Markdown instead of Word Processors

Written by
Date: 2012-12-03 17:25:35 00:00

For some strange reason, I do not like to do things in the conventional way. I like to find new, and (not always) better ways to do something. One of those things I like to change, is the way to edit and write documents. I mean, I do not want to use Microsoft Word, as everybody does. In fact I do not like to use LibreOffice or Google Docs either.

I would like to write my documents in Markdown, or MultiMarkdown. But I have found a problem with that. The people I work with, does not use nor understand Markdown, So I have to share my documents using PDF, and then they can not edit it, and propose me changes in the document.

I think I have found a great tool that will help me. Pandoc. This tool will help me convert my documents from Markdown to MS Word docx format, or to RTF (Rich Text Format), and a myriad of other formats.

I will be able to keep my documents in plain text, formatted using Markdown, and still be able to share with the rest of the world using some format they will be able to open, and understand.

Portable

I use Linux and Mac all time, so I need something I can use in both ecosystems. Pandoc is "that something". You can install it on Linux and also in Mac OS X. Pandoc Download Page

Writing

I can use any text editor available. I like vim, but If I am working with Markdown, and in a graphic interface I will use:

Using Pandoc

Once I have my .md document, I just have to run from the terminal window:

pandoc -s -S input.md -o output.docx

That is going to be the most used line by me, but also to PDF:

pandoc input.md -o output.pdf

You will have to install latex before using the above line.

There are a lot of other options, and you can find them here

Bonus about using UberWriter under Ubuntu

If you are using Ubuntu and have UberWriter installed, you can export directly from the UberWriter export menu.

Conclusion

There is no more need to use a bloated Word Processor, just to write a simple letter, but more important, there is no need to store documents in formats that will not be in use some years later. I still have some Word Perfect documents, go figure.