Educational Technology

February 29, 2012

Pandoc Converts All Your (Text) Documents

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

By Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Ed

I wanted to do all of my writing in a plain text format, like Markdown or LaTeX. But I need to be able to share my writing in a variety of formats: HTML for the web, PDF for printed documents or academic writing, and occasionally RTF or Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. The best way I’ve found to move between these formats is Pandoc. Pandoc is a command line tool written by a philosophy professor, John MacFarlane. Its general use is to take a document in one format and convert it to another. You can get an idea of the wide variety of formats Pandoc can translate by looking at an enlargement of the header diagram. Here’s an example of how this works. Suppose that you have a Markdown document like the one we created for the post on Markdown. (View pandoc-example.markdown on GitHub.) You can convert this to a number of text formats with a simple terminal command

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