Use Docverter’s REST API to convert your documents, lickety split.

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API Reference


Docverter has an official Ruby Gem (Github). The API described here can of course be used by any language that can make HTTP requests.


The API has one endpoint:


The contents of your POST should be multipart/form-data and consist of your input file(s) and options which describe your conversion. For example:

curl \
  --form input_files[] \
  --form input_files[] \
  --form input_files[] \
  --form from=markdown \
  --form to=pdf \
  --form css=stylesheet.css \
  --form other_files[]=@stylesheet.css \

You can also use httpie, another curl-like command line tool:

http --form -f POST \
  from=markdown \
  to=html \
  input_files[] \
  --output out.html

The examples directory contains several examples showing off various API options.

Note: At this time wget does not support multipart/form-data and so cannot be used to talk to Docverter

Full Option Reference

General options

input_files[] ATTACHMENT

A single input file. This can be specified multiple times. The value should be a multipart/form-data file upload.

other_files[] ATTACHMENT

A single additional file. This can be speicifed multiple times. The value should be a multipart/form-data file upload.


Specify input format. FORMAT can be markdown (markdown), textile (Textile), rst (reStructuredText), html (HTML), docbook (DocBook XML), or latex (LaTeX).


Specify output format. FORMAT can be markdown (markdown), rst (reStructuredText), html (XHTML 1), latex (LaTeX), context (ConTeXt), mediawiki (MediaWiki markup), textile (Textile), org (Emacs Org-Mode), texinfo (GNU Texinfo), docbook (DocBook XML), docx (Word docx), epub (EPUB book), mobi (Kindle book), asciidoc (AsciiDoc), or rtf (rich text format).

Reader options


Use strict markdown syntax, with no docverter extensions or variants. When the input format is HTML, this means that constructs that have no equivalents in standard markdown (e.g. definition lists or strikeout text) will be parsed as raw HTML.


Parse untranslatable HTML codes and LaTeX environments as raw HTML or LaTeX, instead of ignoring them.


Produce typographically correct output, converting straight quotes to curly quotes, --- to em-dashes, -- to en-dashes, and ... to ellipses. Nonbreaking spaces are inserted after certain abbreviations, such as “Mr.” (Note: This option is significant only when the input format is markdown or textile. It is selected automatically when the input format is textile or the output format is latex or context, unless --no-tex-ligatures is used.)

base_header_level NUMBER

Specify the base level for headers (defaults to 1).

indented_code_classes CLASSES

Specify classes to use for indented code blocks–for example, perl,numberLines or haskell. Multiple classes may be separated by commas.


Normalize the document after reading: merge adjacent Str or Emph elements, for example, and remove repeated Spaces.


Preserve tabs instead of converting them to spaces (the default).

tab-stop NUMBER

Specify the number of spaces per tab (default is 4).

General writer options

template FILE

Use FILE as a custom template for the generated document. See Templates below for a description of template syntax. If no extension is specified, an extension corresponding to the writer will be added, so that template: special looks for special.html for HTML output. If this option is not used, a default template appropriate for the output format will be used. This file must be included using other_files[].


Disable text wrapping in output. By default, text is wrapped appropriately for the output format.

columns NUMBER

Specify length of lines in characters (for text wrapping).


Include an automatically generated table of contents (or, in the case of latex, context, and rst, an instruction to create one) in the output document.


Disables syntax highlighting for code blocks and inlines, even when a language attribute is given.

highlight_style STYLE

Specifies the coloring style to be used in highlighted source code. Options are pygments (the default), kate, monochrome, espresso, zenburn, haddock, and tango.

include_in_header FILE

Include contents of FILE, verbatim, at the end of the header. This can be used, for example, to include special CSS or javascript in HTML documents. This file must be included using other_files[].

include_before_body FILE

Include contents of FILE, verbatim, at the beginning of the document body (e.g. after the <body> tag in HTML, or the \begin{document} command in LaTeX). This can be used to include navigation bars or banners in HTML documents. This file must be included using other_files[].

include_after_body FILE

Include contents of FILE, verbatim, at the end of the document body (before the </body> tag in HTML, or the \end{document} command in LaTeX). This file must be included using other_files[].

variable KEY[:VAL]

Set the template variable KEY to the value VAL when rendering the document in standalone mode. This is generally only useful when the template option is used to specify a custom template, since docverter automatically sets the variables used in the default templates. If no VAL is specified, the key will be given the value true.

Options affecting specific writers


Use only ascii characters in output. Currently supported only for HTML output (which uses numerical entities instead of UTF-8 when this option is selected).


Use reference-style links, rather than inline links, in writing markdown or reStructuredText. By default inline links are used.


Use ATX style headers in markdown output. The default is to use setext-style headers for levels 1-2, and then ATX headers.


Treat top-level headers as chapters in LaTeX, ConTeXt, and DocBook output. When the LaTeX template uses the report, book, or memoir class, this option is implied.


Number section headings in LaTeX, ConTeXt, or HTML output. By default, sections are not numbered.


Do not convert quotation marks, apostrophes, and dashes to the TeX ligatures when writing LaTeX or ConTeXt. Instead, just use literal unicode characters. This is needed for using advanced OpenType features with XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX. Note: normally smart is selected automatically for LaTeX and ConTeXt output, but it must be specified explicitly if no_tex_ligatures is selected. If you use literal curly quotes, dashes, and ellipses in your source, then you may want to use no_tex_ligatures without smart.


Use listings package for LaTeX code blocks


Wrap sections in <div> tags (or <section> tags in HTML5), and attach identifiers to the enclosing <div> (or <section>) rather than the header itself. See Section identifiers, below.

email_obfuscation none|javascript|references

Specify a method for obfuscating mailto: links in HTML documents. none leaves mailto: links as they are. javascript obfuscates them using javascript. references obfuscates them by printing their letters as decimal or hexadecimal character references. If strict is specified, references is used regardless of the presence of this option.

id_prefix STRING

Specify a prefix to be added to all automatically generated identifiers in HTML output. This is useful for preventing duplicate identifiers when generating fragments to be included in other pages.

title_prefix STRING

Specify STRING as a prefix at the beginning of the title that appears in the HTML header (but not in the title as it appears at the beginning of the HTML body).

css= URL

Link to a CSS style sheet.

reference_docx FILE

Use the specified file as a style reference in producing a docx file. For best results, the reference docx should be a modified version of a docx file produced using docverter. The contents of the reference docx are ignored, but its stylesheets are used in the new docx. This file must be included using other_files[].

pdf_username STRING

Encrypt the output PDF with the given username.

pdf_password STRING

Encrypt the output PDF with the given password.

epub_stylesheet FILE

Use the specified CSS file to style the EPUB. This file must be included using other_files[].

epub_cover_image FILE

Use the specified image as the EPUB cover. It is recommended that the image be less than 1000px in width and height. This file must be included using other_files[].

epub_metadata FILE

Look in the specified XML file for metadata for the EPUB. The file should contain a series of Dublin Core elements, as documented at For example:

 <dc:rights>Creative Commons</dc:rights>

By default, docverter will include the following metadata elements: <dc:title> (from the document title), <dc:creator> (from the document authors), <dc:date> (from the document date, which should be in ISO 8601 format), <dc:language> (from the lang variable, or, if is not set, the locale), and <dc:identifier id="BookId"> (a randomly generated UUID). Any of these may be overridden by elements in the metadata file. This file must be included using other_files[].

epub_embed_font FILE

Embed the specified font in the EPUB. This option can be an array to embed multiple fonts. To use embedded fonts, you will need to add declarations like the following to your CSS (see epub_stylesheet):

@font-face {
font-family: DejaVuSans;
font-style: normal;
font-weight: normal;
@font-face {
font-family: DejaVuSans;
font-style: normal;
font-weight: bold;
@font-face {
font-family: DejaVuSans;
font-style: italic;
font-weight: normal;
@font-face {
font-family: DejaVuSans;
font-style: italic;
font-weight: bold;
body { font-family: "DejaVuSans"; }

This file must be included using other_files[].


Docverter uses a template to add header and footer material that is needed for a self-standing document. A custom template can be specified using the template option.

Templates may contain variables. Variable names are sequences of alphanumerics, -, and _, starting with a letter. A variable name surrounded by $ signs will be replaced by its value. For example, the string $title$ in


will be replaced by the document title.

To write a literal $ in a template, use $$.

Some variables are set automatically by docverter. These vary somewhat depending on the output format, but include:


contents specified by include_in_header (may have multiple values)


non-null value if table_of_contents was specified


contents specified by include_before_body (may have multiple values)


contents specified by include_after_body (may have multiple values)


body of document


title of document, as specified in title block


author of document, as specified in title block (may have multiple values)


date of document, as specified in title block


language code for HTML or LaTeX documents


font size (10pt, 11pt, 12pt) for LaTeX documents


document class for LaTeX documents


options for LaTeX geometry class, e.g. margin=1in; may be repeated for multiple options

mainfont, sansfont, monofont, mathfont

fonts for LaTeX documents (works only with xelatex and lualatex)


color for internal links in LaTeX documents (red, green, magenta, cyan, blue, black)


color for external links in LaTeX documents


causes links to be printed as footnotes in LaTeX documents

Variables may be set in the manifest using the variable option. This allows users to include custom variables in their templates.

Templates may contain conditionals. The syntax is as follows:


This will include X in the template if variable has a non-null value; otherwise it will include Y. X and Y are placeholders for any valid template text, and may include interpolated variables or other conditionals. The $else$ section may be omitted.

When variables can have multiple values (for example, author in a multi-author document), you can use the $for$ keyword:

<meta name="author" content="$author$" />

You can optionally specify a separator to be used between consecutive items:

$for(author)$$author$$sep$, $endfor$

If you use custom templates, you may need to revise them as pandoc changes. We recommend tracking the changes in the default templates, and modifying your custom templates accordingly. An easy way to do this is to fork the pandoc-templates repository ( and merge in changes after each pandoc release.

Docverter’s markdown

Docverter understands an extended and slightly revised version of John Gruber’s markdown syntax. This document explains the syntax, noting differences from standard markdown. Except where noted, these differences can be suppressed by specifying the --strict command-line option.


Markdown is designed to be easy to write, and, even more importantly, easy to read:

A Markdown-formatted document should be publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like it’s been marked up with tags or formatting instructions. – John Gruber

This principle has guided docverter’s decisions in finding syntax for tables, footnotes, and other extensions.

There is, however, one respect in which docverter’s aims are different from the original aims of markdown. Whereas markdown was originally designed with HTML generation in mind, docverter is designed for multiple output formats. Thus, while docverter allows the embedding of raw HTML, it discourages it, and provides other, non-HTMLish ways of representing important document elements like definition lists, tables, mathematics, and footnotes.


A paragraph is one or more lines of text followed by one or more blank line. Newlines are treated as spaces, so you can reflow your paragraphs as you like. If you need a hard line break, put two or more spaces at the end of a line, or type a backslash followed by a newline.


There are two kinds of headers, Setext and atx.

Setext-style headers

A setext-style header is a line of text “underlined” with a row of = signs (for a level one header) of - signs (for a level two header):

A level-one header

A level-two header

The header text can contain inline formatting, such as emphasis (see Inline formatting, below).

Atx-style headers

An Atx-style header consists of one to six # signs and a line of text, optionally followed by any number of # signs. The number of # signs at the beginning of the line is the header level:

## A level-two header

### A level-three header ###

As with setext-style headers, the header text can contain formatting:

# A level-one header with a [link](/url) and *emphasis*

Standard markdown syntax does not require a blank line before a header. Docverter does require this (except, of course, at the beginning of the document). The reason for the requirement is that it is all too easy for a # to end up at the beginning of a line by accident (perhaps through line wrapping). Consider, for example:

I like several of their flavors of ice cream:
#22, for example, and #5.

Header identifiers in HTML, LaTeX, and ConTeXt

Docverter extension.

Each header element in docverter’s HTML and ConTeXt output is given a unique identifier. This identifier is based on the text of the header. To derive the identifier from the header text,

Thus, for example,

Header Identifier

Header identifiers in HTML header-identifiers-in-html Dogs?–in my house? dogs--in-my-house HTML, S5, or RTF? html-s5-or-rtf 3. Applications applications 33 section

These rules should, in most cases, allow one to determine the identifier from the header text. The exception is when several headers have the same text; in this case, the first will get an identifier as described above; the second will get the same identifier with -1 appended; the third with -2; and so on.

These identifiers are used to provide link targets in the table of contents generated by the --toc|--table-of-contents option. They also make it easy to provide links from one section of a document to another. A link to this section, for example, might look like this:

See the section on
[header identifiers](#header-identifiers-in-html).

Note, however, that this method of providing links to sections works only in HTML, LaTeX, and ConTeXt formats.

If the --section-divs option is specified, then each section will be wrapped in a div (or a section, if --html5 was specified), and the identifier will be attached to the enclosing <div> (or <section>) tag rather than the header itself. This allows entire sections to be manipulated using javascript or treated differently in CSS.

Block quotations

Markdown uses email conventions for quoting blocks of text. A block quotation is one or more paragraphs or other block elements (such as lists or headers), with each line preceded by a > character and a space. (The > need not start at the left margin, but it should not be indented more than three spaces.)

> This is a block quote. This
> paragraph has two lines.
> 1. This is a list inside a block quote.
> 2. Second item.

A “lazy” form, which requires the > character only on the first line of each block, is also allowed:

> This is a block quote. This
paragraph has two lines.

> 1. This is a list inside a block quote.
2. Second item.

Among the block elements that can be contained in a block quote are other block quotes. That is, block quotes can be nested:

> This is a block quote.
> > A block quote within a block quote.

Standard markdown syntax does not require a blank line before a block quote. Docverter does require this (except, of course, at the beginning of the document). The reason for the requirement is that it is all too easy for a > to end up at the beginning of a line by accident (perhaps through line wrapping). So, unless --strict is used, the following does not produce a nested block quote in docverter:

> This is a block quote.
>> Nested.

Verbatim (code) blocks

Indented code blocks

A block of text indented four spaces (or one tab) is treated as verbatim text: that is, special characters do not trigger special formatting, and all spaces and line breaks are preserved. For example,

    if (a > 3) {
      moveShip(5 * gravity, DOWN);

The initial (four space or one tab) indentation is not considered part of the verbatim text, and is removed in the output.

Note: blank lines in the verbatim text need not begin with four spaces.

Delimited code blocks

Docverter extension.

In addition to standard indented code blocks, Docverter supports delimited code blocks. These begin with a row of three or more tildes (~) or backticks (`) and end with a row of tildes or backticks that must be at least as long as the starting row. Everything between these lines is treated as code. No indentation is necessary:

if (a > 3) {
  moveShip(5 * gravity, DOWN);

Like regular code blocks, delimited code blocks must be separated from surrounding text by blank lines.

If the code itself contains a row of tildes or backticks, just use a longer row of tildes or backticks at the start and end.


Bullet lists

A bullet list is a list of bulleted list items. A bulleted list item begins with a bullet (*, +, or -). Here is a simple example:

* one
* two
* three

This will produce a “compact” list. If you want a “loose” list, in which each item is formatted as a paragraph, put spaces between the items:

* one

* two

* three

The bullets need not be flush with the left margin; they may be indented one, two, or three spaces. The bullet must be followed by whitespace.

List items look best if subsequent lines are flush with the first line (after the bullet):

* here is my first
  list item.
* and my second.

But markdown also allows a “lazy” format:

* here is my first
list item.
* and my second.

The four-space rule

A list item may contain multiple paragraphs and other block-level content. However, subsequent paragraphs must be preceded by a blank line and indented four spaces or a tab. The list will look better if the first paragraph is aligned with the rest:

  * First paragraph.


  * Second paragraph. With a code block, which must be indented
    eight spaces:

        { code }

List items may include other lists. In this case the preceding blank line is optional. The nested list must be indented four spaces or one tab:

* fruits
    + apples
        - macintosh
        - red delicious
    + pears
    + peaches
* vegetables
    + brocolli
    + chard

As noted above, markdown allows you to write list items “lazily,” instead of indenting continuation lines. However, if there are multiple paragraphs or other blocks in a list item, the first line of each must be indented.

+ A lazy, lazy, list

+ Another one; this looks
bad but is legal.

    Second paragraph of second
list item.

Note: Although the four-space rule for continuation paragraphs comes from the official markdown syntax guide, the reference implementation,, does not follow it. So docverter will give different results than when authors have indented continuation paragraphs fewer than four spaces.

The markdown syntax guide is not explicit whether the four-space rule applies to all block-level content in a list item; it only mentions paragraphs and code blocks. But it implies that the rule applies to all block-level content (including nested lists), and docverter interprets it that way.

Ordered lists

Ordered lists work just like bulleted lists, except that the items begin with enumerators rather than bullets.

In standard markdown, enumerators are decimal numbers followed by a period and a space. The numbers themselves are ignored, so there is no difference between this list:

1.  one
2.  two
3.  three

and this one:

5.  one
7.  two
1.  three

Docverter extension.

Unlike standard markdown, Docverter allows ordered list items to be marked with uppercase and lowercase letters and roman numerals, in addition to arabic numerals. List markers may be enclosed in parentheses or followed by a single right-parentheses or period. They must be separated from the text that follows by at least one space, and, if the list marker is a capital letter with a period, by at least two spaces.

Docverter also pays attention to the type of list marker used, and to the starting number, and both of these are preserved where possible in the output format. Thus, the following yields a list with numbers followed by a single parenthesis, starting with 9, and a sublist with lowercase roman numerals:

 9)  Ninth
10)  Tenth
11)  Eleventh
       i. subone
      ii. subtwo
     iii. subthree

Docverter will start a new list each time a different type of list marker is used. So, the following will create three lists:

(2) Two
(5) Three
1.  Four
*   Five

If default list markers are desired, use #.:

#.  one
#.  two
#.  three

Definition lists

Docverter extension.

Docverter supports definition lists, using a syntax inspired by PHP Markdown Extra and reStructuredText:

Term 1

:   Definition 1

Term 2 with *inline markup*

:   Definition 2

        { some code, part of Definition 2 }

    Third paragraph of definition 2.

Each term must fit on one line, which may optionally be followed by a blank line, and must be followed by one or more definitions. A definition begins with a colon or tilde, which may be indented one or two spaces. The body of the definition (including the first line, aside from the colon or tilde) should be indented four spaces. A term may have multiple definitions, and each definition may consist of one or more block elements (paragraph, code block, list, etc.), each indented four spaces or one tab stop.

If you leave space after the definition (as in the example above), the blocks of the definitions will be considered paragraphs. In some output formats, this will mean greater spacing between term/definition pairs. For a compact definition list, do not leave space between the definition and the next term:

Term 1
  ~ Definition 1
Term 2
  ~ Definition 2a
  ~ Definition 2b

Numbered example lists

Docverter extension.

The special list marker @ can be used for sequentially numbered examples. The first list item with a @ marker will be numbered ‘1’, the next '2’, and so on, throughout the document. The numbered examples need not occur in a single list; each new list using @ will take up where the last stopped. So, for example:

(@)  My first example will be numbered (1).
(@)  My second example will be numbered (2).

Explanation of examples.

(@)  My third example will be numbered (3).

Numbered examples can be labeled and referred to elsewhere in the document:

(@good)  This is a good example.

As (@good) illustrates, ...

The label can be any string of alphanumeric characters, underscores, or hyphens.

Compact and loose lists

Docverter behaves differently from on some “edge cases” involving lists. Consider this source:

+   First
+   Second:
  -   Fee
  -   Fie
    -   Foe

+   Third

Docverter transforms this into a “compact list” (with no <p> tags around “First”, “Second”, or “Third”), while markdown puts <p> tags around “Second” and “Third” (but not “First”), because of the blank space around “Third”. Docverter follows a simple rule: if the text is followed by a blank line, it is treated as a paragraph. Since “Second” is followed by a list, and not a blank line, it isn’t treated as a paragraph. The fact that the list is followed by a blank line is irrelevant. (Note: Docverter works this way even when the --strict option is specified. This behavior is consistent with the official markdown syntax description, even though it is different from that of

Ending a list

What if you want to put an indented code block after a list?

-   item one
-   item two

    { my code block }

Trouble! Here docverter (like other markdown implementations) will treat { my code block } as the second paragraph of item two, and not as a code block.

To “cut off” the list after item two, you can insert some non-indented content, like an HTML comment, which won’t produce visible output in any format:

-   item one
-   item two

<!-- end of list -->

    { my code block }

You can use the same trick if you want two consecutive lists instead of one big list:

1.  one
2.  two
3.  three

<!-- -->

1.  uno
2.  dos
3.  tres

Horizontal rules

A line containing a row of three or more *, -, or _ characters (optionally separated by spaces) produces a horizontal rule:

*  *  *  *



Docverter extension.

Three kinds of tables may be used. All three kinds presuppose the use of a fixed-width font, such as Courier.

Simple tables look like this:

  Right     Left     Center     Default
-------     ------ ----------   -------
     12     12        12            12
    123     123       123          123
      1     1          1             1

Table:  Demonstration of simple table syntax.

The headers and table rows must each fit on one line. Column alignments are determined by the position of the header text relative to the dashed line below it:

The table must end with a blank line, or a line of dashes followed by a blank line. A caption may optionally be provided (as illustrated in the example above). A caption is a paragraph beginning with the string Table: (or just :), which will be stripped off. It may appear either before or after the table.

The column headers may be omitted, provided a dashed line is used to end the table. For example:

-------     ------ ----------   -------
     12     12        12             12
    123     123       123           123
      1     1          1              1
-------     ------ ----------   -------

When headers are omitted, column alignments are determined on the basis of the first line of the table body. So, in the tables above, the columns would be right, left, center, and right aligned, respectively.

Multiline tables allow headers and table rows to span multiple lines of text (but cells that span multiple columns or rows of the table are not supported). Here is an example:

 Centered   Default           Right Left
  Header    Aligned         Aligned Aligned
----------- ------- --------------- -------------------------
   First    row                12.0 Example of a row that
                                    spans multiple lines.

  Second    row                 5.0 Here's another one. Note
                                    the blank line between

Table: Here's the caption. It, too, may span
multiple lines.

These work like simple tables, but with the following differences:

In multiline tables, the table parser pays attention to the widths of the columns, and the writers try to reproduce these relative widths in the output. So, if you find that one of the columns is too narrow in the output, try widening it in the markdown source.

Headers may be omitted in multiline tables as well as simple tables:

----------- ------- --------------- -------------------------
   First    row                12.0 Example of a row that
                                    spans multiple lines.

  Second    row                 5.0 Here's another one. Note
                                    the blank line between

: Here's a multiline table without headers.

It is possible for a multiline table to have just one row, but the row should be followed by a blank line (and then the row of dashes that ends the table), or the table may be interpreted as a simple table.

Grid tables look like this:

: Sample grid table.

| Fruit         | Price         | Advantages         |
| Bananas       | $1.34         | - built-in wrapper |
|               |               | - bright color     |
| Oranges       | $2.10         | - cures scurvy     |
|               |               | - tasty            |

The row of =s separates the header from the table body, and can be omitted for a headerless table. The cells of grid tables may contain arbitrary block elements (multiple paragraphs, code blocks, lists, etc.). Alignments are not supported, nor are cells that span multiple columns or rows. Grid tables can be created easily using Emacs table mode.

Title block

Docverter extension.

If the file begins with a title block

% title
% author(s) (separated by semicolons)
% date

it will be parsed as bibliographic information, not regular text. (It will be used, for example, in the title of standalone LaTeX or HTML output.) The block may contain just a title, a title and an author, or all three elements. If you want to include an author but no title, or a title and a date but no author, you need a blank line:

% Author

% My title
% June 15, 2006

The title may occupy multiple lines, but continuation lines must begin with leading space, thus:

% My title
  on multiple lines

If a document has multiple authors, the authors may be put on separate lines with leading space, or separated by semicolons, or both. So, all of the following are equivalent:

% Author One
  Author Two

% Author One; Author Two

% Author One;
  Author Two

The date must fit on one line.

All three metadata fields may contain standard inline formatting (italics, links, footnotes, etc.).

Title blocks will always be parsed, but they will affect the output only when the --standalone (-s) option is chosen. In HTML output, titles will appear twice: once in the document head – this is the title that will appear at the top of the window in a browser – and once at the beginning of the document body. The title in the document head can have an optional prefix attached (--title-prefix or -T option). The title in the body appears as an H1 element with class “title”, so it can be suppressed or reformatted with CSS. If a title prefix is specified with -T and no title block appears in the document, the title prefix will be used by itself as the HTML title.

The man page writer extracts a title, man page section number, and other header and footer information from the title line. The title is assumed to be the first word on the title line, which may optionally end with a (single-digit) section number in parentheses. (There should be no space between the title and the parentheses.) Anything after this is assumed to be additional footer and header text. A single pipe character (|) should be used to separate the footer text from the header text. Thus,


will yield a man page with the title DOCVERTER and section 1.

% DOCVERTER(1) Docverter User Manuals

will also have “Docverter User Manuals” in the footer.

% DOCVERTER(1) Docverter User Manuals | Version 4.0

will also have “Version 4.0” in the header.

Backslash escapes

Except inside a code block or inline code, any punctuation or space character preceded by a backslash will be treated literally, even if it would normally indicate formatting. Thus, for example, if one writes


one will get


instead of


This rule is easier to remember than standard markdown’s rule, which allows only the following characters to be backslash-escaped:


(However, if the --strict option is supplied, the standard markdown rule will be used.)

A backslash-escaped space is parsed as a nonbreaking space. It will appear in TeX output as ~ and in HTML and XML as \&#160; or \&nbsp;.

A backslash-escaped newline (i.e. a backslash occurring at the end of a line) is parsed as a hard line break. It will appear in TeX output as \\ and in HTML as <br />. This is a nice alternative to markdown’s “invisible” way of indicating hard line breaks using two trailing spaces on a line.

Backslash escapes do not work in verbatim contexts.

Smart punctuation

Docverter extension.

If the --smart option is specified, docverter will produce typographically correct output, converting straight quotes to curly quotes, --- to em-dashes, -- to en-dashes, and ... to ellipses. Nonbreaking spaces are inserted after certain abbreviations, such as “Mr.”

Note: if your LaTeX template uses the csquotes package, docverter will detect automatically this and use \enquote{...} for quoted text.

Inline formatting


To emphasize some text, surround it with *s or _, like this:

This text is _emphasized with underscores_, and this
is *emphasized with asterisks*.

Double * or _ produces strong emphasis:

This is **strong emphasis** and __with underscores__.

A * or _ character surrounded by spaces, or backslash-escaped, will not trigger emphasis:

This is * not emphasized *, and \*neither is this\*.

Because _ is sometimes used inside words and identifiers, docverter does not interpret a _ surrounded by alphanumeric characters as an emphasis marker. If you want to emphasize just part of a word, use *:

feas*ible*, not feas*able*.


Docverter extension.

To strikeout a section of text with a horizontal line, begin and end it with ~~. Thus, for example,

This ~~is deleted text.~~

Superscripts and subscripts

Docverter extension.

Superscripts may be written by surrounding the superscripted text by ^ characters; subscripts may be written by surrounding the subscripted text by ~ characters. Thus, for example,

H~2~O is a liquid.  2^10^ is 1024.

If the superscripted or subscripted text contains spaces, these spaces must be escaped with backslashes. (This is to prevent accidental superscripting and subscripting through the ordinary use of ~ and ^.) Thus, if you want the letter P with 'a cat’ in subscripts, use P~a\ cat~, not P~a cat~.


To make a short span of text verbatim, put it inside backticks:

What is the difference between `>>=` and `>>`?

If the verbatim text includes a backtick, use double backticks:

Here is a literal backtick `` ` ``.

(The spaces after the opening backticks and before the closing backticks will be ignored.)

The general rule is that a verbatim span starts with a string of consecutive backticks (optionally followed by a space) and ends with a string of the same number of backticks (optionally preceded by a space).

Note that backslash-escapes (and other markdown constructs) do not work in verbatim contexts:

This is a backslash followed by an asterisk: `\*`.

Attributes can be attached to verbatim text, just as with delimited code blocks:



Markdown allows you to insert raw HTML (or DocBook) anywhere in a document (except verbatim contexts, where <, >, and & are interpreted literally).

The raw HTML is passed through unchanged in HTML, S5, Slidy, Slideous, DZSlides, EPUB, Markdown, and Textile output, and suppressed in other formats.

Docverter extension.

Standard markdown allows you to include HTML “blocks”: blocks of HTML between balanced tags that are separated from the surrounding text with blank lines, and start and end at the left margin. Within these blocks, everything is interpreted as HTML, not markdown; so (for example), * does not signify emphasis.

Docverter behaves this way when --strict is specified; but by default, Docverter interprets material between HTML block tags as markdown. Thus, for example, Docverter will turn

        <td>[a link](</td>


        <td><a href="">a link</a></td>

whereas will preserve it as is.

There is one exception to this rule: text between <script> and <style> tags is not interpreted as markdown.

This departure from standard markdown should make it easier to mix markdown with HTML block elements. For example, one can surround a block of markdown text with <div> tags without preventing it from being interpreted as markdown.


Markdown allows links to be specified in several ways.

Automatic links

If you enclose a URL or email address in pointy brackets, it will become a link:


Inline links

An inline link consists of the link text in square brackets, followed by the URL in parentheses. (Optionally, the URL can be followed by a link title, in quotes.)

This is an [inline link](/url), and here's [one with
a title]( "click here for a good time!").

There can be no space between the bracketed part and the parenthesized part. The link text can contain formatting (such as emphasis), but the title cannot.

Reference links

An explicit reference link has two parts, the link itself and the link definition, which may occur elsewhere in the document (either before or after the link).

The link consists of link text in square brackets, followed by a label in square brackets. (There can be space between the two.) The link definition must begin at the left margin or indented no more than three spaces. It consists of the bracketed label, followed by a colon and a space, followed by the URL, and optionally (after a space) a link title either in quotes or in parentheses.

Here are some examples:

[my label 1]: /foo/bar.html  "My title, optional"
[my label 2]: /foo
[my label 3]: (The free software foundation)
[my label 4]: /bar#special  'A title in single quotes'

The URL may optionally be surrounded by angle brackets:

[my label 5]: <>

The title may go on the next line:

[my label 3]:
  "The free software foundation"

Note that link labels are not case sensitive. So, this will work:

Here is [my link][FOO]

[Foo]: /bar/baz

In an implicit reference link, the second pair of brackets is empty, or omitted entirely:

See [my website][], or [my website].

[my website]:

Internal links

To link to another section of the same document, use the automatically generated identifier (see Header identifiers in HTML, LaTeX, and ConTeXt, below). For example:

See the [Introduction](#introduction).


See the [Introduction].

[Introduction]: #introduction

Internal links are currently supported for HTML formats (including HTML slide shows and EPUB), LaTeX, and ConTeXt.


A link immediately preceded by a ! will be treated as an image. The link text will be used as the image’s alt text:

![la lune](lalune.jpg "Voyage to the moon")

![movie reel]

[movie reel]: movie.gif

Pictures with captions

Docverter extension.

An image occurring by itself in a paragraph will be rendered as a figure with a caption. (In LaTeX, a figure environment will be used; in HTML, the image will be placed in a div with class figure, together with a caption in a p with class caption.) The image’s alt text will be used as the caption.

![This is the caption](/url/of/image.png)

If you just want a regular inline image, just make sure it is not the only thing in the paragraph. One way to do this is to insert a nonbreaking space after the image:

![This image won't be a figure](/url/of/image.png)\ 


Docverter extension.

Docverter’s markdown allows footnotes, using the following syntax:

Here is a footnote reference,[^1] and another.[^longnote]

[^1]: Here is the footnote.

[^longnote]: Here's one with multiple blocks.

    Subsequent paragraphs are indented to show that they 
belong to the previous footnote.

        { some.code }

    The whole paragraph can be indented, or just the first
    line.  In this way, multi-paragraph footnotes work like
    multi-paragraph list items.

This paragraph won't be part of the note, because it
isn't indented.

The identifiers in footnote references may not contain spaces, tabs, or newlines. These identifiers are used only to correlate the footnote reference with the note itself; in the output, footnotes will be numbered sequentially.

The footnotes themselves need not be placed at the end of the document. They may appear anywhere except inside other block elements (lists, block quotes, tables, etc.).

Inline footnotes are also allowed (though, unlike regular notes, they cannot contain multiple paragraphs). The syntax is as follows:

Here is an inline note.^[Inlines notes are easier to write, since
you don't have to pick an identifier and move down to type the

Inline and regular footnotes may be mixed freely.

PDF Styling

Docverter PDF conversion supports all of CSS 2.1 and some of CSS 3, including @font-face and paged media. Docverter uses Flying Saucer to render HTML to PDF. See the user’s guide for extensive details. Here are a few useful things.


Use a @font-face delcaration to include fonts in your stylesheet. Any fonts should be included in other_files[] as truetype font files. For example:

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Arial';
  font-style: normal;
  font-weight: 400;
  src: url('arial.ttf');
  -fs-pdf-font-embed: embed;
  -fs-pdf-font-encoding: Identity-H;
body {
  font-family: 'Arial';

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE You must include the -fs-pdf-font-embed and -fs-pdf-font-encoding attributes, and they must be the exact values as above. In addition, the font-family must be identical to the font family that is encoded in the font file itself.

You can use webfonts, but the @font-face definition has to match the above. As a concrete example, let’s say you want to use the following Google Fonts package:

@import url(;

The CSS returned by that URL is the following:

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Raleway';
  font-style: normal;
  font-weight: 900;
  src: local('Raleway Heavy'), local('Raleway-Heavy'), url( format('truetype');

You need to modify the CSS by removing the local() and format() functions and then add the -fs-pdf-font attributes, like this:

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Raleway';
  font-style: normal;
  font-weight: 900;
  src: url(;
  -fs-pdf-font-embed: embed;
  -fs-pdf-font-encoding: Identity-H;

If you include multiple fonts from Google Fonts you’ll need to modify each one as above.

Page Attributes

See the W3C’s Paged Media for details. A small example:

@page {
  size: 8.5in 11in;
  margin: 27mm;

Headers and Footers

See the W3C’s Paged Media for details. A small example:

h1 {
  string-set: header content();

@page {
  @bottom-right {
    content: string(header, first); 

  @bottom-left {
    content: counter(page)

This copies the contents of each <h1> into a string named header. Then, it inserts it into the bottom right corner of each page. It also inserts a page counter into the bottom left corner of each page.

Docverter supports both margin boxes, described above, and running elements as defined by the CSS3 spec.


This is a copy of the Pandoc README file, modified to suit Docverter’s manifest format.

Docverter © 2012 Pete Keen ( and released under the MIT license (see LICENSE)

Original © 2006-2011 John MacFarlane (jgm at berkeley dot edu). Pandoc released under the GPL, version 2 or greater. This software carries no warranty of any kind.

Other contributors include Recai Oktaş, Paulo Tanimoto, Peter Wang, Andrea Rossato, Eric Kow, infinity0x, Luke Plant, shreevatsa.public, Puneeth Chaganti, Paul Rivier, rodja.trappe, Bradley Kuhn, thsutton, Nathan Gass, Jonathan Daugherty, Jérémy Bobbio, Justin Bogner, qerub, Christopher Sawicki, Kelsey Hightower, Masayoshi Takahashi, Antoine Latter, Ralf Stephan, Eric Seidel, B. Scott Michel, Gavin Beatty, Sergey Astanin.