Why Use plain text (like markdown) to write things? Dr Kieran Healy has a nice website explaining how

The Markdown Guide for the Perplexed

Desktop Tools



Foliant is a all-in-one documentation authoring tool. It lets you produce standalone documents in pdf and docx, as well as websites, from single Markdown source. Foliant is a higher order tool, which means it uses other programs to do its job. For pdf and docx, it uses Pandoc, for websites it uses MkDocs. Foliant preprocessors let you include parts of documents in other documents, show and hide content with flags, render diagrams from text, and much more.

Who Is Foliant for?

You’ll love Foliant if you:

pp - A generic Preprocessor (with Pandoc in mind)

PP is a text preprocessor designed for Pandoc (and more generally Markdown and reStructuredText).

pp now implements:

PDF conversion

Command line tools

Python One liner:

python3 -m markdown -x markdown.extensions.fenced_code -x markdown.extensions.codehilite > index2.html

Browser tools


Mistune for Python
  • claims to be fastest markdown renderer for Python
  • mistune.markdown('I am using **mistune markdown parser**')
  • options are configurable
  • contribs

lowdown — simple markdown translator is a Markdown translator producing HTML5 and roff documents in the ms and man formats. Written in C. “Beyond the basic Markdown syntax support, lowdown supports the following Markdown features and extensions: autolinking, fenced code, tables, superscripts, footnotes, disabled inline HTML, “smartypants”, metadata, commonmark (in progress). You can control which parser features are used by using the -d (disable feature) and -e (enable feature) flags.”

Gottox/smu: simple markup - markdown like syntax

syntax-tree/mdast: Markdown Abstract Syntax Tree format; see also syntax-tree/unist: Universal Syntax Tree used by unifiedjs

lkesteloot/teamten’s markdown parser in Java is very easy to understand how the parsing works. It is a good read!

wernsey/d.awk: An Awk script to generate documentation from Markdown comments in C/C++/Java/JavaScript/C# source code.

competing mark-up languages