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A minimalistic make for pandoc

Project description

pandocmk: a minmalist make tool for Pandoc

Writers of complex Pandoc documents often run into three issues:

  1. Very long command-line options that they need to remember (or copy-paste) all the time
  2. Need for extensibility, which can be mostly solved via filters (at the cost of #1)
  3. Pre/post processing tools, which can be solved via more complex one-liners (pandoc ... && SumatraPDF output.pdf && ...)

The goal of pandocmk is to simplify using Pandoc, by helping with #1 and a little bit with #3 (#2 is covered by e.g. panflute). It uses information from the YAML metadata field to build the command-line arguments, and also has extra arguments for extras I find useful (such as monitoring a file and auto-building as needed, auto-viewing in a PDF viewer, etc.).

Existing tools

There are several good existing tools:

  1. pandocomatic (Ruby)
  2. panrun (Ruby; powers panwriter)
  3. rmarkdown (R; powers bookdown and RStudio)
  4. panzer (Python; inactive)

However, they don't completely fill my needs, which leads to this package.


pandocmk has a few custom command-line options. Everything else is forwarded to Pandoc (and overrides whatever is set in the YAML metadata). Thus, in practice this is just a Pandoc wrapper with a few extras.

pandocmk [OPTIONS] [FILES]
  --view			open output file in a viewer such as SumatraPDF for .pdf
  --watch			monitor the input files for changes, and rebuild as needed
  --tex				save .tex output besides .pdf
  --timeit			show build time
  --verbose			show debugging information

  --draft			NOT IMPLEMENTED.
                    When building a Latex PDF, choose faster options (pdflatex, etc)

Note: other options are passed to Pandoc


To install pandocmk, open the command line and type:

pip install pandocmk

Note: pandocmk requires Python 3.7 or higher.


pip uninstall pandocmk

Dev Install

After cloning the repo and opening the pandocmk folder:

python install: install the package locally

python develop: install locally with a symlink so changes are automatically updated

Dev Update PyPI:

python sdist bdist_wheel
python -m twine upload dist/*

(Ensure has unix line endings)


  • [X] v0.1: use the pandoc metadata to build the CLI arguments
  • [X] v0.2: add support for the --view and --watch options
  • [ ] v0.3: tweaks based on what we learned so far
  • [ ] v0.4: add support for styles (should we name them output, defaults, etc.?)

Project details

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