Markdown + Pandoc = Note taking and more

Pandoc is one of my recent findings when i was looking for a good way to take notes when im studying. I have always liked latex and the ease by which you can write equations with it. The lack of worry when it comes to alignment is second to none. So I did try using latex for note taking. But it seemed to take away a lot of my concentration from the actual note taking to the details of latex syntax, I blame myself for that. Anyways, i found pandoc when i was going through stack exchange conversations and it stuck. It has this really nice way of converting from this format called Markdown to formats such as html and latex. Markdown is really simple. I love the syntax. If you are a linux user you might have seen readme files come with this file type named, md. That is Markdown.

The main things that are required for note taking according to me are,

  1. A good/easy way to write down points. Ordered and unordered. With different level alignments.
  2. An easy way to write different levels of headers.
  3. An easy way to write equations.
  4. An easy way to embed images.

Markdown had all this and an easy way to convert to latex format. That is if you want to edit things on latex. Else it could directly convert it to pdf as well.

Could be very useful if you are making web content and you want to create html content. I did this when i was working on a website recently where the content had a lot of points to list down. I wrote all my content in markdown, then converted it to html using pandoc and pasted it on my original html file which had all the other header stuff.

I do not want to repeat markdown syntax fundamentals here. You can get it pretty easily anywhere on google. These two sites look good. Link 1. Link 2. Take a look at them. Once you are done with all this. cd to the directory where you have the md file then type this.

pandoc source.md -o destination.pdf.

This would convert a source file in markdown format to a pdf. You could replace the pdf extention with html to get an html instead.

For more info on pandoc. Installation and everything go to pandoc.org. Installation should be pretty simple with your package manager. For fedora do, dnf install pandoc. With superuser rights ofcourse.

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