TypeScript icon, indicating that this package has built-in type declarations

0.1.6 • Public • Published

markdown-it-docutils [IN-DEVELOPMENT]

ci-badge npm-badge

A markdown-it plugin for implementing docutils style roles (inline extension point) and directives (block extension point). The package also vendors a default CSS, with light/dark mode adaptive colors and overridable CSS Variables.

See for a demonstration!


As a Node module:

import MarkdownIt from "markdown-it"
import docutilsPlugin from "markdown-it-docutils"

const text = MarkdownIt().use(docutilsPlugin).render("*a*")

In the browser:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Example Page</title>
    <script src=""></script>
    <script src=""></script>
    <div id="demo"></div>
      const text = window
      document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = text

Supported roles (inline extensions)

Roles are any token in the token, within an inline token's children with the role type:

  • Token.meta = { name } should contain the name of the role
  • Token.content should contain the content of the role

By default (see parseRoles option), roles are parsed according to the MyST syntax: {name}`content`.

All roles have a fallback renderer, but the the following are specifically handled:

  • HTML:
    • sub: Subscript (alternatively subscript)
    • sup: Superscript (alternatively superscript)
    • abbr: Abbreviation (alternatively abbreviation)
  • Referencing
    • eq: Reference labeled equations
    • ref: Reference any labeled or named block, showing title
    • numref: Numbered reference for any labeled or named block (use Figure %s <my_label>)
  • Basic:
    • raw

Supported directives (block extensions)

Directives are any token in the token stream with the directive type:

  • should contain the name of the directive
  • Token.meta = { arg: "" } should contain the argument (first line) of the directive
  • Token.content should contain the body of the directive
  • should be set

By default (see replaceFences option), all fences with a language delimited in braces will be converted to directive tokens, e.g.

```{name} argument
:option: value


All directives have a fallback renderer, but the the following are specifically handled:

  • Admonitions:
    • admonition
    • note
    • attention
    • caution
    • danger
    • error
    • important
    • hint
    • note
    • seealso
    • tip
    • warning
  • Image:
    • image
    • figure
  • Code:
    • code
    • code-block
    • code-cell
  • Tables:
    • list-table
  • Other:
    • math

CSS Styling

markdown-it-docutils distributes with a default dist/css/style.min.css styling, primarily adapted from the furo sphinx theme. The CSS makes extensive use of CSS Variables. These can be overridden by the user and are used for stylizing nearly all elements of the documentation.

The colors are in light mode by default, switching to the dark mode when requested by the user’s browser (through prefers-color-scheme: dark). See the prefers-color-scheme documentation for details.

As a consequence of this design, the dark mode inherits the variable definitions from the light mode, only overriding specific values to adapt the theme. While the mechanism for switching between light/dark mode is not configurable, the exact CSS variable definitions used in this process can be configured with CSS Variables.

Design Notes

TODO improve this:

  • Parsing all directives/roles to "generic" directive/role tokens first (with fallback renderer), then "run" the directives/roles
    • this separates the logic for parsing these syntaxes, from the logic for interpreting their content, i.e. the syntax for a directive/role can in theory be anything, as long as it can be converted to the necessary token



Getting Started

  1. Create a GitHub repository from the template.
  2. Replace package details in the following files:
    • package.json
    • rollup.config.js
  3. Install the node_module dependencies: npm install or npm ci (see Install a project with a clean slate).
  4. Run code formatting; npm run format, and linting: npm run lint:fix.
  5. Run the unit tests; npm test, or with coverage; npm test -- --coverage.

Now you can start to adapt the code in src/index.ts for your plugin, starting with the markdown-it development recommendations.

Modify the test in tests/fixtures.spec.ts, to load your plugin, then the "fixtures" in tests/fixtures, to provide a set of potential Markdown inputs and expected HTML outputs.

On commits/PRs to the main branch, the GH actions will trigger, running the linting, unit tests, and build tests. Additionally setup and uncomment the codecov action in .github/workflows/ci.yml, to provide automated CI coverage.

Finally, you can update the version of your package, e.g.: npm version patch -m "🚀 RELEASE: v%s", push to GitHub; git push --follow-tags, build; npm run build, and publish; npm publish.

Finally, you can adapt the HTML document in docs/, to load both markdown-it and the plugin (from unpkg), then render text from an input area. This can be deployed by GitHub Pages.

Package Sidebar


npm i markdown-it-docutils

Weekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

2.09 MB

Total Files


Last publish


  • rowanc1
  • chrisjsewell
  • ebp-bot