PDFMasher - Tool for Converting PDF files to (HTML) E-Book Reader Ready Formats (Ubuntu 11.04)

A lot of GNU/Linux desktops such as Gnome, KDE, XFCE, etc come with built in support (applications) for reading PDF files by default. Although the Gnome version has an almost useless PDF reader called Evince (document reader actually) because it tries to be notoriously simple. Anyhow, we do have other applications such as the recent Foxit-Reader which comes with reasonably amount of features, thankfully :D.  

But those are only for reading PDF files. What if you wanted a dedicated application that lets you convert PDF files to HTML e-book reader ready formats. Well, there is such an app and it's called PDFMasher. Now, unlike many other PDF converters, PdfMasher is especially designed for converting PDF files into e-book reader readable HTML formats thus you won't end-up with small font sizes or wrong page rendering in general where you always have to zoom in, etc which is a common complain among e-book geeks :).

It's an opensounce application and is absolutely free to use but unless you make a donation every time you launch the application it'll display a pop-up "reminder" where you have to click the "continue" button to start the application.

But you can either pay a small amount money or can drop an e-mail for the developer, then he'll give you a code for free which would resolve the whole pop-up thing ;-).

Anyhow according to the developer, unlike other similar apps it lets you manually assign X/Y (vertical/horizontal) lengths, editing foot-notes, Titles, etc thus creating the perfect e-book reader ready version of your original PDF file.

It seems that the reason for such wrong rendering in E-book readers are because of corrupted PDF header files and PDFMasher even lets you configure headers for each page of your original PDF file easily as well (including - ignoring certain errors, etc).

The application is at its early stages so you should be expecting bugs, thus the installation went pretty well in my Ubuntu Laptop yet I couldn't get it to open a singe PDF file :/. The application is written in Python and gave me the below error.
'str' does not support the buffer interface
Shi* happens :/...

I'm not a programmer but that's a Python data-buffer error, I think. Anyhow that doesn't mean it won't work on your PC/Laptop. Currently for GNU/Linux support, it only support Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal only .

So if you Ubuntu 11.04 then you can install PDF Masher by downloading the .deb package (has both 32/64 bit versions) from this page and simply double click on it and follow the on-screen instructions. The developer has created a video which shows what the application can do for you which makes understanding the whole process much easier as well :D.

Good luck and I hope it works on your PC.


ray p daley said...

it works very well indeed, its still got a few issues like inserting spaces where none should exist, removing the letter l on occasion and not being able to read certain ascii characters in specific fonts so inserting annoying control codes for them.

apart from that its freaking excellent.

Gayan said...


Ahh, good for you mate! :).

Actually I haven't tried it out ever since (I don't usually need to edit PDF files anyway), but good to hear that it's working decently well.

Thank you for letting us know :D.

Post a Comment