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remark plugin to check that markdown links and images point to existing local files and headings in a Git repo.

For example, this document does not have a heading named Hello. So if we’d link to it ([welcome](#hello)), we’d get a warning. Links to headings in other markdown documents (examples/ and links to files (license or index.js) are also checked.

This is specifically for Git repos. Like this one. Not for say a website.


What is this?

This package is a unified (remark) plugin to check local links in a Git repo.

When should I use this?

This project is useful if you have a Git repo, such as this one, with docs in markdown and links to headings and other files, and want to check whether they’re correct. Compared to other links checkers, this project can work offline (making it fast en prone to fewer false positives), and is specifically made for local links in Git repos. This plugin does not check external URLs (see remark-lint-no-dead-urls) or undefined references (see remark-lint-no-undefined-references).


This package is ESM only. In Node.js (version 16+), install with npm:

npm install remark-validate-links

In Deno with

import remarkValidateLinks from ''

In browsers with

<script type="module">
  import remarkValidateLinks from ''


Say we have the following file in this project:

# Alpha

Links are checked:

This [exists](#alpha).
This [one does not](#apha).

# Bravo

Headings in `` are [checked](
And [missing files are reported](missing-example.js).

Definitions are also checked:

[alpha]: #alpha
[charlie]: #charlie

References w/o definitions are not checked: [delta]

…and a module example.js:

import {remark} from 'remark'
import remarkValidateLinks from 'remark-validate-links'
import {read} from 'to-vfile'
import {reporter} from 'vfile-reporter'

const file = await remark()
  .process(await read(''))


…then running node example.js yields:
6:6-6:27   warning Cannot find heading for `#apha`; did you mean `alpha` missing-heading remark-validate-links:missing-heading
11:5-11:53 warning Cannot find file `missing-example.js`                 missing-file    remark-validate-links:missing-file
16:1-16:20 warning Cannot find heading for `#charlie`                    missing-heading remark-validate-links:missing-heading

⚠ 3 warnings

👉 Note: is not warned about on the API, as it does not check headings in other markdown files. The remark CLI is able to do that.


This package exports no identifiers. The default export is remarkValidateLinks.

unified().use(remarkValidateLinks[, options])

Check that markdown links and images point to existing local files and headings in a Git repo.

⚠️ Important: The API in Node.js checks links to headings and files but does not check whether headings in other files exist. The API in browsers only checks links to headings in the same file. The CLI can check everything.

  • options (Options, optional) — configuration

Transform (Transformer).


Configuration (TypeScript type).

  • repository (string or false, default: detected from Git remote) — URL to hosted Git; if you’re not in a Git repository, you must pass false; if the repository resolves to something npm understands as a Git host such as GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket, full URLs to that host (say, are checked
  • root (string, default: local Git folder) — path to Git root folder; if both root and repository are nullish, the Git root is detected; if root is not given but repository is, file.cwd is used
  • urlConfig (UrlConfig, default: detected from repo) — config on how hosted Git works;,, or work automatically; otherwise, pass urlConfig manually


Hosted Git info (TypeScript type).

  • headingPrefix (string, optional, example: '#', '#markdown-header-') — prefix of headings
  • hostname (string, optional, example: '', '') — domain of URLs
  • lines (boolean, default: false) — whether lines in files can be linked
  • path (string, optional, example: '/remarkjs/remark-validate-links/blob/', '/remarkjs/remark-validate-links/src/') — path prefix before files
  • topAnchor (string, optional, example: #readme) — hash to top of readme

For this repository (remarkjs/remark-validate-links on GitHub) urlConfig looks as follows:

  // Domain of URLs:
  hostname: '',
  // Path prefix before files:
  prefix: '/remarkjs/remark-validate-links/blob/',
  // Prefix of headings:
  headingPrefix: '#',
  // Hash to top of markdown documents:
  topAnchor: '#readme',
  // Whether lines in files can be linked:
  lines: true

If this project were hosted on Bitbucket, it would be:

  hostname: '',
  prefix: '/remarkjs/remark-validate-links/src/',
  headingPrefix: '#markdown-header-',
  lines: false


Example: CLI

It’s recommended to use remark-validate-links on the CLI with remark-cli. Install both with npm:

npm install remark-cli remark-validate-links --save-dev

Let’s say we have a (this current document) and an with the following text:

# Hello

Read more [whoops, this does not exist](#world).

This doesn’t exist either [whoops!](

But this does exist: [license](license).

So does this: [readme](

Now, running ./node_modules/.bin/remark --use remark-validate-links . yields:
  3:11-3:48  warning  Link to unknown heading: `world`               missing-heading          remark-validate-links
  5:27-5:51  warning  Link to unknown heading in ``: `foo`  missing-heading-in-file  remark-validate-links no issues found

⚠ 2 warnings

Example: CLI in npm scripts

You can use remark-validate-links and remark-cli in an npm script to check and format markdown in your project. Install both with npm:

npm install remark-cli remark-validate-links --save-dev

Then, add a format script and configuration to package.json:

  // …
  "scripts": {
    // …
    "format": "remark . --quiet --frail --output",
    // …
  "remarkConfig": {
    "plugins": [
  // …

💡 Tip: Add other tools such as prettier or ESLint to check and format other files.

💡 Tip: Run ./node_modules/.bin/remark --help for help with remark-cli.

Now you check and format markdown in your project with:

npm run format


remark-validate-links can detect anchors on nodes through several properties on nodes:

  • — Used by mdast-util-to-hast to create a name attribute, which anchors can link to
  • — Used by mdast-util-to-hast to create an id attribute, which anchors can link to
  • — Used potentially in the future by other tools to signal unique identifiers on nodes


This package is fully typed with TypeScript. It exports the additional types Options and UrlConfig.


Projects maintained by the unified collective are compatible with maintained versions of Node.js.

When we cut a new major release, we drop support for unmaintained versions of Node. This means we try to keep the current release line, remark-validate-links@^13, compatible with Node.js 16.

This plugin works with unified version 6+, remark version 7+, and remark-cli version 8+.


remark-validate-links, in Node, accesses the file system based on user content, and this may be dangerous. In Node git remote and git rev-parse also runs for processed files.

The tree is not modified, so there are no openings for cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.



See in remarkjs/.github for ways to get started. See for ways to get help.

This project has a code of conduct. By interacting with this repository, organization, or community you agree to abide by its terms.


MIT © Titus Wormer

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