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HTML::FormatText::WithLinks - HTML to text conversion with links as footnotes


    use HTML::FormatText::WithLinks

    my $f = HTML::FormatText::WithLinks->new();

    my $html = qq(
        Some html with a <a href="">link</a>

    my $text = $f->parse($html);

    print $text;

    # results in something like

    Some html with a [1]link


    my $f2 = HTML::FormatText::WithLinks->new(
        before_link => '',
        after_link => ' [%l]',
        footnote => ''

    $text = $f2->parse($html);
    print $text;

    # results in something like

    Some html with a link []

    my $f3 = HTML::FormatText::WithLinks->new(
        link_num_generator => sub {
            return "*" x (shift() + 1);
        footnote => '[%n] %l'

    $text = $f3->parse($html);
    print $text;

    # results in something like

    Some html with a [*]link



HTML::FormatText::WithLinks takes HTML and turns it into plain text but prints all the links in the HTML as footnotes. By default, it attempts to mimic the format of the lynx text based web browser's --dump option.



    my $f = HTML::FormatText::WithLinks->new( %options );

Returns a new instance. It accepts all the options of HTML::FormatText plus


a base option. This should be set to a URI which will be used to turn any relative URIs on the HTML to absolute ones.

footnote (default: '[%n] %l')

a string to print before a link (i.e. when the <a> is found), after link has ended (i.e. when then </a> is found) and when printing out footnotes.

"%n" will be replaced by the link number, "%l" will be replaced by the link itself.

If footnote is set to '', no footnotes will be printed.

link_num_generator is a sub that returns the value to be printed for a given link number. The internal store starts numbering at 0.


    my $text = $f->parse($html);

Takes some HTML and returns it as text. Returns undef on error.


    my $text = $f->parse_file($filename);

Takes a filename and returns the contents of the file as plain text. Returns undef on error.



Returns the last error that occured. In practice this is likely to be either a warning that parse_file couldn't find the file or that HTML::TreeBuilder failed.


When passing HTML fragments the results may be a little unpredictable. I've tried to work round the most egregious of the issues but any unexpected results are welcome.


Struan Donald. <>

Ian Malpass <> was responsible for the custom formatting bits and the nudge to release the code.


Copyright (C) 2003 Struan Donald and Ian Malpass. All rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


perl(1), HTML::Formatter.