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An MkDocs plugin to call plantuml locally or remote

Project description

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About the Project

This plugin automates the generation of PlantUML image files when using mkdocs serve.

The motivation behind this plugin is to provide a solution for users who prefer not to use inline diagrams and have encountered challenges with non-functional !includes.

Note: If you want inline diagrams in your Markdown files

Alice -> Bob

this plugin does not meet your requirements. Please check out plantuml-markdown which does exactly that.


You need to have installed:

  • Python3 (>= 3.12)
  • MkDocs
  • Java for Plantuml (If running locally)
  • Plantuml (if running locally)
  • This plugin (needs httplib2 for server rendering)

On macOS you can install plantuml with homebrew which puts a plantuml executable in /usr/local/bin/plantuml.


pip3 install mkdocs-build-plantuml-plugin


Plugin Settings

In mkdocs.yml add this plugin section (depicted are the default values):

  - search
  - build_plantuml:
      render: 'server' # or "local" for local rendering
      bin_path: '/usr/local/bin/plantuml' # ignored when render: server
      server: '' # official plantuml server
      disable_ssl_certificate_validation: true # for self-signed and invalid certs
      output_format: 'svg' # or "png"
      allow_multiple_roots: false # in case your codebase contains more locations for diagrams (all ending in diagram_root)
      diagram_root: 'docs/diagrams' # should reside under docs_dir
      output_folder: 'out'
      input_folder: 'src'
      input_extensions: '' # comma separated list of extensions to parse, by default every file is parsed

It is recommended to use the server option, which is much faster than local.

Example folder structure

This would result in this directory layout:

docs/                         # the default MkDocs docs_dir directory
    include/                  # for include files like theme.puml etc (optional, won't be generated)
    out/                      # the generated images, which can be included in your md files
      subdir1/file1.svg       # you can organise your diagrams in subfolders, see below
    src/                      # the Plantuml sources
mkdocs.yml                    # mkdocs configuration file

When starting with mkdocs serve, it will create all diagrams initially.

Afterwards, it checks if the *.puml (or other ending) file has a newer timestamp than the corresponding file in out. If so, it will generate a new image (works also with includes). This way, it won‘t take long until the site reloads and does not get into a loop.

Including generated images

Inside your or any other Markdown file you can then reference any created image as usual:

# My MkDocs Document

## Example Plantuml Images



Dark Mode Support

Since Version 1.4 this plugin can support dark mode when rendering with server (prefers-color-scheme).

Note: Not in local mode, only server rendering mode

  1. Grab a general (ie. for Material Theme) dark mode support css file (i.e. from henrywhitaker3/mkdocs-material-dark-theme) for your theme

  2. Enable theme support in this plugin:

     - build_plantuml:
         theme_enabled: true
         theme_folder: "include/themes"
         theme_light: "light.puml"
         theme_dark: "dark.puml"
  3. You have to provide two puml theme files, ie mydarkmode.puml and mylightmode.puml

  4. In the out directory a <file>.<ext> will be created and additionally a <file>_dark.<ext>

  5. Insert your images in markdown with ![file](diagrams/out/file.svg#darkable) (this selector is then used in the JS file to know which images have to be exchanged)

  6. provide extra_javascript file which handles the switch

You can find an example in the example folder

Example Output


Known restrictions

  • If you use !include and the render: "server" option, this plugin merges those files manually. If there are any issues or side effects because of that, please open a ticket.
  • Dark mode / theme support is currently only available in server rendering mode.


Contributions are welcome! If you find any issues or have suggestions for improvements, please open an issue or submit a pull request.

Project details

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mkdocs-build-plantuml-plugin-1.11.0.tar.gz (8.9 kB view hashes)

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