### Flavio Poletti

Irreducible Perler.

# Markdown to HTML in Windows Explorer

At work we have SharePoint but I don’t really like its editor in the Wiki (at least how it is setup in our local installation). Well, actually I like using Markdown for editing most of the stuff, so here’s what I managed to setup.

## Use Case

I wanted all of this to be as hassle-free as possible. Our SharePoint Wiki editor allows me to easily set the whole HTML for the article. So the high level workflow is the following:

1. Write Markdown
2. Turn Markdown to HTML
3. Put HTML in clipboard
4. Paste HTML

I eventually landed on this high-level workflow for the two middle steps:

Right-click on the Markdown file in Explorer, select an option called HTML to clipboard..., let it work and enjoy the HTML in the clipboard, ready to be pasted.

It should probably be easy to also tie the same transform-then-copy routine to some editor hook.

## Install a Markdown Converter

First thing I needed a Markdown Converter. There’s a few good out there, two that I tried are:

• Pandoc: has a nice self-contained installer for Windows, so it’s probably the most hassle-free solution;
• Kramdown: requires a Ruby installation but provides you what GitHub Pages use by default.

It’s really your call to this regard. We’ll assume in the following that you settled for pandoc, but it’s just a word change.

## Run regedit

There will be some regedit magic to do, so you have to be comfortable with it. To run it, open the Windows menu and type regedit in the Search programs and files box (focused by default, so you might just start typing), then select program regedit.exe in the list of results (it should be the only one, but your mileage may vary).

## Ensure md Extension Handling

In my case, I like to use extension md for Markdown files. I already had MarkdownPad installed, which means that this file extension was already known to the Windows system. Anyway, whatever the case, in regedit:

1. Open HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and scroll down to see if you already have .md defined (or whatever other extension you want to associate to Markdown files, of course).

• Otherwise, right-clik on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT at the top and select New, then Key and name the new key .md (don’t forget the leading dot!).

• In the right pane, double-click on (Default) and set a value, like mymarkdown or so. This is the type associated to the extension.

2. Take note of the value associated to (Default). It will either be what you found there already, or whatever you set in the previous step. We will assume it’s mymarkdown (but, for example, I have markdownpad2 because .md is associated with MarkdownPad).

## Set Command for Conversion

After the previous section, you now have the type, which we will assume to be mymarkdown. Still in regedit:

1. Inside HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT again, locate the handler for mymarkdown (or whatever you set/found in the previous step).

• Otherwise, right-clik on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT at the top and select New, then Key and name the new key mymarkdown (or whatever…).

2. If there is no shell sub-key, create with right-click, New, Key like before. There is no need to associate a value here.

3. Create a new key inside shell from step 4, and name it toHTML. Select it and, in the right pane, double-click on (Default) and set it to HTML to clipboard... - this is the message you will see in Explorer.

4. Create a new key inside toHTML, named command. Select it and, in the right pane, double click on (Default) and set the value to:

 cmd /C "chcp 65001 & pandoc '%1' | clip"


Set it to kramdown or any other converter of your choice if you want, of course.

## Use it!

This is it! Head over to Explorer, right-click on any file with .md extension and you’re ready to paste shiny HTML!

The input files are assumed to be UTF-8 encoded, as well as what you will eventually end up with in the clipboard (it’s the reason why we put the chcp 65001 command before the real conversion). If you want to adventure into different encodings… let us know!