Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
80 lines (56 sloc) 2.05 KB

Markdown Prawn

Proof of concept for processing Markdown and turning it into a properly formatted PDF document.

At the moment it doesn't support the entire Markdown spec, but it will correctly render:

  • Headings
  • Lists (Both kinds)
  • Paragraphs
  • Horizontal Rules
  • Inline text formatting
  • Link reference lists
  • Inline Links
  • Inline Images (Local and remote)
  • Reference Images

The markdown parser I've built is rather hacky and very slow; so any improvements that can be made there would be welcomed. Being the only actual Ruby source code I could get my hands on, some of it is based on the original BlueCloth library by Mislav.

Please please test it and let me know what you think and make any suggestions for improvements. Patches are very welcome.

If you link a remote image in, it'll use net/http to pull it down to your OSes tempory folder and then will embed the image in the PDF.

Supports all the image formants which Prawn supports.

Image Geometry Credits

Image geometry for determining the width and height of JPEG / PNG images is from This DZone Snippet.

What will never be supported

Inline HTML, at least for the forseeable future will not be supported. Instead, when encountered it will initally be rendered as a part of a paragaph. Eventually when support for code blocks is added, it will be rendered as a code block.

The exceptions are the old tags which render bold, italic or underlined text, as these can be processed by Prawn as part of its inline formatting functionality.


I use Showoff for presentations and want to be able to generate handouts based on my slides. Since Showoff slides are in Markdown, Prawn Markdown will allow me to render the slides as sexy documents.

At least, that's the plan!

Also, I can't afford a PrinceXML licence.


   $ cat ./ | ./bin/md2pdf > output.pdf


  • Prawn, tested against Prawn 0.11.1 (gem install prawn --pre)