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README.md

mdcat

cat for Markdown (that is, CommonMark):

$ mdcat sample.md

mdcat showcase with different colour themes

mdcat in iTerm2, with Dracula, and Solarized Light and Dark (from left to right), and PragmataPro as font.

Features

mdcat works best with iTerm2 or a compatible terminal emulator, and a good terminal font with italic characters. Then it

  • nicely renders all basic CommonMark syntax (no tables or footnotes though),
  • highlights code blocks with syntect,
  • shows links and images inline in supported terminals (see above, where “Pixabay” is a clickable link!),
  • adds jump marks for headings in iTerm2 (jump forwards and backwards with ⇧⌘↓ and ⇧⌘↑).
Terminal Basic syntax Syntax highlighting Links Images Jump marks
Basic ANSI
Windows ConEmu
Windows 10 console
Generic VTE 0.50 or newer¹
Terminology
iTerm2
kitty

¹) VTE is Gnome’s terminal emulation library used by many popular terminal emulators on Linux, including Gnome Terminal, Xfce Terminal, Tilix, etc.

Not supported:

Installation

Binaries

The Releases page provides pre-build binaries for Linux, macOS and Windows. Use these binaries to try mdcat, particularly on Windows.

Note: The Linux build is statically linked and requires the curl command to fetch images from HTTP(S).

3rd party packages

Some package managers include mdcat:

While these packages may not always be up to date we generally recommend to use these to keep mdcat updated with the rest of the system.

Building with rustup

You can also build mdcat manually with cargo. Install Rust via rustup and run cargo install mdcat. To keep mdcat up to date install cargo-update and run cargo install-update mdcat.

SVG support

mdcat needs rsvg-convert to show SVG images in iTerm2 and kitty; otherwise mdcat only shows the image title and URL for SVG images. On macOS you can install the librsvg formula from Homebrew, on Linux the tool is typically part of the librsvg-bin package (or similar).

Terminology renders SVG directly and needs no additional tools.

Future plans

  • Figure out a better way to show HTML GH-3.
  • CommonMark extensions: Footnotes GH-1.
  • CommonMark extensions: Tables GH-2.
  • Ignore soft wraps and wrap inline text a column limit instead GH-4.

License

Copyright 2018-2020 Sebastian Wiesner sebastian@swsnr.de

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.