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A Python-Markdown extension which provides an 'include' function

Project description


This is an extension to Python-Markdown which provides an "include" function, similar to that found in LaTeX (and also the C pre-processor and Fortran). I originally wrote it for my FORD Fortran auto-documentation generator.


This module can now be installed using pip.

pip install markdown-include


Use the unittest module

python -m unittest discover unittests/


This module can be used in a program in the following way:

import markdown
html = markdown.markdown(source, extensions=['markdown_include.include'])

Markdown-Include can also be included in MkDocs projects like below:

    - markdown_include.include:
        base_path: docs

The syntax for use within your Markdown files is {!filename!}. This statement will be replaced by the contents of filename. Markdown-Include will work recursively, so any included files within filename will also be included. This replacement is done prior to any other Markdown processing, so any Markdown syntax that you want can be used within your included files. Note that this is a change from the previous version. It was felt that this syntax was less likely to conflict with any code fragments present in the Markdown.

By default, all file-names are evaluated relative to the location from which Markdown is being called. If you would like to change the directory relative to which paths are evaluated, then this can be done by specifying the extension setting base_path.

Line Ranges

You can also define specific lines or line ranges to include by specifying lines:

{!filename!lines=1  3 8-10  2}

lines takes a sequence of integers separated by spaces (one or more), or it can also take line ranges specified with a start line and an end line separated by a dash (-).

In the example above, it would read the file called filename and include the lines 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 2.

Notice that line 9 was not explicitly set. But it was still included as part of the range 8-10.

Also, notice that line 2 is set after the range 8-10. This means that the line 2 in filename will be included after (below) the range 8-10.

You can use this to include lines in a different order than the original file. But it also means that if you want to preserve the original order, you have to pay attention to the order in which you specify the lines.


The following settings can be specified when initialising the plugin.

  • base_path: Default location from which to evaluate relative paths for the include statement. (Default: the run-directory.)
  • encoding: Encoding of the files used by the include statement. (Default: utf-8.)
  • inheritHeadingDepth : If true, increases headings on include file by amount of previous heading. Combiens with headingOffset option, below. (Default: False.)
  • headingOffset: Increases heading depth by a specific ammount, in addition to the inheritHeadingDepth Option. (Default: 0)
  • throwException: When true, if the extension is unable to find an included file it will throw an exception which the user can catch. If false (default), a warning will be printed and Markdown will continue parsing the file.


An example of setting the base path and file encoding is given below:

import markdown
from markdown_include.include import MarkdownInclude

# Markdown Extensions
markdown_include = MarkdownInclude(
    configs={'base_path':'/srv/content/', 'encoding': 'iso-8859-1'}
html = markdown.markdown(source, extensions=[markdown_include])

Included files can inherit the heading depth of the location inheritHeadingDepth, as well as receive a specific offset, headingOffset For example, consider the files

Source file
# Heading Level 1 of main file


## Heading Level 2 of main file



# This heading will be one level deeper from the previous heading
More included file content.
End of included content.

Then running the script

import markdown
from markdown_include.include import MarkdownInclude

# Markdown Extensions
markdown_include = MarkdownInclude(
html = markdown.markdown(source, extensions=[markdown_include])


<p>Source file</p>
<h1>Heading Level 1 of main file</h1>
<h2>This heading will be one level deeper from the previous heading</h2>
<p>More included file content.</p>
<p>End of included content.</p>
<h2>Heading Level 2 of main file</h2>
<h3>This heading will be one level deeper from the previous heading</h3>
<p>More included file content.</p>
<p>End of included content.</p>


Version 0.7.0

Modified to work with Python-Markdown 3.4. This makes the plugin incompatible with versions < 3.0.

Version 0.6.0

  • Added ability ot offset headers in the included file so they fall under the header level in which the include occurs
  • Add option to throw exception when can't find an include file (instead of printing a warning)
  • Fixed stripping of last character in file, so only occurs if it is a new-line
  • Some behind-the-scenes improvement to code and documentation

Version 0.5.1

Bugfix for a syntax error.

Version 0.5

Corrected some errors in documentation and merged in commits of diegobz to add support for encoding and tidy up the source code.

Version 0.4

Fixed problem related to passing configurations to the extension.

Version 0.3

Added support for Python 3.

Version 0.2

Changed the API to be less likely to conflict with other syntax.

Version 0.1

Initial release.

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