Skip to content


Repository files navigation

💦 backslide

NPM version Node version Build Status XO code style License

CLI tool for making HTML presentations with Remark.js using Markdown


See an example presentation here


  • Template generator with Sass styling
  • Live preview server
  • Self-contained HTML export
  • Automated PDF conversion
  • Multiple presentations support



npm install -g backslide
# or
yarn global add backslide


Backslide can be executed within a Docker container from the command-line using the Docker image available on GitLab Container Registry:

docker run --rm

See the How-to-use-this-image for more examples.


Usage: bs [init|serve|export|pdf] [options]

  i, init                 Init new presentation in current directory
    -t, --template <dir>  Use custom template directory
    --force               Overwrite existing files                 
  e, export [files]       Export markdown files to html slides [default: *.md]
    -o, --output          Output directory                     [default: dist]
    -r, --strip-notes     Strip presenter notes                     
    -h, --handouts        Strip slide fragments for handouts
    -l, --no-inline       Do not inline external resources
    -b, --web             Export as website, copying assets
  s, serve [dir]          Start dev server for specified dir.  [default: .]
    -p, --port            Port number to listen on             [default: 4100]
    -s, --skip-open       Do not open browser on start              
  p, pdf [files]          Export markdown files to pdf         [default: *.md]
    -h, --handouts        Strip slide fragments for handouts
    -o, --output          Output directory                     [default: pdf]
    -w, --wait            Wait time between slides in ms       [default: 1000]
    --verbose             Show Decktape console output
    -- [Decktape opts]    Pass any Decktape options directly

Creating a new presentation

Use bs init to create a new presentation along with a template directory in the current directory. The template directory is needed for backslide to transform your Markdown files into HTML presentations.

Then edit the file to get started.

You can create as many markdown presentations as you want in the directory, they will all be based on the same template.

If you want to start a new presentation using your own custom template, you can use bs init --template <your_template_dir>. You can also set the environment variable BACKSLIDE_TEMPLATE_DIR to change the default template used by bs init.

Making your slides

Use bs serve to start a development server with live reload. A page will automatically open in your web browser showing all your presentations.

Select one to see the preview, you can then edit your .md file and see the changes immediately as you save the file. Any style change will also be applied live.

Slides are written in Markdown, along with some useful Remark.js specific additions. See the Remark.js wiki for the specific syntax and helpers.

Customize style

Just edit the template/style.scss file and make changes according to your needs. The base theme already provides some helpful additions.

The stylesheet is written in Sass, but you can use plain CSS instead if you feel like it, as long as you don't change the file extension.

Exporting your slides

As self-contained HTML

Use bs export to export all your .md files as HTML presentations.

Everything will be inlined in the HTML document (scripts, css, etc) so you don't need a network to show your presentation. If you have images, it's best to include them as data-uri in your markdown, but local images links are inlined too during export.

If you have set a title variable in your document (like this title: My Awesome Presentation), it will be used as the HTML document title, otherwise the file name will be used.

Note: you can strip presenter notes from the exported HTML using the --strip-notes option, and remove slide fragments with the --handouts option.

As a website

Use bs export --web <file>.md to export a presentation into a static HTML website.

Files within the template folder and from the assets, images and img folders will be copied to the destination folder.

Converting your slides to PDF

Use bs pdf to export your all .md files as PDF presentations.

Note: you can remove slide fragements with the --handouts option.

This feature is based on Decktape.

For this feature to work, you need to install Decktape:

npm install -g decktape