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Convert Pandoc Markdown-style footnotes into sidenotes


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Convert Pandoc Markdown-style footnotes into sidenotes

This is a simple Pandoc filter to convert footnotes into a format that can be consumed by Tufte CSS and Pandoc Markdown CSS Theme.

As a command line utility, the project may be used by calling pandoc --filter pandoc-sidenote. To see it in action, see Tufte Pandoc CSS, a project which uses it. In particular, take a look at the Makefile included in that project.

Further, the core functionality is also exposed as a library, which can be called by Haskell applications such as Hakyll. It comes in two different flavours:

  • SideNote.hs: An implementation making use of pandoc's native Span constructors. This is what's used in the pandoc-sidenote executable.

  • SideNoteHTML.hs: An implementation that converts the footnote directly into HTML, enabling the embedding of arbitrary blocks inside of side and marginnotes.

On the whole, each file weighs in at just about 100 lines of code—check them out if you're curious how they work.


pandoc-sidenote is build against a specific version of Pandoc. This table maps pandoc versions to pandoc-sidenote versions:

pandoc pandoc-sidenote
3.0 0.23.0
2.11 0.22.0, 0.22.1, 0.22.2
2.9 0.20.0
2.1, 1.19 0.19.0
1.18 0.9.0

If a newer version of pandoc has been released, the Stack build manifest will need to be adjusted for that version, and the project then rebuilt.



pandoc-sidenote is on Hackage and can thus be installed using cabal:

cabal install pandoc-sidenote


If you're on OS X, you can install the pandoc-sidenote binary from my Homebrew tap:

brew install jez/formulae/pandoc-sidenote

From Source

Otherwise, you'll have to install from source. This project is written in Haskell and built using Stack. If you're new to Haskell, now's a perfect time to wet your toes! Go install Stack first, then run these commands:

git clone

cd pandoc-sidenote

# this is going to be reaaally long the first time
stack build

# copy the compiled binary onto your PATH
stack install

Notes to myself

Side note: I run this command to generate the zip files attached to releases that are downloaded by the Homebrew formula:


It would be nice to get GitHub Actions set up to build and publish releases for each tagged commit automatically.

I run this command to publish packages to Hackage:

# First, edit `package.yaml` to remove `-Werror`, then:

stack upload .


MIT License