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Convert HTML to Markdown

HTML to Markdown? Isn't Markdown used as a convienient syntax to write and read text for later display in a web browser as HTML (without having to deal with messy HTML tags). Why go the other way? Maybe you need to convert existing HTML pages into the now widely used and convienient Markdown (or CommonMark) format. Hopefully Markdown is now your main working format and you need to convert old content to it. You may need to work with HTML files sent to you, or you have documents in propriety formats that cannot be directly saved in Markdown format (e.g. Microsoft Word files). Finally you may grab nuggets of useful information from the web and want to add them to your Markdown documents, preserving some formatting. Whatever the reason here's some options to convert HTML to Markdown, from online tools to editing the raw HTML.

A Basic HTML Page for Testing

A Basic Hello World! Web Page

If you want to try some of the following HTML to Markdown conversion options you may need a basic HTML page to test them. There is a simple Hello World! HTML page here. In most browsers bring up the context menu (usually a right click) and select View source or View page source (it can also be accessed via the browser's menu options).

View Web Page Source

You can now select all or any part of the HTML code and copy it. Usually everything between the body tags is the most interesting. (Ctrl-A then Ctrl-C on Windows will highlight then copy all the HTML.)

Use an Online HTML to Markdown Converter

There is a JavaScript file that will do HTML to Markdown conversion on GitHub. The to-markdown project by Dom Christie has a page that accepts HTML and shows Markdown:

Online HTML to Markdown

The converted Markdown can be copied and pasted into your documents. Don't forget to save any images or other media from the web that are referenced by the Markdown if you need them. (In most browsers use the context menu to select the option to save an image.)

Online HTML to Markdown Converter Via URL

The website Heck Yes Markdown - www.heckyesmarkdown.com uses a PHP HTML to Markdown converter called Markdownify. It will attempt to convert the relevant text at a given URL into Markdown.

Online HTML to Markdown via URL

Again the Markdown can be copied ready for pasting into your documents and any media files downloaded.

HTML Converted to Markdown via URL

Convert HTML to Markdown Online Via a File Upload

The online Markdown editor Markable.in supports uploading HTML files. Once uploaded the Markdown is available for further editing and the HTML is shown alongside.

HTML Converted to Markdown via Upload

Edit the HTML to Convert it to Markdown

You can of course simply edit the HTML to convert it to Markdown. Any text editor will do, e.g. Notepad in Windows or Notepad++. Use the editors search and replace functionality to speed up the manual conversion process. If the text editor supports regular expression search and replace some creative thinking can be used.

Editing HTML to Create Markdown

Additional Resources

  • Html2text is a Python script that will convert HTML files to Markdown text files.
  • Pandoc is a universal document converter available for most platforms and supports conversion of multiple file types, including HTML to Markdown and Markdown to other formats.
  • Writage is a Microsoft Word plug-in that uses Pandoc to save to a Markdown format text file.

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