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Re:VIEW Format Guide

The document is a brief guide for Re:VIEW markup syntax.

Re:VIEW is based on EWB of ASCII (now KADOKAWA), influenced RD and other Wiki system's syntax.

This document explains about the format of Re:VIEW 5.1.


Paragraphs are separated by an empty line.


This is a paragraph, paragraph,
and paragraph.

Next paragraph here is ...

Two empty lines or more are same as one empty line.

Chapter, Section, Subsection (headings)

Chapters, sections, subsections, subsubsections use =, ==, ===, ====, =====, and ======. You should add one or more spaces after =.


= 1st level (chapter)

== 2nd level (section)

=== 3rd level (subsection)

==== 4th level

===== 5th level

====== 6th level

Headings should not have any spaces before title; if line head has space, it is as paragraph.

You should add emply lines between Paragraphs and Headings.


[column] in a heading are column's caption.


===[column] Compiler-compiler

= and [column] should be closed to. Any spaces are not permitted.

Columns are closed with next headings.

== head 01

===[column] a column

== head 02 and the end of  'a column'

If you want to close column without headings, you can use ===[/column]


===[column] Compiler-compiler

Compiler-compiler is ...


blah, blah, blah (this is paragraphs outside of the column)

There are some more options of headings.

  • [nonum] : no numbering, but add it into TOC (Table of Contents).
  • [nodisp] : not display in document, only in TOC.
  • [notoc] : no numbering, not in TOC.


Itemize (ul in HTML) uses * (one space char and asterisk).

Nested itemize is like **, ***.


 * 1st item
 ** nested 1st item
 * 2nd item
 ** nested 2nd item
 * 3rd item

In itemize, you must write one more space character at line head. When you use * without spaces in line head, it's just paragraph.

You should add emply lines between Paragraphs and Itemize (same as Ordered and Non-Orderd).

Ordered Itemize

Ordered itemize (ol in HTML) uses 1. ..., 2. ..., 3. .... They aren't nested.


 1. 1st condition
 2. 2nd condition
 3. 3rd condition

The value of Number is ignored.

 1. 1st condition
 1. 2nd condition
 1. 3rd condition

You must write one more space character at line head like itemize.

Definition List

Definition list (dl in HTML) uses : and indented lines.


 : Alpha
    RISC CPU made by DEC.
    RSIC CPU made by IBM and Motolora.
    POWER PC is delivered from this.
    RISC CPU made by SUN.

: in line head is not used as a text. The text after : is as the term (dt in HTML).

In definition list, : at line head allow space characters. After dt line, space-indented lines are descriptions(dd in HTML).

You can use inline markup in texts of lists.

Block Commands and Inline Commands

With the exception of headings and lists, Re:VIEW supports consistent syntax.

Block commands are used for multiple lines to add some actions (ex. decoration).

The syntax of block commands is below:

(content lines, sometimes separated by empty lines)

If there is no options, the begining line is just //command{. When you want to use a character ], you must use escaping \].

Some block commands has no content.


Inline commands are used in block, paragraphes, headings, block contents and block options.


When you want to use a character } in inline content, you must use escaping \}. If the content ends with \, it must be written \\. (ex. @<tt>{\\})

There are some limitations in blocks and inlines.

  • Block commands do not support nestins. You cannot write blocks in another block.
  • You cannot write headings and itemize in block contents.
  • Inline commands also do not support nestins. You cannot write inlines in another inline.

Fence notation for inline commands

You may be tired of escaping when you use a large number of inline commands including { and \. By surrounding the contents with $ $ or | | instead of { }, you can write without escaping.



@<m>$\Delta = \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x_1^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x_2^2} + \cdots + \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x_n^2}$
@<tt>|if (exp) then { ... } else { ... }|

Since this notation is substitute, please avoid abuse.

Code List

Code list like source codes is //list. If you don't need numbers, you can use em prefix (as embedded). If you need line numbers, you can use num postfix. So you can use four types of lists.

  • //list[ID][caption][language]{ ... //}
    • normal list. language is optional.
  • //listnum[ID][caption][language]{ ... //}
    • normal list with line numbers. language is optional.
  • //emlist[caption][language]{ ... //}
    • list without caption counters. caption and language are optional.
  • //emlistnum[caption][language]{ ... //}
    • list with line numbers without caption counters. caption and language are optional.


//list[main][main()][c]{    ←ID is `main`, caption is `main()`
main(int argc, char **argv)
    return 0;


//listnum[hello][hello world][ruby]{
puts "hello world!"




puts "hello world!"

The Language option is used for highlightings.

You can use inline markup in blocks.

When you refer a list like see list X, you can use an ID in //list such as @<list>{main}.

When you refer a list in the other chapter, you can use an ID with chapter ID, such like @<list>{advanced|main}, to refer a list main in

define line number of first line in code block

If you want to start with specified number as line number, you can use firstlinenum command.


puts "hello world!"

Quoting Source Code

//source is for quoting source code. filename is mandatory.


puts "hello world!"

//source and //emlist with caption is not so different. You can use them with different style with CSS (in HTML) and style file (in LaTeX).

//source can be referred same as the list.


When you ..., see @<list>{hello}.

Inline Source Code

You can use @<code>{...} in inline context.


@<code>{p = obj.ref_cnt}

Shell Session

When you want to show command line operation, you can use //cmd{ ... //}. You can use inline commands in this command.


$ @<b>{ls /}

You can use inline markup in //cmd blocks.


You can use //image{ ... //} for figures. You can write comments or Ascii art in the block as an alternative description. When publishing, it's simply ignored.


//image[unixhistory][a brief history of UNIX-like OS]{
          System V
            +----------- SVr4 --> Commercial UNIX(Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, ...)
V1 --> V6 --|
            +--------- 4.4BSD --> FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, ...

            --------------> Linux

The third option is used to define the scale of images. scale=X is scaling for page width (scale=0.5 makes image width to be half of page width). If you'd like to use different values for each builders, such as HTML and TeX, you can specify the target builders using ::. Example: html::style="transform: scale(0.5);",latex::scale=0.5

When you want to refer images such as "see figure 1.", you can use inline reference markup like @<img>{unixhistory}.

When you refer a image in the other chapter, you can use the same way as a list reference. To refer a image unixhistory in, use @<img>{advanced|unixhistory}.

When you want to use images in paragraph or other inline context, you can use @<icon>.

Finding image pathes

The order of finding image is as follows. The first matched one is used.

1. <imgdir>/<builder>/<chapid>/<id>.<ext>
2. <imgdir>/<builder>/<chapid>-<id>.<ext>
3. <imgdir>/<builder>/<id>.<ext>
4. <imgdir>/<chapid>/<id>.<ext>
5. <imgdir>/<chapid>-<id>.<ext>
6. <imgdir>/<id>.<ext>
  • <imgdir> is images as default.
  • <builder> is a builder (target) name to use. When you use review-comile commmand with --target=html, <imagedir>/<builder> is images/html. The builder name for epubmaker and webmaker is html, for pdfmaker it is latex, and for textmaker it is top.
  • <chapid> is basename of *.re file. If the filename is, chapid is ch01.
  • <id> is the ID of the first argument of //image. You should use only printable ASCII characters as ID.
  • <ext> is file extensions of Re:VIEW. They are different by the builder you use.

For each builder, image files are searched in order of the following extensions, and the first hit file is adopted.

  • HTMLBuilder (EPUBMaker, WEBMaker), MARKDOWNBuilder: .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .svg
  • LATEXBuilder (PDFMaker): .ai, .eps, .pdf, .tif, .tiff, .png, .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif
  • Other builders/makers: .ai, .psd, .eps, .pdf, .tif, .tiff, .png, .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .svg

Inline Images

When you want to use images in paragraph, you can use the inline command @<icon>{ID}. The order of finding images are same as //image.

Images without caption counter

//indepimage[filename][caption] makes images without caption counter. caption is optional.



Note that there are similar markup //numberlessimage, but it is deprecated.

Figures with graph tools

Re:VIEW generates image files using graph tool with command //graph[filename][commandname][caption]. The caption is optional.

Usage: using with Gnuplot

plot sin(x)

You can use graphviz, gnuplot, blockdiag, aafigure, and plantuml as the command name. Before using these tools, you should installed them and configured path appropriately.


The markup of table is //table[ID][caption]{ ... //} You can separate header and content with ------------.

The columns are splitted by TAB character. Write . to blank cells. When the first character in the cell is ., the character is removed. If you want to write . at the first, you should write ...

When you want to use an empty column, you write ..


//table[envvars][Important environment varialbes]{
Name            Comment
PATH            Directories where commands exist
TERM            Terminal. ex: linux, kterm, vt100
LANG            default local of users. ja_JP.eucJP and ja_JP.utf8 are popular in Japan
LOGNAME         login name of the user
TEMP            temporary directory. ex: /tmp
PAGER           text viewer on man command. ex: less, more
EDITOR          default editor. ex: vi, emacs
MANPATH         Directories where sources of man exist
DISPLAY         default display of X Window System

When you want to write "see table X", you can write @<table>{envvars}.

You can use inline markup in the tables.

//table without arguments creates a table without numbering and captioning.


To create a table without numbering but with captioning, use //emtable.


Column width of table

When using LaTeX or IDGXML builder, you can specify each column width of the table with //tsize block command.

  • The collumn width is specified in mm.
  • For IDGXML, if only 1st of the three columns is specified, the remaining 2nd and 3rd columns will be the width of the remainder of the live area width equally divided. It is not possible to specify that only the 1st and 3rd columns are specified.
  • For LaTeX, you have to specify all column widths.
  • For LaTeX, you can also directly specify the column parameter of LaTeX table macro like //tsize[|latex||p{20mm}cr|].
  • In other builders such as HTML, this command is simply ignored.

Complex Table

If you want to use complex tables, you can use imgtable block command with an image of the table. imgtable supports numbering and @<table>.


//imgtable[complexmatrix][very complex table]{
to use image "complexmatrix".
The rule of finding images is same as image command.

Quoting Text

You can use //quote{ ... //} as quotations.


Seeing is believing.

You can use inline markup in quotations.

Short column

Some block commands are used for short column.

  • //note[caption]{ ... //}
  • //memo[caption]{ ... //}
  • //tip[caption]{ ... //}
  • //info[caption]{ ... //}
  • //warning[caption]{ ... //}
  • //important[caption]{ ... //}
  • //caution[caption]{ ... //}
  • //notice[caption]{ ... //}

[caption] is optional.

The content is like paragraph; separated by empty lines.

From Re:VIEW 5.0, it is also possible to include itemize, figures and tables in short columns.


With ordered itemize.

 1. item1
 2. item2



You can use //footnote to write footnotes.


You can get the packages from support site for the book.@<fn>{site}
You should get and install it before reading the book.
//footnote[site][support site of the book: ]

@<fn>{site} in source are replaced by footnote marks, and the phrase "support site of .." is in footnotes.

Note that in LATEXBuilder, it is highly recommended to place //footnote after the end line of column (==[/column]) to avoid problems when using third party's style file.

footnotetext option

Note that in LATEXBuilder, you should use footnotetext option to use @<fn>{...} in //note or other short column blocks.

By adding footnotetext:true in config.yml, you can use footnote in tables and short notes.

Note that there are some constraints that (because of normal footnote )

And you cannot use footnote and footnotemark/footnotetext at the same time.

Note that with this option, Re:VIEW use footnotemark and footnotetext instead of normal footnote. There are some constraints to use this option. You cannot use footnote and footnotemark/footnotetext at the same time.


When you want to use a bibliography, you should write them in the file


The comment is optional.



//bibpaper[lins][Lins, 1991]{
Refael D. Lins. A shared memory architecture for parallel study of
algorithums for cyclic reference_counting. Technical Report 92,
Computing Laboratory, The University of Kent at Canterbury , August

When you want to refer some references, You should write as:


… is the well-known project.(@<bib>{lins})

Lead Sentences

lead sentences are //lead{ ... //}. You can write as //read{ ... //}.


In the chapter, I introduce brief summary of the book,
and I show the way how to write a program in Linux.

TeX Equations

You can use //texequation{ ... //} to insert mathematical equations of LaTeX.



If you'd like to assign a number like 'Equation 1.1`, specify the identifier and caption.

//texequation[emc][The Equivalence of Mass and Energy]{

To reference this, use the inline command @<eq>.

There is @<m>{ ... } for inline (see "Fence notation for inline commands" section also).

Whether LaTeX formula is correctly displayed or not depends on the processing system. PDFMaker uses LaTeX internally, so there is no problem.

In EPUBMaker and WEBMaker, you can choose between MathML conversion, MathJax conversion, and imaging.

MathML case

Install MathML library (gem install math_ml).

Specify in config.yml as follows:

math_format: mathml

Whether it is displayed properly in MathML depends on your viewer or browser.

MathJax case

Specify in config.yml as follows:

math_format: mathjax

MathJax JavaScript module is loaded from the Internet. Because the EPUB specification prohibits loading files from external, enabling this feature will cause the EPUB file to fail validation. Also MathJax will not work in almost all EPUB readers, but may be available with CSS formatting processor.

imaging case

This way calls LaTeX internally and images it with an external tool. Image files will be placed in images/_review_math folder.

You need TeXLive or other LaTeX environment. Modify the parameters of texcommand, texoptions, dvicommand, dvioptions in config.yml as necessary.

In addition, external tools for image conversion are also needed. Currently, it supports the following two methods.

  • pdfcrop: cut out the formula using pdfcrop command (included in TeXLive) and image it. By default, pdftocairo command is used (included in Poppler library). You can change it to another tool if available on the command line.
  • dvipng: it uses dvipng to cut out and to image. You can install with OS package or tlmgr install dvipng.

By setting in config.yml,

math_format: imgmath

it is set as follows:

  # format. png|svg
  format: png
  # conversion method. pdfcrop|dvipng
  converter: pdfcrop
  # custom preamble file (default: for upLaTeX+jsarticle.cls, see lib/review/makerhelper.rb#default_imgmath_preamble)
  preamble_file: null
  # default font size
  fontsize: 10
  # default line height
  lineheight: 12
  # pdfcrop command.
  # %i: filename for input %o: filename for output
  pdfcrop_cmd: "pdfcrop --hires %i %o"
  # imaging command.
  # %i: filename for input %o: filename for output %O: filename for output without the extension
  # %p: page number, %t: format
  pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd: "pdftocairo -%t -r 90 -f %p -l %p -singlefile %i %O"
  # whether to generate a single PDF page for pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd.
  extract_singlepage: null
  # command line to generate a single PDF page file.
  pdfextract_cmd: "pdfjam -q --outfile %o %i %p"
  # dvipng command.
  dvipng_cmd: "dvipng -T tight -z 9 -p %p -l %p -o %o %i"

For example, to make SVG:

math_format: imgmath
  format: svg
  pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd: "pdftocairo -svg -r 90 -f %p -l %p -singlefile %i %o"

By default, the command specified in pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd takes the filename of multi-page PDF consisting of one formula per page.

If you want to use the sips command or the magick command, they can only process a single page, so you need to set extract_singlepage: true to extract the specified page from the input PDF. pdfjam command (in TeXLive) is used to extract pages.

math_format: imgmath
  extract_singlepage: true
  # use pdftk instead of default pdfjam (for Windows)
  pdfextract_cmd: "pdftk A=%i cat A%p output %o"
  # use ImageMagick
  pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd: "magick -density 200x200 %i %o"
  # use sips
  pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd: "sips -s format png --out %o %i"

To create PDF math images:

math_format: imgmath
  format: pdf
  extract_singlepage: true
  pdfextract_cmd: "pdftk A=%i cat A%p output %o"
  pdfcrop_pixelize_cmd: "mv %i %o"

To set the same setting as Re:VIEW 2:

math_format: imgmath
  converter: dvipng
  fontsize: 12
  lineheight: 14.3


//noindent is a tag for spacing.

  • //noindent : ingore indentation immediately following line. (in HTML, add noindent class)

Blank line

//blankline put an empty line.


Insert one blank line below.


Insert two blank line below.


Referring headings

There are 3 inline commands to refer a chapter. These references use Chapter ID. The Chapter ID is filename of chapter without extentions. For example, Chapter ID of is advance.

  • @<chap>{ChapterID} : chapter number (ex. Chapter 17).
  • @<title>{ChapterID} : chapter title
  • @<chapref>{ChapterID} : chapter number and chapter title (ex. Chapter 17. other topics).

@<hd> generate referred section title and section number. You can use deeper section with separator |.


@<hd>{intro|first section}

If section title is unique, | is not needed.

@<hd>{first section}

If you want to refer another chapter (file), you should add the chapter ID.


@<hd>{preface|Introduction|first section}

When section has the label, you can use the label.

=={intro} Introduction
=== first section
@<hd>{intro|first section}

Heading of columns

You can refer the heading of a column with @<column>.


@<column>{The usage of Re:VIEW}

You can refer labels.

==[column]{review-application} The application of Re:VIEW


You can add a hyperlink with @<href> and //label. Notation of the markup is @<href>{URL, anchor}. If you can use URL itself as anchor, use @<href>{URL}. If you want to use , in URL, use \,.


@<href>{, GitHub}
@<href>{#point1, point1 in document}
@<href>{chap1.html#point1, point1 in document}

Words file

By creating a word file with key / value pair, @<w>{key} or @<wb>{key} will be expanded the key to the corresponding value. @<wb> means bold style.

This word file is a CSV file with extension .csv. This first columns is the key, the second row is the value.

"LGPL","Lesser General Public License"

Specify the word file path in words_file parameter of config.yml. You can specify multiple word files as word_file: ["common.csv", "mybook.csv"].


@<w>{LGPL}, @<wb>{i18n}

(In HTML:)

Lesser General Public License, ★"i"nternationalizatio"n"☆

Values are escaped by the builder. It is not possible to include inline commands in the value.


If you want to write some comments that do not output in the document, you can use comment notation #@#.


#@# Must one empty line

If you want to write some warnings, use #@warn(...).



When you want to write comments in the output document, use //comment and @<comment> with the option --draft of review-compile command.



Raw Data Block

When you want to write non-Re:VIEW line, use //raw or //embed.

//raw block


//raw[|html|<div class="special">\nthis is a special line.\n</div>]

In above line, html is a builder name that handle raw data. You can use html, latex, idgxml and top as builder name. You can specify multiple builder names with separator ,. \n is translated into newline(U+000A).


(In HTML:)

<div class="special">
this is a special line.

(In other formats, it is just ignored.)

Note: //raw and @<raw> may break structured document easily.

//embed block


<div class="special">
this is a special line.

<div class="special">
this is a special line.

In above line, html and markdown is a builder name that handle raw data.


(In HTML:)

<div class="special">
this is a special line.

(In other formats, it is just ignored.)

Nested itemize block

Re:VIEW itemize blocks basically cannot express nested items. Also, none of itemize blocks allow to contain another itemize block or paragraph/image/table/list.

As a workaround, Re:VIEW 4.2 provides an experimental //beginchild and //endchild. If you want to include something in an itemize block, enclose it with //beginchild and //endchild. It is also possible to create a multiple nest.

 * UL1

#@# child of UL1 start

 1. UL1-OL1

#@# child of UL1-OL1 start


 * UL1-OL1-UL1
 * UL1-OL1-UL2

#@# child of UL1-OL1 end

 2. UL1-OL2

 : UL1-DL1
 : UL1-DL2

#@# child of UL1 end

 * UL2


(In HTML:)




(This is an experimental implementation. Names and behaviors may change in future versions.)

Inline Commands


@<kw>{Credential, credential}:: keyword.
@<bou>{appropriate}:: bou-ten.
@<ami>{point}:: ami-kake (shaded text)
@<u>{AB}:: underline
@<b>{Please}:: bold
@<i>{Please}:: italic
@<strong>{Please}:: strong(emphasis)
@<em>{Please}:: another emphasis
@<tt>{foo($bar)}:: teletype (monospaced font)
@<tti>{FooClass}:: teletype (monospaced font) and italic
@<ttb>{BarClass}:: teletype (monospaced font) and bold
@<code>{}:: teletype (monospaced font) for fragments of code
@<tcy>{}:: short horizontal text in vertical text
@<ins>{sentence}:: inserted part (underline)
@<del>{sentence}:: deleted part (strike through)


@<chap>{advanced}:: chapter number like `Chapter 17`
@<title>{advanced}:: title of the chapter
@<chapref>{advanced}:: a chapter number and chapter title like `Chapter 17. advanced topic`
@<list>{program}:: `List 1.5`
@<img>{unixhistory}:: `Figure 1.3`
@<table>{ascii}:: `Table 1.2`
@<eq>{emc2}:: `Equation 1.1`
@<hd>{advanced|Other Topics}:: `7-3. Other Topics`
@<column>{another-column}:: reference of column.

Other inline commands

@<ruby>{Matsumoto, Matz}:: ruby markups
@<br>{}::  linebreak in paragraph
@<uchar>{2460}:: Unicode code point
@<href>{, google}:: hyper link(URL)
@<icon>{samplephoto}:: inline image
@<m>{a + \alpha}:: TeX inline equation
@<w>{key}:: expand the value corresponding to the key.
@<wb>{key}:: expand the value corresponding to the key with bold style.
@<raw>{|html|<span>ABC</span>}:: inline raw data inline. `\}` is `}`, `\\` is `\`, and `\n` is newline.
@<embed>{|html|<span>ABC</span>}:: inline raw data inline. `\}` is `}` and `\\` is `\`.
@<idx>{string}:: output a string and register it as an index. See
@<hidx>{string}:: register a string as an index. A leveled index is expressed like `parent<<>>child`
@<balloon>{abc}:: inline balloon in code block. For example, `@<balloon>{ABC}` produces `←ABC`. This may seem too simple. To decorate it, modify the style sheet file or override a function by `review-ext.rb`

Commands for Authors (pre-processor commands)

These commands are used in the output document. In contrast, commands as below are not used in the output document, used by the author.

#@#:: Comments. All texts in this line are ignored.
#@warn(...):: Warning messages. The messages are showed when pre-process.
#@require, #@provide:: Define dependency with keywords.
#@mapfile(filename) ... #@end:: Insert all content of files.
#@maprange(filename, range name) ... #@end:: Insert some area in content of files.
#@mapoutput(command) ... #@end:: Execute command and insert their output.

You should use these commands with preprocessor command review-preproc.

Internationalization (i18n)

Re:VIEW support I18N of some text like Chapter, Figure, and Table. Current default language is Japanese.

You add the file locale.yml in the project directory.

Sample local.yml file:

locale: en

If you want to customize texts, overwrite items. Default locale configuration file is in lib/review/i18n.yml.

Sample local.yml file:

locale: en
image: Fig.
table: Tbl.

Re:VIEW Custom Format

In locale.yml, you can use these Re:VIEW custom format.

  • %pA : Alphabet (A, B, C, ...)
  • %pa : alphabet (a, b, c, ...)
  • %pAW : Alphabet (Large Width) A, B, C, ...
  • %paW : alphabet (Large Width) a, b, c, ...
  • %pR : Roman Number (I, II, III, ...)
  • %pr : roman number (i, ii, iii, ...)
  • %pRW : Roman Number (Large Width) Ⅰ, Ⅱ, Ⅲ, ...
  • %pJ : Chainese Number 一, 二, 三, ...
  • `%pdW' : Arabic Number (Large Width for 0..9) 1, 2, ...,9, 10, ...
  • `%pDW' : Arabic Number (Large Width) 1, 2, ... 10, ...


locale: en
  part: Part. %pRW
  appendix: Appendix. %pA

Other Syntax

In Re:VIEW, you can add your customized blocks and inlines.

You can define customized commands in the file review-ext.rb.


# review-ext.rb
ReVIEW::Compiler.defblock :foo, 0..1
class ReVIEW::HTMLBuilder
  def foo(lines, caption = nil)
    puts lines.join(",")

You can add the syntax as below:

# Result

HTML/LaTeX Layout

layouts/layout.html.erb and layouts/layout.tex.erb are used as layout file. You can use ERb tags in the layout files.

Sample layout file(layout.html.erb):

    <title><%= @config["booktitle"] %></title>
    <%= @body %>
You can’t perform that action at this time.