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markdown2: A fast and complete implementation of Markdown in Python
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Markdown is a light text markup format and a processor to convert that to HTML. The originator describes it as follows:

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).


This (markdown2) is a fast and complete Python implementation of Markdown. It was written to closely match the behaviour of the original Perl-implemented Markdown2 also comes with a number of extensions (called "extras") for things like syntax coloring, tables, header-ids. See the "Extra Syntax" section below. "markdown2" supports all Python versions from 2.4 to 3.3 (and pypy and jython, though I don't frequently test those).

There is another Python However, at least at the time this project was started, was faster (see the Performance Notes) and, to my knowledge, more correct (see Testing Notes). That was a while ago though, so you shouldn't discount Python-markdown from your consideration.

Follow @trentmick for updates to python-markdown2. test status: Build Status


To install it in your Python installation run one of the following:

pip install markdown2
pypm install markdown2      # if you use ActivePython (
easy_install markdown2      # if this is the best you have
python install

However, everything you need to run this is in "lib/". If it is easier for you, you can just copy that file to somewhere on your PythonPath (to use as a module) or executable path (to use as a script).

Quick Usage

As a module:

>>> import markdown2
>>> markdown2.markdown("*boo!*")  # or use `html = markdown_path(PATH)`

>>> from markdown2 import Markdown
>>> markdowner = Markdown()
>>> markdowner.convert("*boo!*")
>>> markdowner.convert("**boom!**")

As a script (CLI):

$ python > foo.html

I think pip-based installation will enable this as well:

$ markdown2 > foo.html

See the project wiki, lib/ docstrings and/or python --help for more details.

Extra Syntax (aka extensions)

Many Markdown processors include support for additional optional syntax (often called "extensions") and markdown2 is no exception. With markdown2 these are called "extras". Using the "footnotes" extra as an example, here is how you use an extra ... as a module:

$ python --extras footnotes > foo.html

as a script:

>>> import markdown2
>>> markdown2.markdown("*boo!*", extras=["footnotes"])

There are a number of currently implemented extras for tables, footnotes, syntax coloring of <pre>-blocks, auto-linking patterns, table of contents, Smarty Pants (for fancy quotes, dashes, etc.) and more. See the Extras wiki page for full details.


The python-markdown2 project lives at (Note: On Mar 6, 2011 this project was moved from Google Code to here on Github.) See also, markdown2 on the Python Package Index (PyPI).

The change log:

To report a bug:


We welcome pull requests from the community. Please take a look at the TODO for opportunities to help this project. For those wishing to submit a pull request to python-markdown2 please ensure it fulfills the following requirements:

  • It must pass PEP8.
  • It must include relevant test coverage.
  • Bug fixes must include a regression test that exercises the bug.
  • The entire test suite must pass.
  • The README and/or docs are updated accordingly.

Test Suite

This markdown implementation passes a fairly extensive test suite. To run it:

make test

The crux of the test suite is a number of "cases" directories -- each with a set of matching .text (input) and .html (expected output) files. These are:

tm-cases/                   Tests authored for python-markdown2 (tm=="Trent Mick")
markdowntest-cases/         Tests from the 3rd-party MarkdownTest package
php-markdown-cases/         Tests from the 3rd-party MDTest package
php-markdown-extra-cases/   Tests also from MDTest package

See the Testing Notes wiki page for full details.

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