By Teddy CipollaThu. 04 Jul. 20243min Read

Changing Markdown to PDF in a Few Minutes

Learn how to convert Markdown to PDF to ensure consistent formatting, enhance professional presentation, and simplify sharing.
Changing Markdown to PDF in a Few Minutes

Many professionals and scenarios benefit from using Markdown format files for drafting important documents. One of the key advantages of Markdown is its simplicity, offering easy-to-use commands for formatting and editing.

In certain situations, converting Markdown files to PDF is necessary to preserve the document's formatting and structure. This ensures that the integrity of the original content is maintained.

Theodore Cipolla
Blog Author - B2B SaaS Content Marketer
Theodore is a B2B SaaS Content Marketer with over ten years of experience. He is passionate about helping professionals appreciate the value of tools quickly.

What is a Markdown File?

Markdown is a lightweight markup language used to create formatted text that can be converted into HTML, XHTML, or other formats. Markdown files, typically with .md or .MARKDOWN.

Markdown offers several benefits, including being lightweight, fast, readable, customizable, compatible, and having fewer formatting issues. It also supports images, charts, and mathematical formulas. Additionally, Markdown files can be converted to various formats, such as HTML and PDF.

You can also read about 
converting PDF to Excel in one minute.

"Markdown is perfect for content that is written to be read."
Gabe Weatherhead
Founding Partner at AEGERIA Consulting LLC
Source: LinkedIn

Using VSCode to Markdown Convert to PDF

VSCode is a versatile text editor with numerous plugins to support various file management tasks. Among its extensions is Markdown PDF, which allows users to convert Markdown files into formats such as PDF, HTML, JPEG, and PNG. Here's how to convert Markdown to PDF using this extension.

Step 1: Install VSCode

If you haven't already, download and install Visual Studio Code from the official website.

Step 2: Install the Markdown PDF Extension

  1. Open VSCode.
  2. Go to the Extensions view by clicking the Extensions icon in the Activity Bar on the side of the window or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+X.
  3. In the Extensions view search bar, type Markdown PDF.
  4. Find the Markdown PDF extension by yzane and click the Install button.

Step 3
: Open Your Markdown File

  1. Open VSCode.
  2. Navigate to the Explorer view by clicking the Explorer icon in the Activity Bar or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+E.
  3. Open your Markdown file by either dragging it into the VSCode window or using the File > Open File... menu.

Step 4
: Convert Markdown to PDF

  1. With your Markdown file open, press Ctrl+Shift+P to open the Command Palette.
  2. In the Command Palette, type Markdown PDF: Export (pdf) and select it.
  3. VSCode will process the file and generate a PDF, saving it in the same directory as your Markdown file.

Step 5
: View the PDF

Once the conversion is complete, you can find the PDF file in the same directory as your Markdown file. Open it with your preferred PDF viewer to ensure the formatting and content are as expected.


Using PanDoc to Markdown Convert to PDF

Another option for converting Markdown to PDF is using Pandoc, an open-source converter that can transform various file types, including Markdown, Microsoft Word (.docx), and XML, into PDF. Here are the steps to convert Markdown to PDF using Pandoc.

Step 1: Install Pandoc

First, you need to install Pandoc on your system. You can download it from the Pandoc website and follow the installation instructions for your operating system.

Step 2: Prepare Your Markdown File

Ensure your Markdown file is ready for conversion. It should have a .md or .MARKDOWN extension.

Step 3: Use the Command Line to Convert

Open your command-line interface (CLI) and navigate to the directory containing your Markdown file. Use the following command to convert your Markdown file to PDF:

Replace with the name of your Markdown file and output.pdf with your desired output file name.

4. Customize the Output (Optional)

Pandoc allows for extensive customization using additional options and templates. For example, you can specify a custom LaTeX template or include metadata:

Use Online Markdown to PDF Converters

One of the simplest methods for converting Markdown to PDF is by utilizing an online conversion tool like Vertopal, Sejda PDF, AllDocs, and others. Vertopal, a free service, supports conversion between over 200 file types, including Markdown to PDF.

To use Vertopal, you can follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit Vertopal's Official Website

Navigate to the official Vertopal website. Click on 'Choose File' to upload your Markdown file from your computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

Image Source: Vertopal

Step 2: Start the Conversion

After selecting your file, click on the 'Convert' button and wait for the conversion process to complete.

Image Source: Vertopal

Step 3: Download Your PDF

Once the conversion is finished, download the converted PDF to your local computer.

Image Source: Vertopal

"Markdown is intended to be as easy-to-read and easy-to-write as is feasible."
John Gruber
Co-creator of the Markdown

Benefits of Converting Markdown to PDF

PDF Reader Pro stands out as an excellent choice for handling Markdown files due to its integration, feature-rich environment, user-friendly interface, cross-platform support, and advanced editing capabilities.

Ready to get started with our PDF editor? Download the latest version of PDF Reader Pro for Windows or Mac down below:

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!


1. Consistency Across Platforms

PDF files maintain the same formatting across different devices and operating systems. When you convert a Markdown file to PDF, you ensure that the document's layout, fonts, and overall appearance remain consistent for all readers, regardless of their platform.

2. Professional Presentation

PDFs are often preferred in professional and academic settings due to their polished appearance. Converting Markdown to PDF can give your documents a more formal and professional look, making them suitable for presentations, reports, and official submissions.

3. Ease of Sharing and Distribution

PDFs are easily shareable and can be opened on virtually any device with a PDF reader. This makes it convenient to distribute documents to a wide audience without worrying about compatibility issues.

4. Security and Integrity

PDFs offer options for password protection and encryption, ensuring the security of your sensitive documents. Additionally, PDFs preserve the integrity of the original content, preventing unintended edits or alterations.

5. Support for Rich Formatting

While Markdown is excellent for writing, PDFs support more complex formatting, such as advanced typography, interactive elements (like hyperlinks and forms), and multimedia integration. This allows you to enhance your documents beyond the capabilities of plain Markdown.

6. Archiving and Printing

PDFs are ideal for archiving documents because they preserve the exact formatting and content. They are also optimized for printing, ensuring that printed copies look the same as the digital version.

You can also read about export Jupyter Notebook to PDF.

Converting Markdown to PDF offers numerous advantages, including consistent formatting, professional presentation, ease of sharing, enhanced security, support for rich formatting, and suitability for archiving and printing.

Whether you are preparing a report, sharing a document, or preserving important information, converting to PDF ensures your content is presented in the best possible way.

Was this article helpful for you?
Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!