • @Bruni Good idea :) Let me edit the answer Jul 13, 2015 at 9:55
  • $ wkhtmltopdf foo.html foo.pdf wkhtmltopdf: cannot connect to X server
    – uss
    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:40

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