0.4.0 • Public • Published

markdown-it-govuk · test

Plugin for markdown-it to convert Markdown into GOV.UK Frontend-compliant HTML, inspired by its Ruby equivalent gem govuk_markdown. If you are using the marked parser, use govuk-markdown.

Don’t confuse this package with govspeak, which is a Markdown dialect specifically built for the GOV.UK publishing system (


Node.js v18 or later.


npm install markdown-it-govuk --save


const md = require('markdown-it')


The generated HTML will include the classes from GOV.UK Frontend. For example:

md.render('[A link](/foo)')

Will output:

<p class="govuk-body"><a class="govuk-link" href="/foo">A link</a></p>

Code highlighting

Fenced code blocks can he highlighted using the supplied highlight function:

const md = require('markdown-it')({
  highlight: require('markdown-it/highlight')


For example:

md.render('```js\nconsole.log(\'Hello, World!\')\n```')

Will output:

<pre class="x-govuk-code x-govuk-code--block" tabindex="0">
  <code class="x-govuk-code__language--js">
    <span class="x-govuk-code__variable">console</span>.<span class="x-govuk-code__title">log</span>(<span class="x-govuk-code__string">'Hello, World!'</span>)

To provide styling for inline and block code, add the following to your Sass file:

@import "markdown-it-govuk/x-govuk/all";


Name Type Description
headingsStartWith string Heading size to use for the top-level heading (xl or l). Default is l.
calvert boolean | Array Typographic improvements to enable (in addition to those provided by markdown-it’s typographer option). Set this option to true to enable all improvements, or array containing individual improvement sets to include (choose from fractions, guillemets and mathematical). Default is false.

Heading sizes

Headings start with govuk-heading-l for an <h1>, govuk-heading-m for an <h2> and so on. But change it if your pages feel unbalanced – the heading class you use does not always need to correspond to the heading level.

To start pages with govuk-heading-xl for an <h1>, govuk-heading-l for an <h2>, and so on, set the headingsStartWith option to xl:

md.use(require('markdown-it-govuk'), {
  headingsStartWith: 'xl'

marked('# Heading\n## Heading 2')

Will output:

<h1 class="govuk-heading-xl">Heading 1</h1>
<h2 class="govuk-heading-l">Heading 2</h2>

Typographic improvements

In addition to the typographic replacements provided by markdown-it’s typographer option, you can enable a number of other glyphs present in Margaret Calvert’s GDS Transport font using the calvert option.

For example:

md.use(require('markdown-it-govuk'), {
  calvert: ['fractions', 'mathematical']

marked('1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4')

Will output the following text, with the common fractions and correct multiplication symbol:

<p class="govuk-body">½ × ½ = ¼</p>

Releasing a new version

npm run release

This command will ask you what version you want to use. It will then publish a new version on NPM, create and push a new git tag and then generate release notes ready for posting on GitHub.

[!NOTE] Releasing a new version requires permission to publish packages to the @x-govuk organisation.

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