AscToHTM: Intelligently convert text to HTML

What can AscToHTM do for you?

AscToHTM converts text files into one or more linked HTML pages. These pages are themselves constructed using AscToHTM.

How AscToHTM will interpret your document

AscToHTM can do the following:-


  • recognize numbered headings including headings of the form "Chapter 1" and other variants
  • recognize various levels of underlined headings
  • recognize capitalised headings


  • recognize multiple indentation levels
  • recognize short lines (you can define "short" if you wish)
  • recognize "quoted" text (as in email)
  • recognize definition lines and paragraphs
  • recognize words and phrases emphasised with '*' and '_'


  • recognize various bullet characters
  • recognize labelled bullets
    • alphabetic bullets (upper and lower case)
    • roman numeral bullets (upper and lower case)
    • numbered bullet

Formatted text

  • recognize tables
  • recognize ASCII art and diagrams
  • recognize samples of Catlike code

File structure

  • recognize and convert DOS line-drawing characters
  • recognize and convert VT escape characters
  • recognize and convert Mime quoted-text characters
  • recognize and convert exotic characters such as © µ ¾ ê ü into the correct HTML entities © µ ¾ ê ü etc. (View the source file for this page to see what I mean)

Making the HTML more useable

AscToHTM will allow you to make your document more suited to the HTML format in many ways :-


(Here's some examples of what can be done).

  • add links for URLs, email addresses and newsgroups referenced in the text
  • add links for cross-referenced section numbers in documents with numbered sections
  • add links to any keywords the user specifies in a "link dictionary"

Contents and directory lists

  • generate a fully linked contents list to the headings observed in the file
  • generate a "directory page" with links to all the files just converted and their contents.

Multipage document generation

  • split large documents into a set of smaller pages each with a navigation bar at the foot of each page
  • generate DOS-compatible 8.3 filenames


  • you can choose to have your document placed in a set of frames
  • a contents list can be generated in the left frame
  • use-supplied HTML can be added to header and footer frames
  • NOFRAMES link can be added to URL of your choice, and a <NOFRAMES> tag will be generated.

Add HTML value to each page generated

  • add a document title from the
    • the first heading,
    • the first line,
    • from a user-specified value
  • add colours and a background image
  • add standard HTML headers, footers to each page.
  • add Javascript to each generated page.
  • add a Style sheet
  • customize key elements using the "HTML fragments" feature

AscToHTM has several advanced features

AscToHTM can be used as an advanced web authoring tool. For example it created most of this website

Complex document construction

  • insert include files
  • insert embedded HTML into the source file, e.g. to add images.
  • insert DESCRIPTION and KEYWORDS <META> tags into your <HEAD> section
  • allow markup of regions to be treated as TABLES or DIAGRAMS
  • allow markup of sections to be included or omitted in different builds (e.g. to produce Internet and Intranet variants of the same document).

Batch processing

  • batch process several files at once
  • use wildcards to select files to convert
  • console version available to registered users which is more suited to batch conversion


  • All of the analysis can be fine tuned (you can see a list of options in the on-line documentation - see chapter 5).
  • A large number of output characteristics can be set to tailor the document such as colours, background images.
  • Options can be saved in a "policy file" for reuse on similar documents

Program settings

  • You can choose which browser to view results in, although this is normally detected automatically.
  • A most recently converted file list is maintained
  • A most recently used policy file list is maintained
  • A default policy file can be chosen
  • Behaviour on drag'n'drop invocation can be specified (e.g. to automatically view results in browser after conversion)
  • The user interface can be changed dynamically between English/German/Spanish/Portuguese. (translations have been kindly volunteered by users of the program)

Adding extra features

  • A tagging system allows extra hyperlink and embedded HTML to be added. One such feature creates a link to the original source file

Uses of AscToHTM

AscToHTM can be used :-

  • to perform one-off conversions of "legacy" text documents into HTML.

  • to quickly place text form emails on-line

  • to allow authors to maintain text and HTML versions of documents by using the text version as the master and automatically generate the HTML version.

An example of this is AscToHTM's on-line documentation itself.

This also makes the masters easier to spell check via conventional tools.

  • to turn text files into e-books.

  • to generate separate variants of a document e.g. for Intranet and Internet consumption.

  • to automate production of HTML from regularly changing data such as daily reports etc, or a knowledge database. We have customers with literally thousands of files maintained this way.

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Converted by AscToHTM