You’re Doing That Wrong is a journal of various successes and failures by Dan Sturm.

Converting MultiMarkdown to HTML with TextExpander

If you’re here, reading this site, chances are pretty good that you use and love MultiMarkdown as much as I do. That, or you’re at least fairly curious and have a plenty of free time.

With more and more applications supporting Markdown natively, the need to convert the text to HTML is decreasing in frequency. However, the need isn’t completely gone. Sometimes you just need some good old fashioned HTML.

A Hammer For Every Season

(Or Some Other Metaphor That Actually Makes Sense)

There are almost as many ways to get your MultiMarkdown into HTML as there are applications that support Markdown.

I’ve created build systems for Sublime Text to convert MultiMarkdown documents to HTML files. I’ve got a build system that lets Marked do the heavy lifting for me. For the times I don’t need a full MultiMarkdown document, just a small snippet of text, I’ve got Brett Terpstra’s killer MultiMarkdown Service Tools.

It’s probably due to the myriad of tools at my disposal that I only recently discovered I’m unable to use Brett’s OS X Services in Sublime Text 2. I’ll admit, I didn’t try very hard, but after Control + Clicking, trying my keyboard shortcuts, and doing a bit of searching online, I quickly gave up and decided to build a tool I knew would work.

To TextExpander We Go!

When I need a system-wide tool that works in any application, activated by a few quick keys, the answer is almost always TextExpander. With its ability to act as an intermediary between text and scripts, TextExpander is the hammer that always gets the job done [1].

The snippet:

pbpaste | /usr/local/bin/mmd

Just like my other text processing scripts, proper use involves selecting the text to be processed, copying it to the clipboard, and invoking the snippet, which I’ve bound to the command ;mmd. Now, any time I need to convert MultiMarkdown text into HTML, without the hassle of saving files and opening specific applications, I’ve got a quick, universal keyboard command I can use. Bringing me one step closer to an application agnostic workflow.


  1. Yes, I’m sticking with the hammer metaphor. I’m in too deep to turn back now.  ↩