Markdown Options

The various Markdown renderers supported by Jekyll sometimes have extra options available.


Kramdown is the default Markdown renderer for Jekyll. Below is a list of the currently supported options:

  • auto_id_prefix - Prefix used for automatically generated header IDs
  • auto_id_stripping - Strip all formatting from header text for automatic ID generation
  • auto_ids - Use automatic header ID generation
  • coderay_bold_every - Defines how often a line number should be made bold
  • coderay_css - Defines how the highlighted code gets styled
  • coderay_default_lang - Sets the default language for highlighting code blocks
  • coderay_line_number_start - The start value for the line numbers
  • coderay_line_numbers - Defines how and if line numbers should be shown
  • coderay_tab_width - The tab width used in highlighted code
  • coderay_wrap - Defines how the highlighted code should be wrapped
  • enable_coderay - Use coderay for syntax highlighting
  • entity_output - Defines how entities are output
  • footnote_backlink - Defines the text that should be used for the footnote backlinks
  • footnote_backlink_inline - Specifies whether the footnote backlink should always be inline
  • footnote_nr - The number of the first footnote
  • gfm_quirks - Enables a set of GFM specific quirks
  • hard_wrap - Interprets line breaks literally
  • header_offset - Sets the output offset for headers
  • html_to_native - Convert HTML elements to native elements
  • line_width - Defines the line width to be used when outputting a document
  • link_defs - Pre-defines link definitions
  • math_engine - Set the math engine
  • math_engine_opts - Set the math engine options
  • parse_block_html - Process kramdown syntax in block HTML tags
  • parse_span_html - Process kramdown syntax in span HTML tags
  • smart_quotes - Defines the HTML entity names or code points for smart quote output
  • syntax_highlighter - Set the syntax highlighter
  • syntax_highlighter_opts - Set the syntax highlighter options
  • toc_levels - Defines the levels that are used for the table of contents
  • transliterated_header_ids - Transliterate the header text before generating the ID
  • typographic_symbols - Defines a mapping from typographical symbol to output characters
There are two unsupported kramdown options

Please note that both remove_block_html_tags and remove_span_html_tags are currently unsupported in Jekyll due to the fact that they are not included within the kramdown HTML converter.

For more details about these options have a look at the Kramdown configuration documentation.


Redcarpet can be configured by providing an extensions sub-setting, whose value should be an array of strings. Each string should be the name of one of the Redcarpet::Markdown class’s extensions; if present in the array, it will set the corresponding extension to true.

Jekyll handles two special Redcarpet extensions:

  • no_fenced_code_blocks — By default, Jekyll sets the fenced_code_blocks extension (for delimiting code blocks with triple tildes or triple backticks) to true, probably because GitHub’s eager adoption of them is starting to make them inescapable. Redcarpet’s normal fenced_code_blocks extension is inert when used with Jekyll; instead, you can use this inverted version of the extension for disabling fenced code.

Note that you can also specify a language for highlighting after the first delimiter:

    # ...ruby code

With both fenced code blocks and highlighter enabled, this will statically highlight the code; without any syntax highlighter, it will add a class="LANGUAGE" attribute to the <code> element, which can be used as a hint by various JavaScript code highlighting libraries.

  • smart — This pseudo-extension turns on SmartyPants, which converts straight quotes to curly quotes and runs of hyphens to em (---) and en (--) dashes.

All other extensions retain their usual names from Redcarpet, and no renderer options aside from smart can be specified in Jekyll. A list of available extensions can be found in the Redcarpet README file. Make sure you’re looking at the README for the right version of Redcarpet: Jekyll currently uses v3.2.x. The most commonly used extensions are:

  • tables
  • no_intra_emphasis
  • autolink

Custom Markdown Processors

If you’re interested in creating a custom markdown processor, you’re in luck! Create a new class in the Jekyll::Converters::Markdown namespace:

class Jekyll::Converters::Markdown::MyCustomProcessor
  def initialize(config)
    require 'funky_markdown'
    @config = config
  rescue LoadError
    STDERR.puts 'You are missing a library required for Markdown. Please run:'
    STDERR.puts '  $ [sudo] gem install funky_markdown'
    raise"Missing dependency: funky_markdown")

  def convert(content)

Once you’ve created your class and have it properly set up either as a plugin in the _plugins folder or as a gem, specify it in your _config.yml:

markdown: MyCustomProcessor