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Scidown is a fork of Hoedown, a c Markdown parser and HTML and LaTeX generator. Scidown however it parse not only Markdown but also Scidown (yep same name) that support many features useful for scientific and scholar publishing.

For more information on the syntax and example look at the wiki.

More about the motivation and the planning of the project in the manifesto.


  • Integrated plot using charter and experimental support to gnuplot
  • Figures, Tables and Listings with caption
  • YAML header specify title, authors, css style, keywords and more
  • Abstract syntax for defining abstracts
  • Include external files include external files to build complex documents

Markdown Differences

A part of the extension added to the language there is only one difference in the output generated from scidown and hoedown of a standard markdown document:

  • # title becomes <h2>title</h2> instead of <h1>
  • ## subtitle becomes <h3>subtitle</h3> instead of <h2>
  • well I suppose you get it all the headers are shifted of one

This is due the addition of the title information in form of YAML head as explained in the following section.

Compile and Run

To compile the project simply do the following:

git submodule update --init --recursive
mkdir build
cd build
meson ..

To install it simply run sudo ninja install inside the build folder. The executable scidown will be now available in the build folder, to use it simply:

# print out the html or to save it
scidown > output.html

Special Syntax


Is possible to add information and configuration in form of a YAML header:

title: your title
author: author 1
author: author 2
affiliation: affiliation
style: css file
keywords: list of keywords
numbering: true/false (number the chapters, sections and subsections)

Rest of your markdown file

the title, author and keywords will be used both as metadata of the html and displayed in the output.

External Files

Is possible to include external files to make easier work with big documents:


As bibliography only:



The abstract section is particularly useful for possible automatic data retrieval (as in such way is clearly identifiable from the rest of the paper). The output will figure the <h2>Abstract</h2> in the top of the div and at the bottom a div containing the keywords (if defined in the YAML head).

Lorem ipsum ....


Table of Contents

To show the table of contents simple use the @toc command:


# Chapter
Lorem ipsum

## Subsection
Lorem ipsum

Floating elements

Is possible to use floating elements such as figures, listings and tables:


@caption(your caption)

The code included in the figure is user defined and can be anything not only an image. The ref_id is not obligatory as the caption. The syntax for listings and tables is similar:





Numbered equation

The numbered equation works as the other floating elements but without any captioning possible:

x = \sum_{i=1}{N} i

In line and block equation with the classical syntax $inline equation$ and $$block equation$$ are still available but not numbered.


To refer to a figure, a listing, a table or an equation labeled is enough to write (#id) and it will be replaced by (<a href="#id">number</a>) where number is the number that appear in the caption.


using the charter syntax in a code block:

  x: 1 2 3 4
  y: math:x^2


An example of scidwon syntax is available in the examples/ folder.

Some LaTeX and PDF generated from scidown are available in the same as well: article, report

This is a screenshot of the parsing of a simple example using the scidown_article.css style:


The following is the same document using instead the scidown_report.css style: screenshot