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0.1.1 • Public • Published


Serve up a folder of static markdown files from Node-RED.

In the admin panel for the node instance, provide a url path and a source folder.

The source folder can contain sub-folders. Files with an extension of .md will be served as web pages.

Each folder may contain a file named and if so, this will be used as the default page for that folder.

A .templates folder can contain Handlebars templates used to render the content. There is a default template if you don't want to bother.


The source files can contain any valid CommonMark markup (provided by the markdown-it) and may also contain metadata in a YAML header. e.g.

title: This is the title for my markdown file
# My markdown file

This file will be served as HTML with the help of Node-RED.

The parsed YAML data is passed through to the Handlebars template engine and so is available in custom templates.

A number of markup extensions have been installed, see docs/ for details.


  • The markdown-it is the library used already by Node-RED to handle markdown processing.
  • The package folder contains docs/test-md-library. You can use the contents to test this node, copy to your selected source folder. In addition, the folder contains a file which demonstrates the majority of the markdown and extensions available to you.

Auto-index files

Similarly to Node-RED's built-in static file serving, if a folder name is given in the URL instead of a filename, / will be automatically appended.

Static HTML, etc.

The root source folder is mounted using ExpressJS static-server in the same way as Node-RED's httpStatic setting. This means that files ending in .html, .js, .css, etc. will all be served as normal. You can use this not only to display html content but also to load CSS styling and JavaScript via custom templates.


Each markdown file is wrapped in a template that is provided by Handlebars.

The source files folder may contain a sub-folder named .templates. If it does, it should contain a one or more Handlebars template files.

If the .templates folder does not exist, a file in the source folder called .template.hbs will be looked for. If that also doesn't exist, an internal default template will be used.

Template files will be searched for in the following order:

  • .templates & Folder & filename (ending in .hbs instead of .md) matching the requested markdown filename
  • .templates & Folder & index.hbs
  • .templates & Parent folder & index.hbs - right back up the parents tree to ...
  • .templates & root source folder & index.hbs
  • Root source folder & .template.hbs
  • Internal default template string

Note that Node-RED must be restarted if new templates are added. Redeploying the flows using the editor menu is not sufficient.

Template metadata

In addition to the translated markdown, the following metadata is provided to the Handlebars templating engine so that it can be used in custom templates:

  • template: Template filename used to render the file. You may overwrite this by including an entry of the same name in your frontMatter.
  • stylesheet: The URL for the default stylesheet made available automatically. You may overwrite this by including an entry of the same name in your frontMatter.
  • prismstyles: Stylesheet URL for Prism syntax highlighting. You may overwrite this by including an entry of the same name in your frontMatter.
  • mtime: The date/time the file was last changed
  • frontMatter: An object containing properties from the YAML frontmatter. The title variable is included in the default template.
  • fmPre: A JSON.stringify'd version of the frontmatter suitable for debugging & understanding what frontmatter is available

Example template

The following is an example template showing content and metadata:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="{{stylesheet}}">
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="{{prismstyles}}">
        <h2>Meta Data</h2>
            <dt>Stylesheet</dt> <dd>{{stylesheet}}</dd>
            <dt>Prism Styles (Syntax Highlighting)</dt> <dd>{{prismstyles}}</dd>
            <dt>Template</dt> <dd>{{template}}</dd>
            <dt>Date/Time Modified</dt> <dd>{{mtime}}</dd>

        <h2>Front Matter</h2>


  • The triple braces around the content variable. That tells Handlebars to treat the content as pre-rendered HTML.
  • The linked stylesheet is pointing to the default sheet

What is missing at the moment?

There are still some enhancements that I want to add:

  • The selected source folder is not created for you. You have to do that yourself.
  • Missing some markdown enhancements. See docs/ for details.
  • The admin panel could do with some error checking and notifications.
  • The admin help panel is very basic at present.
  • Not yet tidying up ExpressJS middleware/routes when redeploying node instances.
  • Default CSS is a little rough, based on a 3rd-party GitHub Markdown CSS.
  • Would be nice to make the markdown-it extensions optional so that the whole thing uses less memory if you don't need them.
  • A Markdown editor.


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