I need some Information for my Bachelor Thesis and I couldn't find something in the web...because I didn't know exactly which term I should google...

I'm interested in everything which try to provide some LaTeX features, like auto generated tables of content ore sections and subsections...

Are there any Markup Languages or Web Projects?


eplain is still a going concern, I believe.


MultiMarkdown, perhaps. Will take a bit of configuration of your personal texmf tree to make it seamless, and even then, the document structure looks weird, but valid.

References: MultiMarkdown LaTeX support README

Basic procedure:

  • Download MMD and the LaTeX support directory.

  • Install MMD, extract the LaTeX support files into your personal texmf folder (in my case, on TeX Live for Windows, I extracted everything into a texmf\tex\latex\mmd folder under my home directory

 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is B068-2864

 Directory of c:\users\mwr\texmf\tex\latex\mmd

04/08/2012  08:22 AM              .
04/08/2012  08:22 AM              ..
04/08/2012  08:22 AM              beamer
04/08/2012  08:22 AM              letterhead
04/08/2012  08:19 AM               477 mmd-article-begin-doc.tex
04/08/2012  08:19 AM               134 mmd-article-header.tex
  • Pull up a command prompt, and update the ls-R file for your personal texmf tree:
C:\Users\mwr\texmf>mktexlsr .
mktexlsr: Updating ./ls-R...
mktexlsr: Updated ./ls-R.
mktexlsr: Done.
  • Make a .MD file with a structure similar to this one based off the MMD User's Guide:
latex input:        mmd-memoir-header
Title:  peg-multimarkdown User's Guide  
Author: Fletcher T. Penney  
Base Header Level:  2  
LaTeX Mode:         memoir  
latex input:        mmd-memoir-begin-doc
latex footer:       mmd-memoir-footer

# Introduction #

[Markdown] is a simple markup language used to convert plain text into HTML. 
[MultiMarkdown] is a derivative of Markdown that adds new syntax features,
such as footnotes, tables, and metadata. Additionally, it offers mechanisms
to convert plain text into LaTeX in addition to HTML. 

[peg-multimarkdown] is an implementation of MultiMarkdown derived from
John MacFarlane's [peg-markdown]. It makes use of a parsing expression
grammar (PEG), and is written in C. It should compile for most any (major)
operating system. 

Thanks to work by Daniel Jalikut, MMD no longer requires GLib2 as a
dependency. This should make it easier to compile on various operating

[peg-markdown]:         https://github.com/jgm/peg-markdown
[Markdown]:             http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/
[MultiMarkdown]:        http://fletcherpenney.net/multimarkdown/
[peg-multimarkdown]:    https://github.com/fletcher/peg-multimarkdown
  • Pull up a command prompt, and run mmd2tex with the .md file as an argument:
mmd2tex mmd-readme.md

Find the .tex file created (in this case, mmd-readme.tex), and pull it up in a TeX editor. It will look something like

  \def\mytitle{peg-multimarkdown User's Guide}
  \def\myauthor{Fletcher T. Penney}

  \href{http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/}{Markdown}\footnote{\href{http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/}{http:/\slash daringfireball.net\slash projects\slash markdown\slash }} is a simple markup language used to convert plain text into HTML.

The code will look weird, but it's valid. Build it and check the PDF output.

That should basically take care of it. Edit the support files as necessary to fine-tune the \documentclass, preamble, and other bits.

  • MMD is a cool hint. – Lindemann Apr 8 '12 at 20:32

I do not know what to make of your question. If you are interested in full blown type setting system/languages two alternatives to TeX that immediatelly come to my mind are:

  1. Troff
  2. Lout

I am samewhat familiar with the first one. Even though Troff is not as capable of typesetting mathematics as TeX, I personally could use Troff and its pre-processor equation to get a math document of serious typographic quality. I have never used Lout so I am leaving to experts to comment on it.

Besides the above full blown typsetting systems the second thing that comes to my mind is laight weight markup languages. They provide some functionality of TeX but have far simpler syntax and much more flexibal output including TeX output.

My favorite is txt2tags.

If you are interested in alternatives to LaTeX macros then historically (not 100% sure) the first alternative was AMS-TeX macro package which is described in wonderful book Joy of TeX by Mike Spivac.

I do not know what you are after so if you clarify your question I would edit my answer.


1. Pandoc
Maybe Pandoc has something to offer you. It is an easy to learn, but advance mark-up language with sophisticated export filters capable to produce many different formats, including LaTeX, ODT, PDF, etc.

As @Aditya emphasize in the comment below, there is no cross referencing system in Pandoc, but you can use Latex-commands in the text (\label and \ref). Bibliographies are handled by the cite-proc-system.

Pandoc is not a perfect solution, but it is one of the better. I am not aware of any program that is capable to transfer an easy mark-up to a full LateX mark-up.

2. StarTeX
It is also a program called StarTeX at CTAN, which seems to be a HTML-inspired tag-system, with TeX as its backbone.

I have never used the system, and it is pretty old (1996). It seems to still be maintained, though.

  • 5
    pandoc does not provide an easy way to cross reference section headings, and provides no way to cross reference figures, tables, and equations. – Aditya Apr 8 '12 at 16:25
  • PanDoc looks very interesting! – Lindemann Apr 9 '12 at 17:42

There used to be LAmSTeX but I think it's outdated now.


OPmac for example. The main credo is "simplicity is power". The first sentence from www page reads:

OPmac are additional macros to allow to get the LaTeX basic functionality by simple plainTeX macros: font size selecting, automatic creation of the table of contents and the index, working with bibliographic databases of references, links, hyperlinks etc.

It is able to do direct access to the .bib databases and to sort indexes at macro level. It needn't any external program (outside TeX) for this purposes.


Here's a few that I know of:

  • itex2MML. Converts LaTeX-like mathematics to MathML.
  • PHPLaTeX (developed between 2009-2013 but now defunct; I still have the code if anyone is interested) There was a (now deleted) question about this project (https://tex.stackexchange.com/q/39513/86) at which I left the comment:

    "[T]hat was the first of a family of TeX-to-X converters that I wrote. The next was in Perl and had catcode support! However, having written them I've become convinced that "The only thing that understands TeX is tex itself." and my latest converter [the last in this list] - which I do actively work on - is written in TeX itself (with much help from this site)."

  • LaTeX2iTeX (precursor to the below) The comments to the above can be considered as relevant for this project as well.

  • The internet class This is LaTeX-within-LaTeX. The comments for the above do not apply to this project!
  • Cool hints...and I found thru your links also maruku and php markdown extra – Lindemann Apr 9 '12 at 18:09
  • 1
    I wasn't sure if maruku met your criteria - meant to ask about that. There are many, many Markdown derivatives! – Loop Space Apr 9 '12 at 18:16
  • But I think Maruku is special, because it is able to auto-generate a TOC. – Lindemann Apr 9 '12 at 18:23

I have heard of ant, but never used it myself.

  • 1
    You should consider it dead. The last release is from 2007-12. – Martin Schröder Apr 8 '12 at 13:58
  • looks like that ant was a cool project... – Lindemann Apr 8 '12 at 20:52

What about Microsoft Word? If you use the graphical markup and the stars are properly aligned, then it should be able to auto generate a TOC.

  • @wipet I was just being silly (by providing links and telling you what Google was); no offense intended. – Sam Whited Dec 14 '14 at 16:37

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