Starter files for using Pandoc Markdown with Tufte CSS
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Tufte Pandoc CSS

Starter files for using Pandoc Markdown with Tufte CSS

This project aims to provide a standard set of project starter files for working with Pandoc and Tufte CSS. It features:

  • extra CSS styles for things like tables and syntax highlighted code
  • tweaks to the CSS to get HTML produced by Pandoc to play nicely with Tufte CSS
  • an optional Solarized light color scheme for code blocks
  • a modular separation of these components--you can select which you want
  • an HTML5 template file that sets up the document the way Tufte CSS expects
  • support for lots of Pandoc markdown features, including
    • footnotes as side notes
    • footnotes as margin notes
    • metadata like title, subtitle, date, and author
    • LaTeX using MathJax or KaTeX

Apart from projects like Tufte CSS & Pandoc, the main project that enables this project is pandoc-sidenote, a project which converts Pandoc Markdown-style footnotes ([^1]) into side notes.

Looking to use this with Jekyll?

You might be interested in Tufte Pandoc Jekyll, which wraps the files distributed here into a Jekyll gem-based theme.

Table of Contents


If you haven't already, I encourage you to explore the projects that have been built on top of here:

  • Pandoc - a universal document converter
  • Tufte CSS - style your webpage like Edward Tufte's handouts
  • pandoc-sidenote - convert Pandoc Markdown-style footnotes into sidenotes



This project is always tested relative to:

  • the most recent master commit of tufte-css.
  • the latest release version of pandoc

In particular, you'll need at least Pandoc version 2.0.

This project is meant to be a set of starter files for your next project. What that ultimately means is that you should use these files however your heart sees fit. In practice, here are some tips for some things you may want to do to get set up.

First, install pandoc-sidenote to your PATH.

  • This lets pandoc compile footnotes into sidenotes.
  • Instructions are on the pandoc-sidenote homepage.

Second, download tufte.css and the et-book/ font folder.

  • Head over to tufte-css to download these.
  • You should be able to work with any version of Tufte CSS, assuming things haven't changed too much.
  • If things don't seem to be working, try using the version stashed in the tufte-css/ folder in this repo (it's a submodule).

Third, there are a number of static files you can download and place where you see fit:

  • tufte.html5
    • This is an HTML5 compatible template for use with Pandoc's --template flag.
    • It sets up the document structure in a way Tufte CSS expects.
  • pandoc.css
    • This CSS file has styles for things like sections, author & date information, highlighted code blocks, and tables.
  • pandoc-solarized.css (optional)
    • This sets up highlighted code blocks to use the Solarized Light color theme
  • tufte-extra.css (optional)
    • This makes some "personal preference" tweaks to Tufte CSS. It is NOT required.

Finally, you'll want the Makefile.

  • The Makefile usage is explained below.


The best way to learn to use this project is to read the documentation--both online and in the source code. You'll probably want to look through things in this order

  1. The re-implementation of the Tufte CSS homepage in Pandoc Markdown
  • Remember to read the source!
  1. The Tufte Pandoc CSS homepage, which documents the additional features specific to this project.
  • Remember to read the source!
  1. The included [Makefile], which compiles *.md files into *.html files using pandoc with the correct options.
  2. The Pandoc homepage. Not everything you see here will work with this project, but if you think something should work that doesn't, open an issue.
    • You'll probably want to just skim this... it's lengthy!

Once you have an understanding of what Markdown features are available, you can use the Makefile to compile your Markdown files.

For example, this is how we build the homepage for this site:

make docs/

and here's how we build all the site files:

make docs

Assuming you've laid out your directory identically to this repo, you can pass the name of any *.md file to convert it into an appropriately named *.html file.



MIT License