fast, pure-Ruby Markdown-superset converter

Man Page Converter


This converter takes a kramdown document and converts into a man page in groff format. Some elements like images are not supported because they are not supported by groff.


name(1) -- short description of command


`name` [`OPTIONS`] [*ARGUMENT*...]


All block elements like paragraphs, blockquotes, lists, ... work as they
do with normal kramdown documents.

Use code spans for `code`, `--options` and `user input`, emphasis for
*variables*, *argument names* and *file names*, and **strong emphasis**
for things that should stand out.


: Description of option

: Another option with a *value*

Format Description

Man Page Title

For the resulting manual page to work correctly, a level one heading has to be the first element in the document. This heading should follow one of the following syntaxes and must not have any inline formatting:

# name(section) -- short description of functionality

# name -- short description of functionality

# name(section)

# name short description of functionality

# name

The name is used as the title for the manual page and section for the manual section. It is also possible to specify the section and two additional pieces of data using an IAL with the following keys:

Specifies the manual section and is only used if the section was not specified in the heading itself.
The date of the last nontrivial change to the manual page. It should be written in the format YYYY-MM-DD but that is not mandatory. The date is displayed in the middle of the footer line.
Some extra information that is displayed on the left side in the footer line.

If a description was found in the heading, the NAME section is automatically created from the name and description. Otherwise it has to be created manually.

Section Headings

Manual page sections can be created using level two headings. The text should not contain any inline markup and be all uppercase.

The usual section names are (in the order in which they should appear in the manual page):

Level three headings can be used for subsection headings if necessary. Note that headings nested inside of block elements like lists and headings of level four to six are not supported.

See man-pages(7) for details regarding the usage and contents of each section.

Option Definitions

Documenting the options of a command should be done using definition lists. Options with multiple identifiers can either use multiple definition terms or a single definition term where the identifiers are separated by commas:

`-o`, `--option`
: The description for the option.

`-k` *value*
: Another description.

  The description can contain multiple block elements, even lists.

Inline Markup

When viewing manual pages in a terminal, there are basically only two ways to style some piece of text: boldface and italics (which are often displayed using underline).

The three basic inline markup formats of kramdown are used in the following ways:

The text will be shown in boldface. Should be used for code, options and user input. As usual with code spans, the text will not be processed.
The text will be shown in italics (or underline). Should be used for variables, argument names and file names.
The text will be show in boldface. No special usage pattern, use for things that should stand out.

Other Elements

The converter also supports all other kramdown elements, including tables and math blocks, except the following:

Details on specific elements:

Unordered/Ordered/Definition Lists
Lists can be styled in a compact format by assigning the class compact. Note, however, that all nested block elements will use the compact format. This is mostly intended for single-level lists with short descriptions.
Blockquotes provide no visual clue that they have been used except for additional indentation. However, this comes in handy when some (optionally formatted) parts should stand out, e.g. example command lines.
Math elements
They are displayed like codeblocks and inline code spans, depending on where they are used.
Tables are also fully supported with the exception that links may not appear in them. By assigning the class center a table is output centered instead of left aligned.