Indexes and Tags

David Walker's Avatar

David Walker

03 Mar, 2019 08:17 PM

Hi Fletcher

I use markdown and specifically MMD in several applications - thanks for all your efforts.
I am also aware of the perils of feature creep with syntax however there are two items that I thing would be useful to consider

The first is marking items for indexing. In the same way are a TOC can be created by {TOC} it would be useful to be able to indicate that a term should be indexed for software such as MS Word - so something like {INDEX:Cashews} would appear as 'Cashews' but also be indexed/indexable in output file formats such as MS Word.

The second is adding tags to documents so that file formats that support tagging (MS Word, Wordpress) could add tags in the metadata section as 'Tags: Cashews, Peanuts, Hazelnuts' and this would be added to the tags part of the metadata

Thanks for considering in advance

All the best


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by fletcher on 03 Mar, 2019 08:46 PM

    fletcher's Avatar

    Thanks for writing in!

    1. MultiMarkdown doesn't support a direct to Word export format, so nothing I do will affect Word. The closest is the OpenDocument format.

    2. I've thought about indexing, but I worry that manually flagging every important word for indexing is time consuming, error-prone, and ugly to look at (counter to the original Markdown philosophy of avoiding text that looks like it has been marked up for a computer.) It seems that other tools that are specifically designed for indexing are better suited to this. There is also not an analogy for indexing in HTML, and I try to limit anything that does not have reasonable support across output formats. Finally, as search becomes so much easier and widespread, indexing seems to be less and less relevant to the majority of users. I realize that there is variability amongst fields, but I very rarely use an index when "Command-F" will likely get me where I need to go much faster. I'm not saying never, but I think this may be a feature whose time has passed??

    3. You can already add whatever you want to documents, including tags in the metadata. MultiMarkdown Composer, for example, supports synchronizing the macOS tags on a file with the MultiMarkdown metadata `tags:` in the text. Older versions of MultiMarkdown were more strict about using a particular metadata for tags/keywords and outputting to particular syntax in the output files. I didn't add this to MultiMarkdown-6 and no one has commented on it.

    Is there a particular output format that you need changed to provide different support for tags?


    Fletcher T. Penney
    [email blocked]

  2. 2 Posted by David M Walker on 04 Mar, 2019 10:27 AM

    David M Walker's Avatar


    1. Thanks for the note about MS Word - I use IA Writer that uses MMD underneath and exports directly to Word - hence my comment

    2. With the indexing I was thinking that it would be the first occurrence of the term and let the rendering find other occupants - making it less burdensome but I agree that it goes against the philosophy. That said whilst search (Command-F) is great it is very hard to use in a print version :-) which is my ultimate target in my current use case.

    3. My error here was that I assumed that metadata was being handled by IA Writer when exporting - however it ignores all metadata - something of a surprise to me and I shall ask them about

    Thanks again for your help

    David M Walker

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by fletcher on 04 Mar, 2019 11:16 AM

    fletcher's Avatar


    If iA writer is going directly from MultiMarkdown to Word, they are probably using built in Apple format conversion support. Which is a terrible way to do it, and something I stopped doing many years ago. The results are abysmal (at least they used to be.) Footnotes aren't handled properly. Neither are internal links. All semantic meaning is lost (e.g. headers). TOC is not native. And much more. (Again -- unless Apple has finally upped their game in this regard, which is doubtful.)

    (Apple's approach involves converting MultiMarkdown to HTML, and then using built-in Apple code to convert from HTML to other formats such as RTF or Word. My approach is to go directly from MultiMarkdown to other formats, maintaining control of the final result.)

    The best results if you absolutely need to get a document into Word (another abysmal program, but that's a different story.... ;) is to use MultiMarkdown to generate an OpenDocument file. LibreOffice can then convert OpenDocument to just about any popular text editor format while still preserving the proper formatting. This includes RTF or Word formats. Try this, and I suspect you'll be very surprised by the results.

    (Oh, and forget about indexing using Apple's approach and wanting me to add indexing support or anything like that. ;)


    Fletcher T. Penney
    [email blocked]

Reply to this discussion

Internal reply

Formatting help / Preview (switch to plain text) No formatting (switch to Markdown)

Attaching KB article:


Attached Files

You can attach files up to 10MB

If you don't have an account yet, we need to confirm you're human and not a machine trying to post spam.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac

Recent Discussions

11 Dec, 2022 09:57 PM
11 Dec, 2022 07:57 PM
26 Sep, 2022 02:40 AM
21 Jul, 2022 10:22 AM
11 Jan, 2022 02:33 PM

Recent Articles