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A markdown parser and compiler. Built for speed.
HTML JavaScript Makefile


latest commit 88ce4df47c
@chjj authored


A full-featured markdown parser and compiler, written in JavaScript. Built for speed.

NPM version


npm install marked --save


Minimal usage:

var marked = require('marked');
console.log(marked('I am using __markdown__.'));
// Outputs: <p>I am using <strong>markdown</strong>.</p>

Example setting options with default values:

var marked = require('marked');
  renderer: new marked.Renderer(),
  gfm: true,
  tables: true,
  breaks: false,
  pedantic: false,
  sanitize: true,
  smartLists: true,
  smartypants: false

console.log(marked('I am using __markdown__.'));


<!doctype html>
  <meta charset="utf-8"/>
  <title>Marked in the browser</title>
  <script src="lib/marked.js"></script>
  <div id="content"></div>
    document.getElementById('content').innerHTML =
      marked('# Marked in browser\n\nRendered by **marked**.');

marked(markdownString [,options] [,callback])


Type: string

String of markdown source to be compiled.


Type: object

Hash of options. Can also be set using the marked.setOptions method as seen above.


Type: function

Function called when the markdownString has been fully parsed when using async highlighting. If the options argument is omitted, this can be used as the second argument.



Type: function

A function to highlight code blocks. The first example below uses async highlighting with node-pygmentize-bundled, and the second is a synchronous example using highlight.js:

var marked = require('marked');

var markdownString = '```js\n console.log("hello"); \n```';

// Async highlighting with pygmentize-bundled
  highlight: function (code, lang, callback) {
    require('pygmentize-bundled')({ lang: lang, format: 'html' }, code, function (err, result) {
      callback(err, result.toString());

// Using async version of marked
marked(markdownString, function (err, content) {
  if (err) throw err;

// Synchronous highlighting with highlight.js
  highlight: function (code) {
    return require('highlight.js').highlightAuto(code).value;


highlight arguments


Type: string

The section of code to pass to the highlighter.


Type: string

The programming language specified in the code block.


Type: function

The callback function to call when using an async highlighter.


Type: object Default: new Renderer()

An object containing functions to render tokens to HTML.

Overriding renderer methods

The renderer option allows you to render tokens in a custom manner. Here is an example of overriding the default heading token rendering by adding an embedded anchor tag like on GitHub:

var marked = require('marked');
var renderer = new marked.Renderer();

renderer.heading = function (text, level) {
  var escapedText = text.toLowerCase().replace(/[^\w]+/g, '-');

  return '<h' + level + '><a name="' +
                escapedText +
                 '" class="anchor" href="#' +
                 escapedText +
                 '"><span class="header-link"></span></a>' +
                  text + '</h' + level + '>';

console.log(marked('# heading+', { renderer: renderer }));

This code will output the following HTML:

  <a name="heading-" class="anchor" href="#heading-">
    <span class="header-link"></span>

Block level renderer methods

  • code(string code, string language)
  • blockquote(string quote)
  • html(string html)
  • heading(string text, number level)
  • hr()
  • list(string body, boolean ordered)
  • listitem(string text)
  • paragraph(string text)
  • table(string header, string body)
  • tablerow(string content)
  • tablecell(string content, object flags)

flags has the following properties:

    header: true || false,
    align: 'center' || 'left' || 'right'

Inline level renderer methods

  • strong(string text)
  • em(string text)
  • codespan(string code)
  • br()
  • del(string text)
  • link(string href, string title, string text)
  • image(string href, string title, string text)


Type: boolean Default: true

Enable GitHub flavored markdown.


Type: boolean Default: true

Enable GFM tables. This option requires the gfm option to be true.


Type: boolean Default: false

Enable GFM line breaks. This option requires the gfm option to be true.


Type: boolean Default: false

Conform to obscure parts of as much as possible. Don't fix any of the original markdown bugs or poor behavior.


Type: boolean Default: false

Sanitize the output. Ignore any HTML that has been input.


Type: boolean Default: true

Use smarter list behavior than the original markdown. May eventually be default with the old behavior moved into pedantic.


Type: boolean Default: false

Use "smart" typograhic punctuation for things like quotes and dashes.

Access to lexer and parser

You also have direct access to the lexer and parser if you so desire.

var tokens = marked.lexer(text, options);
var lexer = new marked.Lexer(options);
var tokens = lexer.lex(text);


$ marked -o hello.html
hello world
$ cat hello.html
<p>hello world</p>

Philosophy behind marked

The point of marked was to create a markdown compiler where it was possible to frequently parse huge chunks of markdown without having to worry about caching the compiled output somehow...or blocking for an unnecesarily long time.

marked is very concise and still implements all markdown features. It is also now fully compatible with the client-side.

marked more or less passes the official markdown test suite in its entirety. This is important because a surprising number of markdown compilers cannot pass more than a few tests. It was very difficult to get marked as compliant as it is. It could have cut corners in several areas for the sake of performance, but did not in order to be exactly what you expect in terms of a markdown rendering. In fact, this is why marked could be considered at a disadvantage in the benchmarks above.

Along with implementing every markdown feature, marked also implements GFM features.


node v0.8.x

$ node test --bench
marked completed in 3411ms.
marked (gfm) completed in 3727ms.
marked (pedantic) completed in 3201ms.
robotskirt completed in 808ms.
showdown (reuse converter) completed in 11954ms.
showdown (new converter) completed in 17774ms.
markdown-js completed in 17191ms.

Marked is now faster than Discount, which is written in C.

For those feeling skeptical: These benchmarks run the entire markdown test suite 1000 times. The test suite tests every feature. It doesn't cater to specific aspects.

Pro level

You also have direct access to the lexer and parser if you so desire.

var tokens = marked.lexer(text, options);
var lexer = new marked.Lexer(options);
var tokens = lexer.lex(text);
$ node
> require('marked').lexer('> i am using marked.')
[ { type: 'blockquote_start' },
  { type: 'paragraph',
    text: 'i am using marked.' },
  { type: 'blockquote_end' },
  links: {} ]

Running Tests & Contributing

If you want to submit a pull request, make sure your changes pass the test suite. If you're adding a new feature, be sure to add your own test.

The marked test suite is set up slightly strangely: test/new is for all tests that are not part of the original test suite (this is where your test should go if you make one). test/original is only for the original tests. test/tests houses both types of tests after they have been combined and moved/generated by running node test --fix or marked --test --fix.

In other words, if you have a test to add, add it to test/new/ and then regenerate the tests with node test --fix. Commit the result. If your test uses a certain feature, for example, maybe it assumes GFM is not enabled, you can add .nogfm to the filename. So, my-test.text becomes my-test.nogfm.text. You can do this with any marked option. Say you want line breaks and smartypants enabled, your filename should be: my-test.breaks.smartypants.text.

To run the tests:

cd marked/
node test

Contribution and License Agreement

If you contribute code to this project, you are implicitly allowing your code to be distributed under the MIT license. You are also implicitly verifying that all code is your original work. </legalese>


Copyright (c) 2011-2014, Christopher Jeffrey. (MIT License)

See LICENSE for more info.

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