Simple Automator droplets and service workflows for converting documents with pandoc
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Pandoc Droplets and Services

This is a collection of OS X applets and system services, providing a simple way to use pandoc to convert documents between different formats.

These wrappers don't expose the full power of pandoc. For that, you need to open a terminal and use the command line. What they offer is easy drag-and-drop conversion from supported input formats---mostly markdown, but also rst, textile, html, latex, mediawiki, docbook, opml---to select supported output formats---html, pdf, odt, docx, epub, slidy, dzslides, and markdown.

Drag and Drop Applets

The applications in the Applets folder are drag-and-drop applets. Put them in the Dock or on your desktop. Drag a file (or several files) onto them to convert it. The resulting file(s) will be created in the same folder as the original.

Warning: existing files with the same name and extension will be overwritten.

System Services

The files in the Services folder are Services for the OS X Services Menu. To install, double-click and follow the instructions, or just copy them to ~/Library/Services/. Services can be used from contextual menus (right click on a markdown file in the Finder, go to Services, and select the Service). The resulting file(s) will be created in the same folder as the original.

Warning: existing files with the same name and extension will be overwritten.



You'll need pandoc, version 1.9 or later (earlier versions of pandoc have different command line options).


Pandoc depends on LaTeX to convert to PDF. If you don't have LaTeX installed, I recommend installing BasicTeX, which is only 69 MB.


Convert PDF files to markdown using the Applet or the 'Convert to Markdown using Pandoc' workflow depends on [pdftohtml], which can be installed via homebrew.


Shell scripts that are run via Automator don't know about all the fancy additions you've made to your $PATH in your .bashrc. So each script begins by adding directories to $PATH that might contain pandoc and your LaTeX executables, e.g.,


If you have pandoc or latex installed somewhere else, you will need to add the appropriate path to each script.

Input Formats

The scripts should work with any of the input formats pandoc supports, but note that pandoc's support for some input formats is less robust than others. The most robust input format is pandoc's extended markdown.

The scripts make no attempt to determine the input filetype. They pass the input filename to pandoc, and pandoc tries to infer the format from the extension.

Hacking Away

Open an Applet or Service with Automator. Edit the embedded script to your liking. Here is what a typical script looks like:


for file in "$@"
    cd "${file%/*}"
    pandoc "$file" -o "$output" --latex-engine xelatex