How to convert LaTeX to plain-text (ASCII)



I have a document I created using LaTeX (my resume in this case), it's compiling in pdflatex correctly and outputting exactly what I'd like. Now I need the same document to be converted to plain old ASCII.


I have seen this done (at least once) here, where the author has a PDF version and an ASCII version that matches the PDF version in almost every way, including margins, spacing and bullet points.

I realize this type of conversion cannot be exact due to limitations in the ASCII format, but a very close approximation does seem possible based on what I have found so far. What is the process for doing this?

Best Solution

Opendetex is available both for Windows and Linux (compiles fine on a Mac as well). It can be downloaded from


detex project

opens project.tex, reads all files included using \include or \includeonly commands, outputs resulting text to standard output.

detex -n project > out.txt

opens project.tex, does not follow \include or \includeonly commands, outputs resulting text to out.txt

detex --help

shows full help

Extract it to any directory of your choice. Say you extracted it to your Downloads directory.

Create another directory of any name in that (this is optional but recommended). Let's say the directory name is “my_paper”. Put your paper in the “my_paper” directory. Assume your paper name is project.tex.

Navigate to the path

    cd ~/Downloads/opendetex

Run the command

    detex my_paper/project.tex  > out.txt

generic form

    detex -n full_path_to_tex_file.tex > output_text_file.txt