Pandoc is a Swiss Army knife text conversion utility
I love Markdown. If you write any sort of content for the Web, you really should try it; it's a simple notation system for making text bold or italic, creating headlines and bulleted lists, and more. To make text bold, for example, you just need to surround it with asterisks.
Converting Markdown into valid HTML is a fairly common task, and there's no dearth of tools that do this. But Pandoc caught my eye because it can do this and a whole lot more. Plus it's free, open source, and cross-platform.
Pandoc understands Markdown, HTML, and several other formats, and it can output:
- plain text – i.e., strip all HTML and give you just the text
- Markdown – so you can convert HTML back into Markdown for editing
- And a whole list of other formats, including HTML, LaTeX, ConTeXt, PDF, RTF, DocBook XML, OpenDocument XML, ODT, GNU Texinfo, MediaWiki markup, groff man pages, EPUB ebooks, and S5 and Slidy HTML slide shows
It even supports PDF output using a helper utility. So yes, it can convert Markdown to HTML (and vice versa), but it can do so much more, too. It's definitely one for the toolbox!