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Is there a way convert PDF files to HTML without having to use specialized PDF-to-HTML software?

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No, it would be nearly impossible to do this without any software.

The minimum you would need is a browser however, as you can use one of the many PDF to HTML conversion services online. Here is one as an example:

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the minimum is ed :) – akira Mar 2 '12 at 8:26
@akira Actually I was thinking that you could just use pen and paper to write the html, so the real minimum is to not use software as per the question. However, I suspect the question isn't as absolute as it sounds :) – Paul Mar 2 '12 at 8:32
i was tempted to give exactly that as an answer as well :) – akira Mar 2 '12 at 8:35
So, what you're saying is that renaming the file extension from .pdf to .html doesn't work? :P – iglvzx Mar 3 '12 at 7:28
@iglvzx Oh I just saw you edited the question to be much less silly. How disappointing. – Paul Mar 3 '12 at 9:20

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