ANN: pandoc

John MacFarlane jgm at
Sat Mar 10 10:45:02 EST 2012

It has been a while since I've announced a pandoc release on this
list, so here's an update. The latest version of pandoc supports
conversion of markdown to a host of other formats, including

* HTML formats: XHTML, HTML5, and HTML slide shows using Slidy,
S5, or DZSlides
* Word processor formats: Microsoft Word docx, OpenOffice odt
* Ebooks: EPUB
* Documentation formats: DocBook, GNU TexInfo, Groff man pages
* TeX formats: LaTeX, ConTeXt, LaTeX Beamer slides
* PDF: via LaTeX
* Lightweight markup formats: Markdown, reStructuredText, AsciiDoc,
MediaWiki, Emacs Org-Mode, Textile

It also supports limited conversion *from* Textile, reStructuredText,
LaTeX, and HTML to markdown or any of the above formats.

Pandoc supports strict markdown syntax, plus a number of extensions,
including several kinds of tables, definition lists, fancy ordered
lists, automatically numbered example lists, delimited code blocks
with built-in syntax highlighting, title blocks, smart punctuation,
strikeout, and super/subscripts.

LaTeX math (and even macros) can be used in markdown documents. Eight
different methods of rendering math in HTML are provided, including
MathJax and translation to MathML. LaTeX math is rendered in docx using
native Word equation objects.

Pandoc includes a powerful system for automatic citations and
bibliographies, using Andrea Rossato's Haskell implementation of
citeproc (the engine behind Zotero). This means that you can
write citations like this [see @doe99, pp. 33-35; also @smith04, ch. 1]
and pandoc will convert it into a properly formatted citation using
any of hundreds of styles (including footnote styles, numerical
sytles, and author-date styles), and add a properly formatted
bibliography at the end of the document. Many forms of bibliography
database can be used, including bibtex, RIS, EndNote, ISI, MEDLINE,
MODS, and JSON citeproc. Citations work in every output format.

Pandoc is a command-line program. If you don't like using the terminal,
though, there are ways of integrating pandoc with a text editor.
You can find an Emacs mode (which gives you menu options for converting
to various formats), a vim syntax file, and a TextMate bundle
If you use OS X, David Sanson has created some droplets and services
that make it easy to use pandoc without going to the terminal
( There is also
gitit, a git-based wiki ( that uses pandoc and can
export pages to any of the formats pandoc supports.

How to get pandoc:

* OSX or Windows: get the binary installer at

* Linux or BSD: check your distribution's package repository.
Most likely it contains some version of pandoc. If the version
is outdated, you can get the latest version by installing the
Haskell Platform, then doing 'cabal update && cabal install pandoc'.

For more information, see the pandoc website:

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