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Section: User Contributed Perl Documentation (3)
Updated: 2016-03-20


Pod::Text - Convert POD data to formatted text 


    use Pod::Text;    my $parser = Pod::Text->new (sentence => 0, width => 78);    # Read POD from STDIN and write to STDOUT.    $parser->parse_from_filehandle;    # 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 text. Ituses no special formatting controls or codes whatsoever, and its output istherefore suitable for nearly any device.

As a derived class from Pod::Simple, Pod::Text supports the same methods andinterfaces. See Pod::Simple for all the details; briefly, one creates anew parser with "Pod::Text->new()" and then normally calls parse_file().

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

If set to a true value, selects an alternate output format that, among otherthings, uses a different heading style and marks "=item" entries with acolon in the left margin. Defaults to false.
If set to a true value, the non-POD parts of the input file will be includedin the output. Useful for viewing code documented with POD blocks with thePOD rendered and the code left intact.
How to report errors. "die" says to throw an exception on any PODformatting error. "stderr" says to report errors on standard error, butnot to throw an exception. "pod" says to include a POD ERRORS sectionin the resulting documentation summarizing the errors. "none" ignoresPOD errors entirely, as much as possible.

The default is "pod".

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 becauseit's the expected formatting for manual pages; if you're formattingarbitrary text documents, setting this to true may result in more pleasingoutput.
The width of the left margin in spaces. Defaults to 0. This is the marginfor all text, including headings, not the amount by which regular text isindented; for the latter, see the indent option. To set the rightmargin, see the width option.
Normally, L<> formatting codes with a URL but anchor text are formattedto show both the anchor text and the URL. In other words:


is formatted as:

    foo <>

This option, if set to a true value, suppresses the URL when anchor textis given, so this example would be formatted as just "foo". This canproduce less cluttered output in cases where the URLs are not particularlyimportant.

Sets the quote marks used to surround C<> text. If the value is asingle character, it is used as both the left and right quote. Otherwise,it is split in half, and the first half of the string is used as the leftquote and the second is used as the right quote.

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

If set to a true value, Pod::Text will assume that each sentence ends in twospaces, and will try to preserve that spacing. If set to false, allconsecutive whitespace in non-verbatim paragraphs is compressed into asingle space. Defaults to true.
Send error messages about invalid POD to standard error instead ofappending a POD ERRORS section to the generated output. This isequivalent to setting "errors" to "stderr" if "errors" is not alreadyset. It is supported for backward compatibility.
By default, Pod::Text uses the same output encoding as the input encodingof the POD source (provided that Perl was built with PerlIO; otherwise, itdoesn't encode its output). If this option is given, the output encodingis forced to UTF-8.

Be aware that, when using this option, the input encoding of your PODsource should be properly declared unless it's US-ASCII. Pod::Simple willattempt to guess the encoding and may be successful if it's Latin-1 orUTF-8, but it will produce warnings. Use the "=encoding" command todeclare the encoding. See perlpod(1) for more information.

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

The standard Pod::Simple method parse_file() takes one argument naming thePOD file to read from. By default, the output is sent to "STDOUT", butthis can be changed with the output_fh() method.

The standard Pod::Simple method parse_from_file() takes up to twoarguments, the first being the input file to read POD from and the secondbeing the file to write the formatted output to.

You can also call parse_lines() to parse an array of lines orparse_string_document() to parse a document already in memory. As withparse_file(), parse_lines() and parse_string_document() default to sendingtheir output to "STDOUT" unless changed with the output_fh() method.

To put the output from any parse method into a string instead of a filehandle, call the output_string() method instead of output_fh().

See Pod::Simple for more specific details on the methods available toall derived parsers. 


Bizarre space in item
Item called without tag
(W) Something has gone wrong in internal "=item" processing. Thesemessages indicate a bug in Pod::Text; you should never see them.
Can't open %s for reading: %s
(F) Pod::Text was invoked via the compatibility mode pod2text() interfaceand the input file it was given could not be opened.
Invalid errors setting %s
(F) The "errors" parameter to the constructor was set to an unknown value.
Invalid quote specification %s
(F) The quote specification given (the "quotes" option to theconstructor) was invalid. A quote specification must be either onecharacter long or an even number (greater than one) characters long.
POD document had syntax errors
(F) The POD document being formatted had syntax errors and the "errors"option was set to "die".


Encoding handling assumes that PerlIO is available and does not workproperly if it isn't. The "utf8" option is therefore not supportedunless Perl is built with PerlIO support. 


If Pod::Text is given the "utf8" option, the encoding of its output filehandle will be forced to UTF-8 if possible, overriding any existingencoding. This will be done even if the file handle is not created byPod::Text and was passed in from outside. This maintains consistencyregardless of PERL_UNICODE and other settings.

If the "utf8" option is not given, the encoding of its output file handlewill be forced to the detected encoding of the input POD, which preserveswhatever the input text is. This ensures backward compatibility withearlier, pre-Unicode versions of this module, without large numbers ofPerl warnings.

This is not ideal, but it seems to be the best compromise. If it doesn'twork for you, please let me know the details of how it broke. 


This is a replacement for an earlier Pod::Text module written by TomChristiansen. It has a revamped interface, since it now uses Pod::Simple,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 termcapsequences, although it wasn't turned on by default and it was problematic toget it to work at all. This rewrite doesn't even try to do that, but asubclass of it does. Look for Pod::Text::Termcap. 


Pod::Simple, Pod::Text::Termcap, perlpod(1), pod2text(1)

The current version of this module is always available from its web site at<>. It is also part of thePerl core distribution as of 5.6.0. 


Russ Allbery <>, based very heavily on the originalPod::Text by Tom Christiansen <> and its conversion toPod::Parser by Brad Appleton <>. Sean Burke's initialconversion of Pod::Man to use Pod::Simple provided much-needed guidance onhow to use Pod::Simple. 


Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014,2015 Russ Allbery <>

This program is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify itunder the same terms as Perl itself.




This document was created byman2html,using the manual pages.