DefinitelyTyped icon, indicating that this package has TypeScript declarations provided by the separate @types/showdown package

    1.0.0-alpha1 • Public • Published


    Build Status

    Showdown is a Javascript Markdown to HTML converter, based on the original works by John Gruber. Showdown can be used client side (in the browser) or server side (with NodeJs).


    Download tarball

    You can download the latest release's tarball directly from


    bower install showdown

    npm (server-side)

    npm install showdown

    Browser Compatibility

    Showdown has been tested successfully with:

    • Firefox 1.5 and 2.0
    • Internet Explorer 6 and 7
    • Safari 2.0.4
    • Opera 8.54 and 9.10
    • Netscape 8.1.2
    • Konqueror 3.5.4

    In theory, Showdown will work in any browser that supports ECMA 262 3rd Edition (JavaScript 1.5). The converter itself might even work in things that aren't web browsers, like Acrobat. No promises.

    Node compatibility

    Showdown has been tested with node 0.8 and 0.10. However, it should work with previous versions, such as node 0.6.

    Quick Example


    var showdown  = require('showdown'),
        converter = new showdown.Converter(),
        text      = '#hello, markdown!',
        html      = converter.makeHtml(text);


    var converter = new showdown.Converter(),
        text      = '#hello, markdown!',
        html      = converter.makeHtml(text);


    Both examples should output...

    <h1 id="hellomarkdown">hello, markdown!</h1>


    Showdown allows additional functionality to be loaded via extensions.

    Client-side Extension Usage

    <script src="showdown.js" />
    <script src="twitter-extension.js" />
    var converter = new showdown.Converter({ extensions: 'twitter' });

    Server-side Extension Usage

    var showdown    = require('showdown'),
        myExtension = require('myExtension'),
        converter = new showdown.Converter({ extensions: ['myExtension'] });


    A suite of tests is available which require node.js. Once node is installed, run the following command from the project root to install the development dependencies:

    npm install --dev

    Once installed the tests can be run from the project root using:

    npm test

    New test cases can easily be added. Create a markdown file (ending in .md) which contains the markdown to test. Create a .html file of the exact same name. It will automatically be tested when the tests are executed with mocha.

    Known Differences in Output

    In most cases, Showdown's output is identical to that of Perl Markdown v1.0.2b7. What follows is a list of all known deviations. Please file an issue if you find more.

    • This release uses the HTML parser from Markdown 1.0.2b2, which means it fails Inline HTML (Advanced).text from the Markdown test suite:

      unindented == broken
    • Showdown doesn't support the markdown="1" attribute:

      <div markdown="1">
           Markdown does *not* work in here.

      This is half laziness on my part and half stubbornness. Markdown is smart enough to process the contents of span- level tags without screwing things up; shouldn't it be able to do the same inside block elements? Let's find a way to make markdown="1" the default.

    • You can only nest square brackets in link titles to a depth of two levels:


      If you need more, you can escape them with backslashes.

    • When sublists have paragraphs, Showdown produces equivalent HTML with a slightly different arrangement of newlines:

      + item
           - subitem
             The HTML has a superfluous newline before this
           - subitem
             The HTML here is unchanged.
           - subitem
             The HTML is missing a newline after this
             list subitem.
    • creates empty title attributes for inline-style images:

      Here's an empty title on an inline-style

      I tried to replicate this to clean up my diffs during testing, but I went too far: now Showdown also makes empty titles for reference-style images:

      Showdown  makes an empty title for
      reference-style ![images][] too.
    • With crazy input, Markdown will mistakenly put <strong> or <em> tags in URLs:

      <a href="<*Markdown adds em tags in here*>">
         improbable URL

      Showdown won't. But still, don't do that.

    Creating Markdown Extensions

    A showdown extension is simply a function which returns an array of extensions. Each single extension can be one of two types:

    • Language Extension -- Language extensions are ones that that add new markdown syntax to showdown. For example, say you wanted ^^youtube to automatically render as an embedded YouTube video, that would be a language extension.
    • Output Modifiers -- After showdown has run, and generated HTML, an output modifier would change that HTML. For example, say you wanted to change <div class="header"> to be <header>, that would be an output modifier.

    Each extension can provide two combinations of interfaces for showdown.


    Regex/replace style extensions are very similar to Javascript's string.replace function. Two properties are given, regex and replace. regex is a string and replace can be either a string or a function. If replace is a string, it can use the $1 syntax for group substitution, exactly as if it were making use of string.replace (internally it does this actually); The value of regex is assumed to be a global replacement.


    var demo = function(converter) {
      return [
        // Replace escaped @ symbols
        { type: 'lang', regex: '\\@', replace: '@' }


    Alternately, if you'd just like to do everything yourself, you can specify a filter which is a callback with a single input parameter, text (the current source text within the showdown engine).


    var demo = function(converter) {
      return [
        // Replace escaped @ symbols
        { type: 'lang', filter: function(text) {
          return text.replace(/\\@/g, '@');

    Implementation Concerns

    One bit which should be taken into account is maintaining both client-side and server-side compatibility. This can be achieved with a few lines of boilerplate code. First, to prevent polluting the global scope for client-side code, the extension definition should be wrapped in a self-executing function.

      // Your extension here

    Second, client-side extensions should add a property onto Showdown.extensions which matches the name of the file. As an example, a file named demo.js should then add Showdown.extensions.demo. Server-side extensions can simply export themselves.

      var demo = function(converter) {
        // ... extension code here ...
      // Client-side export
      if (typeof window !== 'undefined' && window.Showdown && window.Showdown.extensions) { window.Showdown.extensions.demo = demo; }
      // Server-side export
      if (typeof module !== 'undefined') module.exports = demo;

    Testing Extensions

    The showdown test runner is setup to automatically test cases for extensions. To add test cases for an extension, create a new folder under ./test/extensions which matches the name of the .js file in ./src/extensions. Place any test cases into the folder using the md/html format and they will automatically be run when tests are run.


    The organization needs members to maintain Showdown. Please see this issue to express interest or comment on this note.



    npm i [email protected]





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