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wagtail-markdown: Markdown fields and blocks for Wagtail

Build status PyPI black status

Tired of annoying rich text editors getting in the way of your content input? Wish Wagtail worked more like a wiki? Well, now it can.

wagtail-markdown provides Markdown field support for Wagtail. Specifically, it provides:

  • A wagtailmarkdown.blocks.MarkdownBlock for use in StreamFields.
  • A wagtailmarkdown.fields.MarkdownField for use in Page models.
  • A wagtailmarkdown.edit_handlers.MarkdownPanel for use in the editor interface.
  • A markdown template tag.

The markdown rendered is based on python-markdown, but with several extensions to make it actually useful in Wagtail:

These are implemented using the python-markdown extension interface.


Available on PyPI -

Install using pip (pip install wagtail-markdown), poetry (poetry add wagtail-markdown) or your package manager of choice.

After installing the package, add wagtailmarkdown to the list of installed apps in your settings file:


    # ...


All wagtail-markdown settings are defined in a single WAGTAILMARKDOWN dictionary in your settings file:


    "autodownload_fontawesome": False,
    "allowed_tags": [],  # optional. a list of HTML tags. e.g. ['div', 'p', 'a']
    "allowed_styles": [],  # optional. a list of styles
    "allowed_attributes": {},  # optional. a dict with HTML tag as key and a list of attributes as value
    "allowed_settings_mode": "extend",  # optional. Possible values: "extend" or "override". Defaults to "extend".
    "extensions": [],  # optional. a list of python-markdown supported extensions
    "extension_configs": {},  # optional. a dictionary with the extension name as key, and its configuration as value
    "extensions_settings_mode": "extend",  # optional. Possible values: "extend" or "override". Defaults to "extend".

Note: allowed_tags, allowed_styles, allowed_attributes, extensions and extension_configs are added to the default wagtail-markdown settings.

Custom FontAwesome Configuration - autodownload_fontawesome

The EasyMDE editor is compatible with FontAwesome 5. By default, EasyMDE will get version 4.7.0 from a CDN. To specify your own version, set


    # ...
    "autodownload_fontawesome": False,

Get the desired FontAwesome version. For the latest version you can use:

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{ "query": "query { release(version: \"latest\") { version } }" }' \

then add the following to a wagtail_hooks module in a registered app in your application:

# Content of app_name/
from wagtail.core import hooks
from django.conf import settings
from django.utils.html import format_html

def import_fontawesome_stylesheet():
    elem = '<link rel="stylesheet" href="{}path/to/font-awesome.min.css">'.format(
    return format_html(elem)

Note that due to the way EasyMDE defines the toolbar icons it is not compatible with Wagtail FontAwesome

Using with django-compressor

You may have your own SCSS sources that you want to precompile on the fly. We can invoke django-compressor to fetch our Font Awesome SCSS sources like this:

# Content of app_name/
from compressor.css import CssCompressor
from wagtail.core import hooks
from django.conf import settings
from django.utils.html import format_html

def import_fontawesome_stylesheet():
    elem = '<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/x-scss" href="{}scss/fontawesome.scss">'.format(
    compressor = CssCompressor("css", content=elem)
    output = ""
    for s in compressor.hunks():
        output += s
    return format_html(output)

Markdown extensions - extensions/extension_configs

You can configure wagtail-markdown to use additional Markdown extensions using the extensions setting.

For example, to enable the Table of Contents and Sane Lists extensions:

    # ...
    "extensions": ["toc", "sane_lists"]

Extensions can be configured too:

    # ...
    "extension_configs": {"pymdownx.arithmatex": {"generic": True}}

Allowed HTML - allowed_styles / allowed_attributes / allowed_tags

wagtail-markdown uses bleach to sanitise the input. To extend the default bleach configurations, you can add your own allowed tags, styles or attributes:

    # ...
    "allowed_tags": ["i"],
    "allowed_styles": ["some_style"],
    "allowed_attributes": {"i": ["aria-hidden"]},

Syntax highlighting

Syntax highlighting using codehilite is an optional feature, which works by adding CSS classes to the generated HTML. To use these classes, you will need to install Pygments (pip install Pygments), and to generate an appropriate stylesheet. You can generate one as per the Pygments documentation, with:

from pygments.formatters import HtmlFormatter


Save the output to a file and reference it somewhere that will be picked up on pages rendering the relevant output, e.g. your base template:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="{% static 'path/to/pygments.css' %}">

EasyMDE configuration

You can customise the EasyMDE options. To do this, create a JavaScript file in your app (for example my_app_name/static/js/easymde_custom.js) and add the following:

window.wagtailMarkdown = window.wagtailMarkdown || {};
window.wagtailMarkdown.options = window.wagtailMarkdown.options || {};
window.wagtailMarkdown.options.spellChecker = false;

This overrides a specific option and leaves any other ones untouched. If you want to override all options, you can do:

window.wagtailMarkdown = window.wagtailMarkdown || {};
window.wagtailMarkdown.options = {
    spellChecker: false,

To make sure that your JavaScript is executed, create a hook in my_app_name/

from django.templatetags.static import static
from django.utils.html import format_html

from wagtail import hooks

@hooks.register("insert_global_admin_js", order=100)
def global_admin_js():
    """Add /static/js/admin/easymde_custom.js to the admin."""
    return format_html('<script src="{}"></script>', static("js/easymde_custom.js"))

Inline links

wagtail-markdown supports custom inline links syntax:

Link to Syntax Notes
Pages [title](page:PAGE_ID) PAGE_ID is the page ID
Documents [title](doc:DOCUMENT_ID) DOCUMENT_ID is the document ID
Media [title](media:MEDIA_ID) Needs wagtailmedia. MEDIA_ID is the media item ID
Images ![alt text](image:IMAGE_ID) Renders an image tag. IMAGE_ID is the image ID
↳ with class attribute ![alt text](image:IMAGE_ID,class=the-class-name) adds class="the-class-name" to the ` tag
↳ with rendition filter ![alt text](image:IMAGE_ID,filter=fill-200x200&#x7c;format-webp) Uses the same format as generating renditions in Python
↳ class name and filter can be stacked ![alt text](image:IMAGE_ID,class=the-class-name,filter=width-100)

Previously we supported custom link tags that used the target object title. They had the following form:

  • <:My page name|link title> or <:page:My page title>
  • <:doc:My fancy document.pdf>
  • <:image:My pretty image.jpeg>, <:image:My pretty image.jpeg|left> (left classname), <:image:My pretty image.jpeg|right> (right classname), <:image:My pretty image.jpeg|full> (full-name classname), <:image:My pretty image.jpeg|width=123> (outputs a rendition with width-123, and class left)

⚠️ these types of tags are not reliable as titles can and will change. Support for will be removed in the future.


You can use it as a StreamField block:

from wagtail.core.blocks import StreamBlock

from wagtailmarkdown.blocks import MarkdownBlock

class MyStreamBlock(StreamBlock):
    markdown = MarkdownBlock(icon="code")
    # ...

Or use as a page field:

from wagtail.admin.edit_handlers import FieldPanel
from wagtail.core.models import Page

from wagtailmarkdown.fields import MarkdownField

class MyPage(Page):
    body = MarkdownField()

    content_panels = [
        FieldPanel("title", classname="full title"),

And render the content in a template:

{% load wagtailmarkdown %}
{{ self.body|markdown }}


wagtail-markdown supports Wagtail 2.15 and above, python-markdown 3.3 and above.


All contributions are welcome!

Note that this project uses pre-commit. To set up locally:

# if you don't have it yet
$ pip install pre-commit
# go to the project directory
$ cd wagtail-markdown
# initialize pre-commit
$ pre-commit install

# Optional, run all checks once for this, then the checks will run only on the changed files
$ pre-commit run --all-files

How to run tests

Now you can run tests as shown below:

tox -p

or, you can run them for a specific environment tox -e py39-django3.2-wagtail2.15 or specific test tox -e py39-django3.2-wagtail2.15 tests.testapp.tests.test_admin.TestFieldsAdmin