Full-featured Markdown and HTML converter for NVDA
MarkdownForever is a small NVDA add-on that converts Markdown or HTML contents easily. Just write or display any text in Markdown or HTML format and press a simple shortcut to instantly convert or preview the result at any time, exactly as it will look like in your final webpage, or in HTML source code, ready to be pasted in any text area supporting HTML.
- Convert Markdown to HTML
- Convert markdown to HTML source code
- Convert HTML to Markdown
- Convert Markdown to formatted HTML
1.2. But what on Earth this Markdown thing is?
According to Wikipedia,
Markdown is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax. Its design allows it to be converted to many output formats, but the original tool by the same name only supports HTML. Markdown is often used to format readme files, for writing messages in online discussion forums, and to create rich text using a plain text editor.
You can learn more about Markdown by reading the full article on Wikipedia.
So, instead of writing your web documents using HTML with risk of making mistakes, you will use easy to memorize tags and your work will be done in no time. With Markdown, you will be able to do more or less the things HTML can do: headings, ordered (numbered) or unordered (buleted) lists, links, and even tables.
For example, if you want to make a first level heading, you will write one hash sign (#), followed by the name of your heading, with or without a space between them:
#This is an example of a first level heading
which will appear as follow in your final HTML document:
2. This is an example of a first level heading
For a second level heading, you will use Two hash signs, three for a third level one, Etc.
Now, let's make an unordered list of items. To do so, you can prefix all items of your list by an asterisk (*). Here is an example:
* Orange * Sugar * Milk
which will appear as:
You can also make a link by enclosing the title of the link in square brackets (), followed by the URL enclosed in parentheses without any spaces. For example:
[Click here to visit NVAccess's website](https://www.nvaccess.org)
which will give you:
You can even put
*some text in italic* by enclosing it in asterisks, or
**write text in bold** by surrounding it with two asterisks... Possibilities
are numerous. Just check this Markdown Cheat
Sheet for more tags and details.
2.1. Converting Markdown to HTML
This feature allows you to convert any markdown text displayed on the screen to HTML, showing you the way your Markdown will look in the final HTML document. This can be a document you have written in Markdown format, a .md file you already have on your hard drive or a Markdown text found on a web page. By default, MarkdownForever converts all the currently displayed text, but you can also select only a specific part to be converted.
You can use the following commands:
- NVDA+ALT+b : The result is displayed as web page in your default web browser.
- NVDA+ALT+n : The result is displayed as a web page in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
Please note that it is recommended to favor the display in browser instead of the virtual buffer of NVDA. Some tags, particularly HTML5 tags such as
<details>, are not supported by the render of virtual buffer.
2.2. Converting Markdown to HtML source code
This converts Markdown text to pure HTML language. Once done, you'll be able to copy and paste it in an HTML file, in a forum post, or any text area on the web where HTML code is supported.
The following commands are available:
- NVDA+ALT+l : The result is displayed in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
- NVDA+Ctrl+h : Copy the HTML source code to the clipboard.
2.3. Converting HTML to Markdown
This feature attempts to produce a Markdown text from an HTML source content. As usual, this works on the entire text displayed on the screen or on a specificly selected part. The following commands are available:
- NVDA+Alt+k : Displays the result in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
- NVDA+Shift+g : Copy the result in the clipboard.
You can also convert an HTML web page to Markdown by simply selecting its URL. However, you must first ensure that the HTML2Text conversion engine is properly set as the default one in MarkdownForever's settings, located in the Settings sub menu of NVDA.
2.4. Converting Markdown to Formatted HtML
This function converts your Markdown content to formatted HTML and copy it to the clipboard. Formatted HTML will look like any web page displayed by your browser, with clickable links, headings etc. This can only be generated from a Markdown content. It doesn't work with HTML source code. To perform this action, press NVDA+Shift+h.
Please note that the formatted HTML can be pasted in applications like Microsoft Word, Wordpad, Thunderbird, some rich-text field in web page, etc. However it can't be pasted in text editor such as Notepad, Notepad++, etc.
2.5. Interactive Mode
The interactive mode is a function which presents all MarkdownForever's features in a convenient dialog box, which offers you even more handy extras. To open the Interactive Mode, Press NVDA+CTRL+i. Here is a description of the screen in Tab order:
- "Convert to": This first combo box allows you to choose the conversion direction: HTML, HTML source or Markdown. Use the up and down arrow keys to select.
- "Generate a table of contents": This checkbox will allow you to generate or not an index of the chapters of your final HTML document with clickable links leading to each chapter. The status of this option can also be set as default in MarkdownForever settings.
- "Try to automatically number headings": If checked, Markdown Forever will attemps to prefix your headings (or chapters) by numbers, according to the level of each heading, E.G. "1." for heading level 1, "1.1." for heading level 2 etc.
- "Enable Extra Tags": If this is checked, it enables the possibility to use special tags in your Markdown content to automatically insert things like the actual date or time. The status of this option can also be set as default in MarkdownForever settings.
- "Allow Extratags back translation": This will indicate whether or not extra-tags should be reverted to their original form (e.g. 12/9/2019) when converting an HTML content generated by Markdown Forever back to Markdown.
- "Title": You can input the title of your HTML document here, which will be visible in the internet browser.
- "Coresponding metadata block": This read-only field displays
- "Generate corresponding metadata from HTML source": When converting an HTML source file to Markdown, it attempts to guess the metadata from the source code (title, lang, filename etc) and generate the metadata block for you. This option is only available for HTML to Markdown conversion.
- "Show in Virtual Buffer": This button will open your converted content in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
- "Show in Browser": This will display your converted content in your default internet browser.
- "Copy to Clipboard": This will place your converted content in your Windows clipboard, ready to be pasted.
- "Save As": This will prompt you to save your converted document on your hard drive through a standard Save As windows dialog box. A default Save location can also be set in MarkdownForever settings.
2.6. Optional Metadata block
The metadata block allows you to set specific parameters for a particular document, independent of the default settings. This must be placed at the very beginning of the document and must begin with three dashes ("---") and end with three periods ("...") or three dashes ("---"). Each entry must be inputted in the following form: key: "value" (the value must be enclosed in quotes). An empty line must be present after the metadata block.
2.6.1. List of supported metadata
- author (or authors): To specify one or more authors nam for the document (see example below). This will be added in the header of the HtML file. This key is not case-sensitive.
- autonumber-headings: To indicate whether or not headings should be numbered automatically. Possible values: true (1) or false (0).
- css (or CSS): To specify one or more CSS files for the presentation of your document (see example below). This key is not case-sensitive.
- date: To specify a date for your document. This will be added in the header of the HTML file.
- extratags: to specify whether or not extra-tags should be interpreted. Possible values: true (1) or false (0).
- extratags-back: To indicate whether or not extra-tags should be reverted to their original form (e.g. 12/9/2019) when converting an HTML content generated by Markdown Forever back to Markdown. Possible values: true (1) or false (0).
- filename: to indicate the name of the output file when saving.
- keywords: To specify keywords related to the topic(s) covered by your document.
- lang: to specify the main language of the document. If necessary, use span/div tags with the lang attribute to indicate language changes, internal to the document.
- mathjax: To indicate whether or not mathematical formulas written in LaTeX should be converted. Possible values: true (1) or false (0). Internet connection is required and you must open the converted result in your browser to display it properly, since interpreted LaTeX cannot be rendered by the virtual buffer of NVDA. Click here to get more information about MathJax.
- path: to specify the directory where the document should be generated. The environment variables %userprofile%, %appdata% and %tmp% are supported.
- subtitle: To specify a subtitle for your HtML document. This will be added in the header of the HTML file.
- title: to indicate the title of the HTML document. In Interactive Mode, the title field will be automatically filled using the value of this key.
- toc: to indicate whether or not a table of contents should be generated. Possible values: true (1) or false (0).
2.6.2. Metadata usage example
--- title: "a simple title" date: 2019-11-08 subtitle: "this is the subtitle of your document" lang: en author: - John Doe - David Murphy CSS: - %userprofile%/document/main.css - %userprofile%/document/custom.css keywords: NVDA, Markdown, HTML filename: test path: "%userprofile%/desktop" toc: 0 autonumber-headings: 1 mathjax: 0 --- Hello World! <span lang="fr">Bonjour tout le monde!</span> <span lang="es">buenos días!</span>
In the example above, the text will be voiced in three languages, assuming that the voice synthesizer you are using supports automatic language switching and the corresponding checkbox is ticked in NVDA speech settings. It will sound as follows:
Hello World! Bonjour tout le monde! buenos días!
Extra-tags are special placeholders that you can put in your Markdown content to automatically add system info like current date or time, which will be rendered in clear text in your HTML document.
2.7.1. Supported extra-tags
|In the Markdown content||Explanation||Result in the browser|
||Current time||6:59:06 AM|
||Current date / time||12/9/2019 6:59:06 AM|
||Current day (long format)||Monday|
||Current day (decimal format)||09|
||Month (long format)||December|
||Current month (decimal format)||12|
||Current year (2 digits)||19|
||Current year (4 digits)||2019|
||Table of contents at cursor's position (if enabled through metadata or default settings)||N/A|
2.8. MarkdownForever's default settings
They can be reached from the NVDA menu -> Settings MarkdownForever -> Settings and will let you configure and set as default various settings related to the conversion process already mentionned above:
- "Generate a table of contents": This checkbox will allow you to generate or not an index of the chapters of your final HTML document with clickable links leading to each chapter. This behavior can also be set on a per-document basis using the "toc" key within the optional metadata block and placed anywhere in the document using the corresponding extra-tag.
- "Enable Extra Tags": If this is checked, it enables the possibility to use special tags in your Markdown content to automatically insert things like the actual date or time. This behavior can also be set on a per-document basis using the extratags key within the optional metadata block.
- "Generate corresponding metadata for HTML source": When converting an HTML source file to Markdown, it attempts to guess the metadata from the source code (title, lang, filename etc) and generate the metadata block for you.
- "Default action in Interactive mode": This allows to choose the default action which will be performed when pressing the Enter key in Interactive mode: Show the generated content in your browser, in a virtual buffer or put it in the clipboard.
- "Markdown engine": MarkdownForever allows you to choose between tow conversion engines, HTML2Text and HTML2Markdown. Just experiment and choose the one you prefer, according to your needs or the produced result.
- "Path": Here you can set a default save location on your hard drive for your converted documents. it comes in handy if you always use the same folder to store all your work.
- "Manage HTML templates": This will open a dialog box allowing to add, edit and delete HTML templates. With templates, you will be able to customize visual aspects of your generated HTML documents using CSS (cascading styles sheets), the language responsible for page styling. This will let you change colors, layout or add images to your productions and build a template for every specific need. There are of course many tutorials to learn CSS available on the web and this one can be a good starting point.
2.9. Commands summary
- NVDA+CTRL+i: Interactive mode.
- NVDA+ALT+b: Markdown to HTML conversion. The result is displayed in your default browser.
- NVDA+ALT+n: Markdown to HTML conversion. The result is displayed in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
- NVDA+ALT+k: HTML to markdown conversion. The result is displayed in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
- NVDA+ALT+l: Markdown to HTML source conversion. The result is displayed in a virtual buffer of NVDA.
- NVDA+SHIFT+g: HTML to Markdown conversion. The result is copied to clipboard.
- NVDA+SHIFT+h: Markdown to formatted HTML conversion: The result is copied to the clipboard.
- NVDA+CTRL+h: Markdown to HTML source conversion. The result is copied to the clipboard.
2.10. Add-on Information
- Authors: André <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sof <email@example.com> and other contributors
- License: GNU General Public License, version 2
- Download stable version
- Download development version
- GitHub repository: aaclause/NVDA-markdownForever
- Included dependencies :