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Powershell Markdown Preview

by Aaron Crowder on in Utils

I’m at Angle Brackets. I’ve decided that I wanted to try taking all my notes in vim. I LOVE using vim. It’s a really awesome, powerful, and extendable command-line editor. I enjoy that it’s really distraction free. Being distracted is something that I struggle with so I really look for ways to stay focused.

I write in Markdown as well. It’s a great way to get a simple, clean, well formatted plain text document that can be processed and produce HTML. One of the biggest things I look for in a Markdown editor is being able to preview the HTML that my markdown produces. Obviously vim isn’t going to give that to me out of the box. I wouldn’t expect it to either.

However, I figured I could either extend vim, or better yet, my shell to give me markdown previews. After a bit of Googling I was able to find an npm package called github-markdown-preview. I knew I would be able to leverage this from within vim by sending the commands to my shell using :shell or even :!. I wanted something a little more elegant though.

Since I’m in Windows I use PowerShell. I added the following to my PowerShell profile:

Set-Alias -Name gmp -Value github-markdown-preview

Function mkdown-preview($file)
    $preview_dir = $home + "\AppData\Local\MarkdownPreview";
    if((Test-Path $preview_dir) -eq 0) {
        New-Item -ItemType Directory -Force -Path $preview_dir;

    $preview_file = $preview_dir + "\mkdown-preview.html"

    gmp $file -o $preview_file

    Start-Process "chrome.exe" "file:///C:/Users/acrowder/AppData/Local/MarkdownPreview/mkdown-preview.html"

Now I can do the following on the command line:


If the MarkDown preview folder doesn’t exist then it will be created and then we’ll output the HTML generated from your Markdown to a file. Finally, we’ll open that file in Chrome for the preview. Obviously you can edit that function to open up the browser of your choice.