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I have a LaTeX file, foo.tex and a bunch of markdown files {1..N}.markdown in the same directory. Basically, I'd like to be able to \include{1.markdown} and have the markdown rendered to LaTeX and included in foo.tex. How can I do this?

The closest I can come up with is pandoc which lets me define a template and variables at the command line. This can obviously work, but is cumbersome and annoying. Is there any better solution?

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What about having pandoc, or one of the other Markdown engines that can output LaTeX (such as maruku), convert each file individually and then including the converted files in foo.tex? –  Loop Space Oct 10 '11 at 19:58
    
Yep! A quick bash loop can keep that up to date and compile foo.tex and so on, but it's nice to have that hook into my AucTeX workflow in emacs, and of course I could write that too, but I was hoping for a quick-and-easy that would be easy to rely on for people who don't have my particular setup. Aditya's answer seems to do exactly what I was hoping for. –  aresnick Oct 11 '11 at 20:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

For ConTeXt, I have written a module, t-filter, that provides a nice user-interface for running external programs on a file. Using that module, you can write:

\usemodule[filter]

\defineexternalfilter
    [markdown]
    [filter={pandoc -t context -o \externalfilteroutputfile}]

after which you can use

 \processmarkdownfile{....}

to convert a markdown file to context and input the resulting back to tex. (The \defineexternalfilter command also creates an environment \startmarkdown ... \stopmarkdown. The module writes the contents of this environment to an external file, processes file through pandoc, and inputs the result.)

This is essentially a glorified wrapper around \write18. For a one-off task, you can use:

\newcommand\processmarkdownfile[1]
    {\immediate\write18{pandoc -t latex -o #1.tex #1}%
     \input{#1.tex}}

and then use \processmarkdownfile{...} to include a markdown file in LaTeX. You need to enable write18 for this to work. The easiest method is to pass -shell-escape to pdflatex:

pdflatex -shell-escape <filename>

The t-filter module provides other goodies as well (use an sub directory to store temp files, do not rerun the filter if the file has not changed, etc.). If you want, it is easy to add an interface for them in LaTeX as well.

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Awesome; thanks! –  aresnick Oct 11 '11 at 20:00

There is a markdown parser written in lua, which can output LaTeX, ConTeXt and other format. It should not be hard to write a small wrapper to use it to parse markdown files in luatex (ConTeXt already includes a parser based on it).

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The wiki package of the nicetext allows to typeset this kind of files. However, I can't tell you if it supports Markdown fully or at all. There are a couple of different similar formats around.

Note that the documentation of nicetext is incomplete, which doesn't make things easier.

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