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Created November 7, 2014 13:08
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Style Markdown FUCK YEAH!


  • Ready-made CSS stylesheets for Markdown, just copy the assets folder you want
  • Bundled with generate-md, a small tool that converts a folder of Markdown documents into a output folder of HTML documents, preserving the directory structure
  • Use your own custom markup and CSS via --layout.
  • Support for relative paths to the assets folder via {{assetsRelative}} and document table of content generation via {{toc}}.
  • Support for generic metadata via a meta.json file


Install generate-md via npm:

sudo npm install -g markdown-styles

Create a markdown file and then convert it to html:

mkdir input/
echo "# Hello world\n YOLO" > input/
generate-md --layout mixu-gray --input ./input --output ./output
google-chrome ./output/index.html

Try out different layouts by changing the --layout parameter; screenshots at the bottom of this page.


If you want to make use of the bundled layouts stylesheets as a basis for your own site, copy the ./assets folder and point --layout to your own layout.

For example:

git clone ./markdown-styles
cp -Rv ./markdown-styles/layouts/mixu-gray ./my-layout
nano ./my-layout/page.html

Now edit the files ./my-layout/page.html and run:

generate-md --layout ./my-layout/page.html --input ./input --output ./output

What's new in v1.2.x

v1.2.0: Code syntax highlighting has been reworked so that syntax highlighters have become pluggable. See the relevant section below on how to use the new system.

v1.2.1: added the bootstrap3 style, thanks @MrJuliuss!

v1.2.2: added the github style, based on sindresorhus/github-markdown-css.

Just using the stylesheets

Alternatively, if you just want the stylesheets for your own project, you can just copy the ./assets folder from the layout you want.

To preview the styles in the browser, clone this repo locally and then open ./output/index.html or run make preview which opens that page in your default browser.

Using generate-md

This project also includes a small tool for generating HTML files from Markdown files.

The console tool is generate-md, e.g.

generate-md --layout jasonm23-foghorn --output ./test/

Here is an example of how I generated the project docs for Radar using generate-md, a Makefile and a few custom assets.

--input specifies the input directory (default: ./input/).

--output specifies the output directory (default: ./output/).

--layout specifies the layout to use. This can be either one of built in layouts, or a path to a custom template file with a set of custom assets.

To override the layout, simply create a directory, such as ./my-theme/, with the following structure:

├── my-theme
│   ├── assets
│   │   ├── css
│   │   ├── img
│   │   └── js
│   └── page.html

Then, running a command like:

  generate-md --input ./input/ --layout ./my-theme/page.html --output ./test/


  1. convert all Markdown files in ./input to HTML files under ./test, preserving paths in ./input.
  2. use the template ./my-theme/page.html, replacing values such as {{content}}, {{toc}} and {{assetsRelative}} (see the layouts for examples on this)
  3. (recursively) copy over the assets from ./my-theme/assets to ./test/assets.

This means that you could, for example, point a HTTP server at the root of ./test/ and be done with it.

You can also use the current directory as the output (e.g. for Github pages).

Syntax highlighting support (changed in v1.2.x)

generate-md supports syntax highlighting during the Markdown-to-HTML conversion process.


  • highlight.js via mds-hljs
  • csv (using highlight.js css classes) via mds-csv

To enable the syntax highlighting support, install the module (e.g. mds-hljs) and then use --highlight (e.g. --highlight mds-hljs) to activate the highlighter.

For example, to use highlight.js to highlight all code blocks:

npm install -g markdown-styles mds-hljs
generate-md --highlight mds-hljs ...

You will also need to include one of the highlight.js CSS style sheets in your assets folder/layout file CSS (e.g. by using a custom --layout file).

Language-specific syntax highlighting and custom highlighters

You can use --highlight-<language> <module> to override the syntax highlighter for a specific language. <module> can also be a path to a file.

For example, you might use the mds-csv highlighter for csv code blocks. Input code block with language:

"1048","Jimmy Adams",5559876543,12345


generate-md --highlight-csv mds-csv ...

You can write your own syntax highlighter wrappers. Have a look at mds-hljs and mds-csv for examples. These come in two flavors:

Asynchronous (three parameters):

module.exports = function(code, lang, onDone) {
    return onDone(null, result);

Synchronous (two parameters):

module.exports = function(code, lang) {
    return require('highlight.js').highlightAuto(code).value;


--command <cmd>: Pipe each Markdown file through a shell command and capture the output before converting. Useful for filtering the file, for example.


--asset-dir <path>: Normally, the asset directory is assumed to be ./assets/ in the same folder the --layout file is. You can override it to a different asset directory explicitly with --asset-dir, which is useful for builds where several directories use the same layout but different asset directories.

Metadata support

You can also add a file named meta.json to the folder from which you run generate-md.

The metadata in that directory will be read and replacements will be made for corresponding {{names}} in the template.

The metadata is scoped by the top-level directory in ./input.

For example:

  "foo": {
    "repoUrl": ""

would make the metadata value {{repoUrl}} available in the template, for all files that are in the directory ./input/foo.

This is rather imperfect, but works for small stuff, feel free to contribute improvements back.


I'd like to thank the authors the following CSS stylesheets:

Screenshots of the layouts

Note: these screenshots are generate via cutycapt, so they look worse than they do in a real browser.































Adding new styles

Create a new directory under ./output/themename.

If a file called ./layouts/themename/page.html exists, it is used, otherwise the default footer and header in ./layouts/plain/ are used.

The switcher is an old school frameset, you need to add a link in ./output/menu.html.

To regenerate the pages, you need node:

git clone git://
npm install
make build

To regenerate the screenshots, you need cutycapt (or some other Webkit to image tool) and imagemagic. On Ubuntu / Debian, that's:

sudo aptitude install cutycapt imagemagick

You also need to install the web fonts locally so that cutycapt will find them, run node font-download.js to get the commands you need to run (basically a series of wget and fc-cache -fv commands).

Finally, run:

make screenshots
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