CLI Library

ConvertAPI CLI Client

Convert your files with our command line file conversion utility

The ConvertAPI helps converting various file formats. Creating PDF and Images from various sources like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, images, web pages or raw HTML codes. Merge, Encrypt, Split, Repair and Decrypt PDF files. And many others files manipulations. In just few minutes you can integrate it into your application or shell script and use it easily.

The ConvertAPI CLI makes it easier to use the Convert API from your shell without having to build your own HTTP calls. You can get your free secret at


Download compressed CLI executable

(this utility also can be built from source code for many other CPU and OS)

Unzip executable

unzip convertapi_*.zip

And you are done. Optionally you can move executable file to more appropriate place and make utility accessible for all local users. On Linux would be:

sudo mv convertapi /usr/local/bin


Before you start

In order to use this CLI utility you must create your free trial account on site.
After sign up process you will get your secret at . Secret will be used in every CLI utility run.

Most basic file conversion

Before we go in to details, short usage example how to convert DOCX file to PDF.

convertapi --iformat=docx --oformat=pdf --params="file:@/path/to/test.docx" --out="@/path/to/resultdir" --secret=your-api-secret

Arguments documentation


Input file format (file name extension). All supported input formats can be found here. Example:



Output file format (file name extension). All supported output formats can be found here. Example:



Conversion parameter list. All supported conversion parameters can be found here. Parameter name and value is separated by : colon. Parameters are separated by , comma. Example:

--params="param1:value1, param2:value2, param3:value3"
File parameter

Special case is file parameter. Value can have prefix and can be provided as an array with ; semicolon separator. Prefix can be one of those:

no prefix

No prefix means that value is http or https scheme URL to file. Example:


Parameter values starting from @ are treated as paths to local files or directories. Example:


Parameters with < values are substituted with data taken from STDIN. As raw value can only be URL so in this case data received from STDIN should be URL or URL array separated by \n Example:


Parameters with @< values are substituted with data taken from STDIN. Data received from STDIN should be local path to file or directory. Also can be an array of paths separated by \n. Example:


Parameters with << values are substituted with data taken from STDIN. Data received from STDIN should be file content. Example:

Array parameter

If parameter name is suffixed with [] parameter gets treated as an array parameter. Mainly array parameters are used when one conversion needs to accept multiple files (e.g. pdf merge or zip compression).



Argument defines how conversion result should be outputted. Values can be one of those:


This is default output method. It prints to STDOUT URL or array of URLs that point to converted files. This method should be used for conversion chaining.


Value prefixed with @ is treated as local file or directory path where converted file will be stored.




Conversion result will be outputted to STDOUT. If result consists of multiple files, second and other files will be outputted to file descriptors starting from 3.



ConvertAPI user secret. Get your secret at


Outputs CLI utility version information and exits.


Displays short usage information.


Convert local DOCX file to PDF A3 page size saving result to /path/to/resultdir

convertapi --iformat=docx --oformat=pdf --params="file:@/path/to/test.docx, pagesize:a3" --out="@/path/to/resultdir" --secret=your-api-secret

Merge all PDF files that are in /path/to/dir directory and save it locally

convertapi --iformat=pdf --oformat=merge --params="files[]:@/path/to/dir" --out="@/path/to/resultdir" --secret=your-api-secret

Convert remote PPTX file to PDF saving result to /path/to/result.pdf

convertapi --iformat=pptx --oformat=pdf --params="file:" --out="@/path/to/result.pdf" --secret=your-api-secret

Convert from DOCX to JPG and ZIP result JPG files

convertapi --iformat=docx --oformat=jpg --params="file:@/path/to/test.docx" --secret=your-api-secret \
    | convertapi --iformat=jpg --oformat=zip --params="files[]:<" --out="@/path/to/" --secret=your-api-secret

Convert DOCX to PDF and save result in remote server over SSH

convertapi --iformat=docx --oformat=pdf --params="file:@/path/to/test.docx" --out=stdout --secret=your-api-secret \
    | ssh user@myserver "cat >/tmp/my.pdf"

Get PDF file from remote server, convert it to JPG and save result locally

ssh user@server "cat /tmp/my.pdf" \
    | convertapi --iformat=pdf --oformat=jpg --params="file:<<" --out=@/path/to/resultdir --secret=your-api-secret

Do PDF->JPG and DOCX->JPG conversions in parallel and ZIP result JPG files

( \
    convertapi --iformat=pdf --oformat=jpg --params="file:/path/to/dir" --secret=your-api-secret \
    & convertapi --iformat=docx --oformat=jpg --params="file:@/path/to/dir" --secret=your-api-secret \
) | convertapi --iformat=jpg --oformat=zip --params="files[]:<" --out=@/path/to/resultdir  --secret=your-api-secret

Merge PDFs files from various locations: remote SSH server, local file, local directory, remote HTTP server. Save result file to remote SSH server. All this done without writing to disk.

ssh user@server1 "cat /tmp/my.pdf" \
    | convertapi --iformat=pdf --oformat=merge --params="files[]:<<;@/path/to/test.pdf;@/path/to/dir;" --out=stdout --secret=your-api-secret \
    | ssh user@myserver2 "cat >/tmp/my.pdf"

Issues & Comments

Please leave all comments, bugs, requests, and issues on the Issues page. We'll respond to your request ASAP!


The ConvertAPI CLI is licensed under the MIT license. Refer to the LICENSE file for more information.