Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My kindle3 will arrive tomorrow, and I have plenty of PDF files that I want to read on it.

I would like to convert them to txt so I can adjust the font size.

Is there any convenient way to do that?

PS: if there isn't, I shall write one by myself.

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Calibre can convert PDF to txt, or better yet, the .mobi reflowable/resizable format supported by the Kindle. It's great open source software for ebook management, which you might want to have installed anyway, once you own a Kindle.

AbiWord is an open source word processor that can import PDF and save it as .txt (or .html or a variety of other Word Processor formats).

As you probably know, Amazon has its own conversion service.

I can think of quite a few additional options, but they would depend on your operating system.

share|improve this answer
+1: I have a kindle and I use Calibre for that sort of thing. – hotei Sep 16 '10 at 4:48
AbiWord 2.8.6 did not import my PDF. – gentlesea Jan 16 '12 at 11:48

OK, here is an alternative hacky way to do it, without installing anything on your computer (and just for fun).

If you have a gmail address, send the pdfs to your gmail address, then (using the gmail web interface) do a 'view as html'. (I do this sometimes to extract the images).

share|improve this answer
smart & geeky! +1! – studiohack Oct 12 '10 at 3:20
love methods like this. works arounds ftw – albert Nov 8 '13 at 0:40

"pdftotext" (from Xpdf).

share|improve this answer

OpenOffice can also open PDF files.

pdftotext (as others have said) will work. You'll lose a bunch of formatting though.

share|improve this answer

Ghostscript contains a batch ps2ascii.

It converts ps- or pdf-files to text files.

share|improve this answer
This does not work well at all for me. It produces a binary where no text is readable. – gentlesea Jun 13 '12 at 13:45

Google docs does a pretty good job, just make sure to check the OCR button when your uploading the pdf.

share|improve this answer

If you mail the file to your address, you can put "Convert" as the subject and Amazon will convert it for you.

Source: (the last section)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.