Markdown is a text processing language that can run on any software and hardware platform. It’s very easy to learn, so it allows people with different levels of experience create various types of content in a variety of formats. Markdown has been around since the early 2000s, but its recent adoption by Google means it’s going mainstream faster than ever before.
If you create documentation, you’re probably doing it in Markdown. Otherwise, you’re missing out. However, the purpose of this post is not to persuade you to adopt Markdown. Instead, I’ll show you how to convert Markdown to HTML in a variety of methods.
Why is it necessary to convert Markdown to HTML if it is so good? Keep in mind that Markdown is the code (Markdown syntax) that determines how the page is formatted. You’re still staring at the HTML representation of the Markdown document when it’s time to see it.
You may need to convert Markdown to HTML for the following reasons:
- A Markdown file is nothing more than code on its own. It’s referred to as a markup language. The document must be in HTML to be seen in the manner that Markdown formatting intended.
- If you have a static website, writing a web page in Markdown may save you time. After that, transform your Markdown page to HTML and submit it to your website.
- Non-technical individuals would be lost if you shared raw Markdown documents with them.
- Let’s say your supervisor requests you to provide some material. A raw Markdown document isn’t the most acceptable format in this scenario.
Continue reading if you’re still interested. You’ll learn how to convert Markdown to HTML quickly, as well as more sophisticated approaches.
You’ll need the following items to follow along with the examples in this article:
- For conversion, a Markdown document. You may make your own or use this sample readme.md file as a starting point.
- Other tools will only be necessary in certain parts. If you want to follow the examples, you will just need these.
If you’re converting many Markdown pages, executing server-side procedures, or scripting, these command-line utilities come in handy. In this part, you’ll learn about and use various command-line tools for converting Markdown to HTML.
ConvertFrom-Markdown was added in PowerShell 6.1. In PowerShell, this cmdlet turns the contents of a Markdown file to a Markdowninfo object. PowerShell 7.0.3 is the most recent version as of this writing.
Assume that the Markdown file to be converted is sample readme.md. The command below translates the file’s contents and saves the result to the variable $md.
.sample readme.md $md = ConvertFrom-Markdown -Path
The $md variable then becomes a MarkdownInfo object, with the HTML property containing the Markdown file’s HTML translated value.
The Markdowninfo object’s properties
The following command saves the transformed HTML value to a new HTML page called.sample readme.html.
.sample readme.html | $md.Html | Out-File -Encoding utf8
When you view the.sample readme.html file in your browser, the content will look like the picture below.
PowerShell was used to convert a Markdown file to HTML.
Pandoc is a document converter that can convert between a variety of formats, including Markdown and HTML. This link will allow you to download Pandoc and examine installation instructions for various platforms. Chocolatey is used to install Pandoc in this case.
Chocolatey is used to install Pandoc in the picture below.
Chocolatey is used to install Pandoc on Windows 10.
After you’ve installed Pandoc, you may use the pandoc command in your command interpreter, such as CMD. Assume that the Markdown file to be converted is sample readme.md. The contents of sample readme.md are converted using the command below. After that, sample readme.html is saved with the transformed content.
html -o sample readme.html pandoc sample readme.md
The output of the command is seen in the screenshot below.
Pandoc can convert Markdown to HTML.
The HTML result after exporting Markdown to HTML using Pandoc is shown below. There is no fancy formatting by default, and the design is simple.
Pandoc’s HTML output format
Pandoc has many additional options that may drastically modify the output, such as adding a title to the final HTML file and changing other metadata settings. Check out Pandoc’s demo website to learn more about what they can achieve.
The Showdown CLI tool may be installed with the command below after Node.js has been installed. On Windows, you may use PowerShell or CMD to execute this command.
You should see something like the screenshot below throughout the installation process.
npm is used to install Showdown.
After installing Showdown, use the command below to convert sample readme.md to sample readme.html.
makehtml showdown -i readme.sample.md -o readme.sample.html
The output from the above command should look somewhat like this.
Showdown converts Markdown to HTML.
Converting Markdown to HTML using GUI Editors
Markdown documents are plain-text documents that may be created using nearly any text editor. However, not all editors support exporting or converting Markdown manuscripts to HTML.
This section will teach you about some of the most popular online and offline GUI editors for converting Markdown to HTML.
Notepad++ is a popular free editor with a number of plugins that may be installed to expand its functionality. MarkdownViewer++ is one of these plugins, which provides the ability to display and export Markdown material to HTML.
You can install the MarkdownViewer++ plugin by going to Plugins —> Plugins Admin. Once inside the Plugins Admin window, select the MarkdownViewer++ and click on Install. When prompted, click Yes. Notepad++ will restart automatically.
The MarkdownViewer++ plugin is installed.
After the plugin is installed, open the Markdown file and click on the MarkdownViewer++ button. The pane where the HTML rendering of the Markdown file should show up. To export the content, click on Export as —> HTML. Then, save the file in your chosen location.
Using Notepad++, convert Markdown to HTML.
The HTML output is simple and lacks style formatting, as seen below.
Notepad++’s HTML output format
Atom is another excellent editor that supports a variety of languages. Atom also has packages that, if installed, expand its capabilities. The markdown-preview package is one of them, and it allows Atom to save markdown text to HTML. The best part is that markdown-preview is already installed!
The first step to convert Markdown to HTML is to open your Markdown document in Atom. Then toggle the Markdown preview by pressing the CTRL+SHIFT+M keyboard shortcut. Another way to toggle the Markdown preview is from Packages —> Markdown Preview —> Toggle Preview.
When the preview pane appears, right-click on it and choose Save as HTML, then save the file to your desired location. Please see the example below.
Using Atom, convert Markdown to HTML.
You can see how the HTML formatted file appears when exported using Atom in the image below. You could notice that the look is similar to how Markdown material is displayed on GitHub.
Atom output format for HTML
Code in Visual Studio
If you write code, then there’s a good chance that you are already using Code in Visual Studio to write them. Even better if you do your documentation in Markdown, which means there’s only one more thing you need to convert Markdown to HTML. That’s the Markdown All in One extension.
While in Code in Visual Studio, to install the Markdown All in One extension, type in this command below in the terminal.
The output of executing the command above is seen in the example below.
Installing the Markdown All in One extension in Code in Visual Studio
You may export all the Markdown documents in the loaded folder or only the current Markdown document after the extension is installed. To begin, use CTRL+SHIFT+P to bring up the Command Palette. Then type “Markdown” into the search box and choose Markdown All in One: Command to convert current document to HTML.
Convert Markdown to HTML using Code in Visual Studio
After exporting the Markdown document, the picture below demonstrates how the HTML formatting appears. As you can see, the design differs significantly from the previous ones.
HTML output format using Code in Visual Studio
Typora is a Windows-based What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Markdown editor. Typora now supports theming, allowing you to apply pre-defined themes to your Markdown texts.
The Markdown file is loaded in Typora with the theme Newsprint applied, as seen in the picture below. When you export Markdown to HTML, the result should seem precisely as it does when you modify it in Typora.
Typora markdown file
To convert Markdown to HTML using Typora, click File —> Export —> HTML. Then save the file in your preferred location.
Convert Markdown to HTML using Code in Visual Studio
The HTML output looks precisely like the Markdown within Typora, as seen in the screenshot below.
Typora’s HTML output format
So far, you’ve only learnt about offline tools for converting Markdown to HTML. That is, you must first install them before using the utilities. Apart from that, there are internet tools that may be used to do the task.
Dillinger is an example of an online Markdown editor with HTML output capabilities. Visit https://dillinger.io/ to learn more about Dillinger. You may upload your Markdown file from your PC or other cloud sources like Dropbox and Github after you’ve arrived at the website.
Once the Markdown document is loaded in Dillinger, click on Export As —> Styled HTML. Then, the HTML file will be downloaded to your computer.
Using Dillinger, convert Markdown to HTML.
There are many more tools for converting Markdown to HTML than the ones mentioned in this page. Here are a few things you may want to think about.
Generators of Static Websites
Many utilities exist to convert Markdown to HTML. Some tools are available online, while others must be downloaded and installed locally on your computer. Although all of these instruments have the same aim, not all of them are made equal.
It is up to you to choose which of these tools is most effective for you. There’s a tool for you whether you’re converting a single Markdown file or a batch of Markdown files at once.
“Python-markdown to html” is a command-line tool that converts Markdown to HTML. The tool is installed as part of the “python3-markdown package.” Reference: python-markdown to html.
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