This is the home of boo2pdf, an IBM BookManager to PDF conversion app & web service. I'm currently experimenting with the HTML to PDF backends and would like feedback with book files I haven't tried. Once the code is cleaned up, I will dump it on my site. You can find the web service at


I have a large collection of old IBM machines and documentation. I want this documentation indexed by my own search facilities and Google for easy retrieval. PDF is widely read while BookManager requires proprietary software and no search engines I know of parse it.

This will probably be useful to Mainframers as well.

Known Limitations

  • Currently, internal hyperlinks and headings are not parsed, indexed, or otherwise handled.
  • The Linux SoftCopy Reader does not convert some of the older embedded image formats. Possible formats are: GIF, PNG. JPG, MET, GDF, WMF. I'm guessing it is one of the later that does not have a Linux filter. You will know an image did not convert by red text indicating such in your PDF. I've seen this in a few .boo files from the early to mid '90s.

Technical Details

I am using the JAR files from IBM SoftCopy Reader for Linux. I've decompiled these and written my own main class and and a wrapper script to take care of setting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, Java classpath, and other such glue code. I use SoftCopy Reader's API to output HTML and images from the BookManager files. I then pass this to htmldoc for PDF conversion.


boo2pdf github


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