On Mac OS X there's a very handy command called textutil, that can be invoked from the terminal and allows to convert a document from a format to another; Sometimes I use it to convert a RTF file into HTML, but it's also able to convert doc, docx, odt and other formats.

I used to believe that it was a standard unix command, but I cannot find it and when I try to write sudo apt-get install textutil Ubuntu said that it have no idea of what textutil is... maybe I have searched in the wrong place for the command?

Do you know if something similar exists for Linux? I need to invoke that command from a script that will run on a linux server.

  • 2
    textutil relies on Cocoa frameworks, which is why it is only available for Mac OS X. – bahamat Sep 16 '11 at 15:15

GNU unrtf does almost exclusively what you want.

Pandoc can do a lot more.


unoconv can convert between OpenOffice.org document formats (ie. anything OOO can open).

Supported document formats include Open Document Format (.odt), MS Word (.doc), MS Office Open/MS OOXML (.xml), Portable Document Format (.pdf), HTML, XHTML, RTF, Docbook (.xml), and more.

I know it is in the Ubuntu repository, but you can get it from, and see more info at unoconv's homepage

  • unoconv is also in Debian. This is where Ubuntu got it from. So if you have apt-get, this will work on recent systems sudo apt-get install unoconv: – Christian Pietsch Jan 24 '14 at 12:05

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