2.0.0 • Public • Published


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Takes in a list of markdown files and merges them into a single output file with optional HTML and PDF output. Other advantages:

  • Merge all md files in a folder
  • auto-resolution of all relative links in files for assets, other markdown files no matter their location locally
  • built in link checker of final file
  • Use a Manifest file (json/yaml):
    • Specify the input list of files (relative or absolute)
    • Specify the output file (relative or absolute)
      • Add pandoc arguments for HTML output
      • Add wkhtmltopdf for PDF output
      • Create a TOC with doctoc
    • QA feature for optional file exclusions for reviewing
    • Per input file or globally:
      • Find/replace with regex (ex: names, titles, chapter #s, timestamps, etc)
      • Create TOC with doctoc
      • Remove yaml from top of md file
  • NEW: Autocreate a starter manifest
  • NEW: Download docker image for installation convienance with dependencies (pandoc/wkhtmltopdf)

WARNING: wkhtmltopdf and pandoc must be installed prior to using this tool! Download and use the docker image if you want avoid this.



To install the command line tool globally, run:

npm install -g @knennigtri/merge-markdown

Command Line Tool

Use default ./manifest[.yml|.yaml|.json] for input

> merge-markdown

Create an inital manifest with markdown files in a directory

> merge-markdown -c my/path/src

Merge based on existing manifest file

> merge-markdown -m myManifest.yml

Output to PDF

> merge-markdown -m myManifest.yml --pdf


Usage: merge-markdown [ARGS]
  -m, --manifest <manifestFile>            Path to input folder, yaml, or json manifest
  -v, --version                            Displays version of this package
  -c, --create <path>                      auto-creates ./manifest.yml with input files from <path>
  --docker                                 Run merge-markdown commands in docker
  --getDockerFiles                         Downloads the Docker files to your local project
  --qa                                     QA mode.
  --skipLinkcheck                          Skips linkchecking
  --maintainAssetPaths                     Retains original asset paths
  --pdf                                    Output to PDF. Must have Pandoc and wkhtmltopdf installed!
  --html                                   Output to HTML. Must have Pandoc installed!
  -h, --help                               Displays this screen
  -h manifest | options |
    outputOptions | qa | docker            See examples
  -d, --debug                              See debug Options
Default is manifest[.yml|.yaml|.json] unless specified in -m.

Download Pandoc: https://pandoc.org/installing.html
Download wkhtmltopdf: https://wkhtmltopdf.org/downloads.html
Download Docker: https://docs.docker.com/get-docker/

Manifest file format

manifest[.yml|.yaml|.json]: This file can be in YAML or JSON format.

  • input:
    • myFile1.md: {options} Local options
    • myFile2.md: {options}
  • output:
  • {options}: global options

See Supported Options Relative or absolute are accepted

Supported Options

Options can be applied to an individual input or at a globally to apply to all inputs


Optionlly removes YAML from top of input file. Default=false

  noYAML: true|false


Optionally find/replace in an input file.

  • string: Specify a string to find and replace
  • regex: Specify a regex to find and replace
      <!--{timestamp}-->: 09/01/2022
      ({#(.*?)}): ""                  


Optionally add a table of contents to files using doctoc. This will allow for a local navigation within a module/chapter of your merged document.

# Use Default doctoc values:
 doctoc: true
# Add a unique title:
 doctoc: "Module Contents"
# Fully configure doctoc by overriding the default values from below:
   mode: github
   maxlevel: 3
   title: ""
   notitle: true
   entryprefix: ""
   all: false
   stdout: true
   update-only: false                

Based on doctoc, Set where you would like for the TOC to exist in the markdown file

  <!-- START auto-update -->
  <!-- START doctoc -->
  <!-- END doctoc -->
  <!-- END auto-update -->

Supported Output Options

You can output to HTML or PDF. Pandoc is used to generate HTML and wkhtmltopdf is used to generate a PDF.

Merged file TOC

Similar to adding a TOC to the input files, you can add a TOC for the entire merged document. See doctoc options to configure.

     key: value

HTML Output

You can optionally add pandoc parameters to the manifest. The key doesn't matter, only the value is evalutated based on pandoc args.

pandoc must be installed in order to create HTML!

     latexTemplate: --template path/to/my/latex/template.latex
     css: -c path/to/my/css/main.css

The following arguments cannot be changes for pandoc:

  • -o < fileName > - can only be modified using manifest.output.name

PDF Output

You can optionally add wkhtmltopdf options to the manifest.

pandoc must be installed in order to create PDFs! wkhtmltopdf must be installed and added to your path to create PDFs!

See wkhtmltopdf options to learn more:

    marginBottom: 1in
    marginTop: 1in
    pageSize: Letter

The following options cannot be changes for wkhtmltopdf:

  • enableLocalFileAccess - always true
  • disableSmartShrinking - always true
  • output - can only be modified using manifest.output.name

Generate HTML only:

 merge-markdown -m manifest.yml --html

Generate a PDF:

 merge-markdown -m manifest.yml --pdf

Example files can be found in test/pdf/src. You can also checkout a working project for css development using webpack.

Special Modes

Download Docker Files

> merge-markdown --getDockerFiles

Downloads the Docker files to your local project. See Docker.

QA Mode

> merge-markdown -m manifest.yml --qa

Output will omit all filenames with frontmatter by default Add a regex to the manifest.json to customize exclusion:

  qa: {exclude: "(frontmatter|preamble)"}

nolinkcheck Mode

Sometimes the markdown-link-check tool might produce an error. To skip linkcheck:

> merge-markdown -m mymanifest.yml --nolinkcheck

Debug Mode

Debug is used in this tool:

Mac or Linux:

 > DEBUG:options merge-markdown -m file


> set DEBUG=options & merge-markdown -m file
Options: {
  "*": "Output all debugging messages",
  "args": "See CLI argument messages",
  "cli": "Validate CLI logic",
  "manifest": "",
  "manifest:deprecation": "",
  "manifest:json": "",
  "merge": "messages for merge process",
  "rellinks": "relative links",
  "o:yaml": "yaml removal",
  "o:doctoc": "doctoc messages",
  "o:replace": "regex replace messages",
  "linkcheck": "linkcheck validation",
  "linkcheck:deep": "deep linkcheck validation",
  "presentation": "",
  "html": "pandoc messages for html",
  "html:options": "pandoc options messages",
  "pdf": "wkhtmltopdf messages for pdf",
  "pdf:options": "wkhtmltopdf options messages"

Manifest Examples

YAML used as input

  frontmatter.md: ""
  file1.md: {noYAML: true, doctoc: "#### Section Contents"}
  file2.md: {noYAML: true, doctoc: "#### Section Contents"}
  name: myOutput.md

JSON used as input

  "input": {
    "frontmatter.md": {"replace": {"timestamp":true}},
    "file1.md": {"noYAML":true,"doctoc":"#### Section Contents"},
    "file2.md": {"noYAML":true,"doctoc":"#### Section Contents"}
  "output": {
    "name": "myOutput.md"

Replace keys within a single file

  "input": {
    "folder1/folder1/file1.md": {"replace": {
      "<!--{timestamp}-->": "06/01/2021",
      "<!--{endOfSection}-->": "> To learn more on this subject, visit: www.example.com",
      "({#(.*?)})": ""
    "folder2/folder2/file2.md": {"noYAML":true}
  "output": {
    "name": "path/to/myOutput.md"

Options applied to all files

  frontmatter.md: ""
  folder1/file1.md: ""
  file2.md: ""
  name: myOutput.md
  ${timestamp}: 06/01/2021
  ({#(.*?)}): ""
doctoc: "#### Chapter contents"
noYAML: true

Apply output options

 frontmatter.md: ''
 m1/m1-example.md: {noYAML: true, doctoc: true, replace: {<!--#-->: "Module 1:"}}
 m2/m2-example.md: {noYAML: true, doctoc: true, replace: {<!--#-->: "Module 2:"}}
  name: merged/myOutput.md
   mode: bitbucket
   title: "Course Contents"
   maxlevel: 2
    css: -c path/to/main.css
    title: -M title:Example
    pageSize: Letter
    footerLine: true
    footerCenter: Page [page]

Using Docker

To use docker, make sure you have docker downloaded and started. Using docker sidesteps the requirements of installing pandoc and wkhtmltopdf locally and makes this tool more agnostic.

  1. Full CLI
  2. Configurable Build

Full CLI

  1. Run the docker application
  2. Run your merge-markdown command with the --docker parameter
 merge-markdown -m path/to/manifest.yml --pdf --docker

Configurable Build

Download the Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml files:

 merge-markdown --getDockerFiles

Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml files need to be in the same directory as your project and set up Docker Compose with the following command:

 docker compose up -d --build

The docker image will copy all local structure of files and directories of the project into the current image's working directory. Once there, the command merge-markdown needs to be executed on the node service of docker compose to generate the desired output, e.g:

docker compose exec node merge-markdown -m manifest.yml --pdf

The command above assumes the manifest.yml file is in the root directory. An example of the project file structure could be:

└── assets
    ├── image1.svg
    └── ...
├── docker-compose.yml
├── Dockerfile
├── manifest.yml
├── README.md
├── README_2.md
├── README_3.md
└── README_4.md

Getting the outputs from the container's image could be done with the following command:

 docker compose cp node:/home/runner/workspace/output.pdf .

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npm i @knennigtri/merge-markdown

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