A wrapper around the BlueCloth gem which incorporates HTML5 headers, footers, and a table of contents all with a nice stylesheet.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'tartancloth'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install tartancloth


TartanCloth's main feature is generating a linked Table of Contents from the headers (h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6) in your markdown document.

Simply add a header at any header level (level 2: h2, shown here):

## TOC

TartanCloth will parse the document and collect all headers after the TOC and create a Table of Contents. The Table of Contents will be inserted at the location of the ## TOC header, replacing it.

In most of my documents, I include the Title (h1) and a summary before displaying the TOC. I didn't want to include the sections prior to the TOC in the Table of Contents, that's why header collection starts after.

Quick Example

A quick example of using TartanCloth.

Given the following markdown:

# My Wrench User Manual

## Summary

My Wrench is an awesome tool blah, blah blah.

- - -
## TOC

- - -
## Running Wrench from the command line

How to run wrench from the command line

- - -
## Documentation Conventions

Text surrounded with square brackets [] is optional.
Text formatted like `this` indicates a _keyword_.

### Some Other Header

#### Another, Deeper Header

##### Yet Another Header

- - -
## Look at this header

###### Small Note Header

Markit.rb will convert the markdown to HTML, with an embedded stylesheet and include a Table of Contents.

require 'tartancloth'

title = 'My Markdown'
mdsrc = 'path/to/my/markdown.md'
mdout = 'path/to/my/markdown.html'

puts "Title:  #{title}"
puts "Source: #{mdsrc}"
puts "Output: #{mdout}"

TartanCloth.new( mdsrc, title ).to_html_file( mdout )

Using TartanCloth from a Rake Task

I like to use TartanCloth from a rake task to generate pretty docs.

require "pathname"
require 'tartancloth'

# Call this as: rake md2html[path/to/file/to/convert.md]
desc "Convert a .MD file to HTML"
task :md2html, [:mdfile] do |t, args|
  Rake::Task['markdown:md2html'].invoke( args[:mdfile] )

namespace :markdown do

  desc "md2html usage instructions"
  task :help do
    puts <<HELP


Usage: md2html

Generate HTML from a markdown document

  The generated HTML document will be located in the same location as
  the source markdown document.

  To generate the document, call it as follows:

    rake md2html[path/to/doc.md]

  Note that no quotes are needed.

  To set the title of the document, provide it as an ENV variable:

    TITLE="My Title" rake md2html[path/to/doc.md]

  If no title is given, the title will default to the filename.



  task :md2html, [:mdfile] do |t, args|
    args.with_defaults(:mdfile => nil)
    if args[:mdfile].nil?
      puts "ERROR: Full path to file to convert required."
      puts "usage:  rake md2html['path/to/md/file.md']"

    mdsrc = args[:mdfile]
    mdout = mdsrc.pathmap( "%X.html" )
    title = ENV['TITLE']

    puts "Title:  #{title}"
    puts "Source: #{mdsrc}"
    puts "Output: #{mdout}"

    TartanCloth.new( mdsrc, title ).to_html_file( mdout )

end # namespace :markdown

A Task to Generate a User Manual

I use the tasks above to generate a user manual as well:

require "bundler/gem_tasks"

desc 'Generate user manual HTML'
task :man do

  ENV['TITLE'] = 'User Manual'

  Rake::Task['markdown:md2html'].invoke( 'docs/user_manual.md' )


Available Methods

The TartanCloth object provides the following methods:

# Convert a markdown source file to HTML. If a header element with text TOC
# exists within the markdown document, a Table of Contents will be generated
# and inserted at that location.
# The TOC will only contain header (h1-h6) elements from the location of the
# TOC header to the end of the document


# The same as to_html() but writes the HTML to a file.
# html_file - path to file

to_html_file( html_file_path )

# Build TOC and return body content (including TOC).
# Returned HTML does NOT include doc headers, footer, or stylesheet.
# returns HTML that forms the body of the document




  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request