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Picksy is a scraper that will extract the relevant text from an HTML page like a blog post, a news article or anything that has a considerable chunk of text.

I developed it to help me scrape articles from the web that will be further used for data mining where absolutely precise extraction is not essential.

I wouldn't suggest using it for projects like Readability since it will often show some extra link or gobble up an occasional table of contents.

You should expect nothing useful from homepages, navigation/category pages and web applications, although some content will be extracted.

Picksy depends on node-htmlparser to provide its input and works directly on the DOM tree constructed by htmlparser.


var picksy = require('picksy');

// Acquired by parsing a HTML page with node-htmlparser
var dom = [{ 
 type: 'tag',
 name: 'html',
 attribs: {},
 children: [{
    type: 'tag',
    name: 'head',
    attribs: {},
    children: [...]
    type: 'tag',
    name: 'head',
    attribs: {},
    children: [...]

// Anayze the dom and extract the text content
var result = picksy.analyze(dom);
// Print a formatted and colored tree of the DOM with some debug info.
// Get the node that contains the meat of the text
// Get the actual text from the text node.

How it works

Picksy employs several heuristics for guessing where the text is. Read the comments in extractor.js for more info. Here's a short list.

  • Word count is taken into account rather than character count.
  • Moving averages of words in a flattend DOM.
  • Location of the title.
  • Longest word sequence (uninterrupted by tags) vs depth of a node subtree.
  • Number of words in link tags, number of LI tags.


Visit my blog page at and you can use the bookmark to extract text from random pages.