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2md: convert formatted text to markdown

There are lots of packages for turning markdown into html, but this one goes the other way, turning formatted html into markdown.

Say you’re reading an Ars Technica article and want to copy something into some markdown notes. Just select some content in your browser, copy it, then run 2md. The heading, list formatting, bold text, and hyperlinks are all preserved.

You can try it out online at

A detailed writeup of the internals exists: “Compiling HTML to Markdown with TypeScript: How 2md works


The easiest way to try out 2md from the command line is with npx, a tool to automatically download, cache, and run programs; it’s been included with Node.js since 2017:

npx 2md [--no-quote] [FILE]

You can also install to install the 2md command with yarn:

yarn [global] add 2md



npx 2md [--no-quote] [FILE]

to get markdown.

By default, 2md reads from the clipboard, using osascript, xclip, or powershell. Otherwise, pass it the name of html file as a command-line argument.

For easy inserting of stuff into other documents, --quote is on by default and wraps the markdown in a blockquote:

> # Foo
> bar ...


Only a single function is exposed: toMd.

const { toMd } = require('2md');

console.log(toMd('foo <b>bar</b>'));


foo **bar**

Only exported files with public in the path are supported. Everything else is subject to change without notice. But if there’s some interesting code here you’d like to reuse, let me know and I can look into publishing it as a separate package.


Contributions are welcome! There are fairly comprehensive end-to-end and round-trip tests, and TypeScript’s type-checking makes refactoring safer, so don’t be afraid to move code around.


All the original code here is licensed under the Apache License, version 2.0, included in LICENSE.code; except for the contents of the “how it works” article how-it-works/post.mdx, which is not redistributable.


The current release process, to be automated later, is:

  1. Remove the -pre tag from the version field in core/package.json version, and from the 2md dependency in website/package.json

  2. Update

  3. Copy and any referenced images such as doc/demo.gif into the core folder

  4. Commit to git, and git tag vA.B.C

  5. In the core directory, yarn run package and inspect tarball

  6. git push --atomic $REMOTE main vA.B.C

    Optional: figure out automation to put excerpt into auto-created GitHub releases.

  7. npm publish 2md-vA.B.C.tgz

    If publishing a pre-release, add npm publish --tag next to set the correct npm tag.

  8. Bump version and add -pre version suffix in core/package.json; update the 2md dependency version in website/package.json as well

    Otherwise yarn won’t use the local version.

    The yarn workspaces documentation says,

    if workspace-b depends on a different version than the one referenced in workspace-a’s package.json, the dependency will be installed from npm rather than linked from your local filesystem. This is because some packages actually need to use the previous versions in order to build the new ones (Babel is one of them).
  9. For the precompiled version, run yarn dist in core and copy 2md.js to ~/bin. It relies on a shell wrapper:

    DIR="$(dirname -- "${0}")"
    exec node "${DIR}/2md.js" "${@}"