“As the world goes multi-platform with all of the new mobile operating systems, MultiMarkdown provides an easy way to share formatting between all of my devices. It’s easy to learn (even for us mortals) and immediately useful.”
— David Sparks, MacSparky.com
“Personally, it’s changed my game — it’s how I think now. Can’t imagine writing more than a paragraph in anything that doesn’t do MMD.”
— Merlin Mann, [kung fu grippe] (http://www.kungfugrippe.com/post/346554639/multimarkdown-in-case-that-last-thing-seemed-too)
Version 3.2 Released!
MultiMarkdown version 3.2 is now officially available! 3.2 fixes a couple of bugs and changes the “behind the scenes” technology, particularly for developers.
For more information about the changes in 3.0, checkout the User’s Manual
Note that MMD 3.0 is a major change from version 2. Read about it before upgrading, and don’t upgrade five minutes before a major project is due….
What is MultiMarkdown?
MultiMarkdown, or MMD, is a tool to help turn minimally marked-up plain text into well formatted documents, including HTML, PDF (by way of LaTeX), OPML, or OpenDocument (specifically, Flat OpenDocument or ‘.fodt’, which can in turn be converted into RTF, Microsoft Word, or virtually any other word-processing format).
MMD is a superset of the Markdown syntax, originally created by John Gruber. It adds multiple syntax features (tables, footnotes, and citations, to name a few), in addition to the various output formats listed above (Markdown only creates HTML). Additionally, it builds in “smart” typography for various languages (proper left- and right-sided quotes, for example).
MultiMarkdown was originally a fork of the Markdown Perl code, but as of version 3.0 has been rewritten as a fork of peg-markdown by John MacFarlane, written in C. It can be compiled for any major operating system, and as a native binary runs much faster than the Perl version it replaces. Many thanks to John for creating a great program, and sharing the source with the github community. MultiMarkdown 3.0 would not be possible without his efforts!
For another description of what MultiMarkdown is, you can also check out a PDF slide show that describes and demonstrates how MultiMarkdown can be used.
Why should I use MultiMarkdown?
Writing with MultiMarkdown allows you to separate the content and structure of your document from the formatting. You focus on the actual writing, without having to worry about making the styles of your chapter headers match, or ensuring the proper spacing between paragraphs. And with a little forethought, a single plain text document can easily be converted into multiple output formats without having to rewrite the entire thing or format it by hand. Even better, you don’t have to write in “computer-ese” to create well formatted HTML or LaTeX commands. You just write, MultiMarkdown takes care of the rest.
For example, instead of writing:
<p>In order to create valid <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML">HTML</a>, you need properly coded syntax that can be cumbersome for “non-programmers” to write. Sometimes, you just want to easily make certain words <strong>bold </strong>, and certain words <em>italicized</em> without having to remember the syntax. Additionally, for example, creating lists:</p> <ul> <li>should be easy</li> <li>should not involve programming</li> </ul>
You simply write:
In order to create valid [HTML], you need properly coded syntax that can be cumbersome for "non-programmers" to write. Sometimes, you just want to easily make certain words **bold**, and certain words *italicized* without having to remember the syntax. Additionally, for example, creating lists: * should be easy * should not involve programming [HTML]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML
Additionally, you can write a MultiMarkdown document in any text editor, on any operating system, and know that it will be compatible with MultiMarkdown on any other operating system and processed into the same output. As a plain text format, your documents will be safe no matter how many times you switch computers, operating systems, or favorite applications. You will always be able to open and edit your documents, even when the version of the software you originally wrote them in is long gone.
These features have prompted several people to use MultiMarkdown in the process of writing their books, theses, and countless other documents.
There are many other reasons to use MultiMarkdown, but I won’t get into all of them here.
By the way — this web site is created using MultiMarkdown. To view the MMD
source for any page, add
.txt to the end of the URL. If the URL ends with
/, then add
index.txt to the end instead. This page, for example, would be