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Pod::Text − Convert POD data to formatted ASCII text


    use Pod::Text;
    my $parser = Pod::Text->new (sentence => 0, width => 78);
    # Read POD from STDIN and write to STDOUT.

    # Read POD from file.pod and write to file.txt.
    $parser->parse_from_file (’file.pod’, ’file.txt’);


Pod::Text is a module that can convert documentation in the POD format (the preferred language for documenting Perl) into formatted ASCII . It uses no special formatting controls or codes whatsoever, and its output is therefore suitable for nearly any device.

As a derived class from Pod::Parser, Pod::Text supports the same methods and interfaces. See the Pod::Parser manpage for all the details; briefly, one creates a new parser with "Pod::Text−>new()" and then calls either parse_from_filehandle() or parse_from_file().

new() can take options, in the form of key/value pairs, that control the behavior of the parser. The currently recognized options are:


If set to a true value, selects an alternate output format that, among other things, uses a different heading style and marks "=item" entries with a colon in the left margin. Defaults to false.


The number of spaces to indent regular text, and the default indentation for "=over" blocks. Defaults to 4.


If set to a true value, a blank line is printed after a "=head1" heading. If set to false (the default), no blank line is printed after "=head1", although one is still printed after "=head2". This is the default because it’s the expected formatting for manual pages; if you’re formatting arbitrary text documents, setting this to true may result in more pleasing output.


Sets the quote marks used to surround C<> text. If the value is a single character, it is used as both the left and right quote; if it is two characters, the first character is used as the left quote and the second as the right quoted; and if it is four characters, the first two are used as the left quote and the second two as the right quote.

This may also be set to the special value "none", in which case no quote marks are added around C<> text.


If set to a true value, Pod::Text will assume that each sentence ends in two spaces, and will try to preserve that spacing. If set to false, all consecutive whitespace in non-verbatim paragraphs is compressed into a single space. Defaults to true.


The column at which to wrap text on the right-hand side. Defaults to 76.

The standard Pod::Parser method parse_from_filehandle() takes up to two arguments, the first being the file handle to read POD from and the second being the file handle to write the formatted output to. The first defaults to STDIN if not given, and the second defaults to STDOUT . The method parse_from_file() is almost identical, except that its two arguments are the input and output disk files instead. See the Pod::Parser manpage for the specific details.


Bizarre space in item

(W) Something has gone wrong in internal "=item" processing. This message indicates a bug in Pod::Text; you should never see it.

Can’t open %s for reading: %s

(F) Pod::Text was invoked via the compatibility mode pod2text() interface and the input file it was given could not be opened.

Invalid quote specification ""%s""

(F) The quote specification given (the quotes option to the constructor) was invalid. A quote specification must be one, two, or four characters long.

%s:%d: Unknown command paragraph ""%s"".

(W) The POD source contained a non-standard command paragraph (something of the form "=command args") that Pod::Man didn’t know about. It was ignored.

Unknown escape: %s

(W) The POD source contained an "E<>" escape that Pod::Text didn’t know about.

Unknown sequence: %s

(W) The POD source contained a non-standard internal sequence (something of the form "X<>") that Pod::Text didn’t know about.

Unmatched =back

(W) Pod::Text encountered a "=back" command that didn’t correspond to an "=over" command.


Embedded Ctrl-As (octal 001) in the input will be mapped to spaces on output, due to an internal implementation detail.


This is a replacement for an earlier Pod::Text module written by Tom Christiansen. It has a revamped interface, since it now uses Pod::Parser, but an interface roughly compatible with the old Pod::Text::pod2text() function is still available. Please change to the new calling convention, though.

The original Pod::Text contained code to do formatting via termcap sequences, although it wasn’t turned on by default and it was problematic to get it to work at all. This rewrite doesn’t even try to do that, but a subclass of it does. Look for Pod::Text::Termcap.


Pod::Parser, Pod::Text::Termcap, pod2text(1)


Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu>, based very heavily on the original Pod::Text by Tom Christiansen <tchrist@mox.perl.com> and its conversion to Pod::Parser by Brad Appleton <bradapp@enteract.com>.