Pandoc   a universal document converter

# FAQs

How can I convert a whole directory of files from Markdown to RTF?

On linux or OSX:

``for f in *.txt; do pandoc "\$f" -s -o "\${f%.txt}.rtf"; done``

In Windows Powershell:

``gci -r -i *.txt |foreach{\$rtf=\$_.directoryname+"\"+\$_.basename+".rtf";pandoc -f markdown -s \$_.name -o \$rtf}``

I used pandoc to convert a document to ICML (or OPML or RTF), and when I try to open it I’m told it’s invalid. What have I done wrong?

Be sure to use the `-s` or `--standalone` flag, or you just get a fragment, not a full document with the required header:

``pandoc -s -f markdown -t icml -o my.icml my.md``

I get a blank document when I try to convert a markdown document in Chinese to PDF.

By default, pandoc uses pdflatex to generate the PDF, and pdflatex doesn’t handle Chinese characters. But you can change the default to use xelatex instead. You should also make sure you’re using a font with Chinese glyphs. For example:

``pandoc -o c.pdf --pdf-engine=xelatex -V mainfont='Adobe Ming Std'``

The Windows installer does a single user install, rather than installing pandoc for all users. How can I install pandoc for all users?

Run the following command as admin:

``msiexec /i pandoc-VERSION.msi ALLUSERS=1``

This will put pandoc in `C:\Program Files\Pandoc`. You can install Pandoc to a different directory by setting APPLICATIONFOLDER parameter, for example:

``msiexec /i pandoc-1.11.1.msi ALLUSERS=1 APPLICATIONFOLDER="C:\Pandoc"``

How do I change the margins in PDF output?

The option

``-V geometry:margin=1in``

will set the margins to one inch on each side. If you don’t want uniform margins, you can do something like

``-V geometry:"top=2cm, bottom=1.5cm, left=1cm, right=1cm"``

Or

``-V geometry:"left=3cm, width=10cm"``

For more options, see the documentation for the LaTeX geometry package.

How does pandoc compare to multimarkdown?

Here is a wiki page comparing the two.

When I specify an image width of 50% and convert to LaTeX, pandoc sets the height to textheight and the aspect ratio isn’t preserved. How can I prevent this?

For example, if you convert an image with `{width="50%"}`, the LaTeX produced will be `\includegraphics[width=0.5\textwidth,height=\textheight]`.

This output presupposes the following code in pandoc’s default latex template:

``````% Scale images if necessary, so that they will not overflow the page
% margins by default, and it is still possible to overwrite the defaults
% using explicit options in \includegraphics[width, height, ...]{}
\setkeys{Gin}{width=\maxwidth,height=\maxheight,keepaspectratio}``````

If you don’t have this in your custom template, you should add it. If we didn’t set the `height` explicitly in this way, the image would not be resized correctly unless it was being resized to smaller than its original size.

Pandoc sometimes uses too much memory. How can I limit the memory used by pandoc?

`pandoc +RTS -M30m -RTS` will limit heap memory to 30MB. When converting a document requires more than this, an out of memory error will be issued.

When using `--include-in-header` with PDF or LaTeX output, how do I reference tex declarations coming after `\$header-includes\$` in the default template?

For various reasons, the `\$header-includes\$` are not at the very end of the LaTeX preamble. This poses a problem when the code you are inserting depends on declarations in the preamble coming after the `\$header-includes\$` location. For example, you might want to reference the `\author` and `\title` metadata values (set at the very bottom of the preamble) and present them in margins. In that case you can wrap your code in `etoolbox`’s `\AtEndPreamble`. The technique is demonstrated in this gist. When using `\AtEndPreamble`, keep any `makeatletter` or `makeatother` outside of the `\AtEndPreamble`, as shown in the example.

How can I convert PDFs to other formats using pandoc?

You can’t. You can try opening the PDF in Word or Google Docs and saving in a format from which pandoc can convert directly.

Do I really need to install a 1 GB TeX installation to produce a PDF using pandoc?

No. You can get by with a relatively small TeX installation, for example, by starting with MacTeX’s Basic TeX distribution and using the `tlmgr` tool to install a few packages required by pandoc (see https://pandoc.org/MANUAL.html#creating-a-pdf).

Or, you can produce PDFs via HTML and `wkhtmltopdf`, or via groff ms and `pdfroff`. (These don’t produce as nice typography as TeX, particularly when it comes to math, but they may be fine for many purposes.)

Converting to PDF on an M1 Mac, I get a “Cannot allocate memory” error.

We are not sure why this happens, but we have found that fully specifying the `pdflatex` path avoids the error. For example,

``pandoc -o my.pdf --pdf-engine=/Library/TeX/texbin/pdflatex``

When I convert from ipynb, some visualizations aren’t showing up.

First, unless your target is a binary format (docx, odt, epub), you must use either `--extract-media` or (for HTML only) `--embed-resources` to make the images in the ipynb container available to your output file.

Second, some Jupyter extensions, especially those that use JavaScript for visualizations, assume the presence of `require.js`. To ensure that this script is available in your HTML output, you can use:

``````pandoc -s -o output.html input.ipynb \

How can I get BibTeX references to work when converting from LaTeX?

Use the `--citeproc` option. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to tell pandoc where your bibliography file is using `--bibliography`. Your references may not be formatted the same as they are when you use `latex` and `bibtex`; you can change the format of the citations by specifying an appropriate CSL bibliography style using `--csl` (see the manual).

How can I produce PDF/A with pandoc?

The simplest approach is via ConTeXt:

``pandoc --pdf-engine=context -V pdfa``

Alternatively, `--pdf-engine=pdflatex` can be used with the following in `header-includes` in metadata (or included from a file using `--include-in-header`):

``````\usepackage[a-2u,mathxmp]{pdfx}
\usepackage[pdfa]{hyperref}``````

Or `--pdf-engine=lualatex` can be used with the following:

``````\usepackage{hyperxmp}
\hypersetup{pdfapart=3,pdfaconformance=B}
\immediate\pdfobj stream attr{/N 3} file{sRGB.icc}
\pdfcatalog{/OutputIntents [<<
/Type /OutputIntent /S /GTS_PDFA1
/DestOutputProfile \the\pdflastobj\space 0 R
/OutputConditionIdentifier (sRGB) /Info (sRGB)
>>]}``````

Pandoc adds column widths to pipe tables when any line is wider than the setting for `--columns`. How can I prevent this?

Save this filter as `nowidths.lua` and then pass `--lua-filter nowidths.lua` as an additional option to pandoc. (See https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/issues/8139.)

``````-- Unset the width attribute of HTML colspecs in tables
-- See https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/issues/8139
function Table (tbl)
if PANDOC_VERSION[1] >= 2 and PANDOC_VERSION[2] >= 10 then
tbl.colspecs = tbl.colspecs:map(function (colspec)
local align = colspec[1]
local width = nil  -- default width
return {align, width}
end)
else
for i, w in ipairs(tbl.widths) do
tbl.widths[i] = 0
end
end
return tbl
end``````

How can I use pandoc to read Word files in the old .DOC format?

Install `antiword` and use it to convert the doc to DocBook, which can be read by pandoc.

``antiword -x db input.doc | pandoc -f docbook``