#markdown #less #cat

bin+lib mdcat

cat for markdown: Show markdown documents in terminals

34 releases (19 breaking)

0.22.3 Feb 22, 2021
0.22.1 Oct 17, 2020
0.20.0 Jul 5, 2020
0.15.1 Feb 15, 2020
0.8.0 Feb 15, 2018

#47 in Command line utilities

Download history 95/week @ 2020-11-09 69/week @ 2020-11-16 110/week @ 2020-11-23 89/week @ 2020-11-30 86/week @ 2020-12-07 98/week @ 2020-12-14 68/week @ 2020-12-21 155/week @ 2020-12-28 164/week @ 2021-01-04 78/week @ 2021-01-11 183/week @ 2021-01-18 76/week @ 2021-01-25 116/week @ 2021-02-01 120/week @ 2021-02-08 370/week @ 2021-02-15 152/week @ 2021-02-22

563 downloads per month
Used in 5 crates (4 directly)

MPL-2.0 license



Fancy cat for Markdown (that is, CommonMark):

$ mdcat sample.md

mdcat showcase with different colour themes

mdcat in kitty, with Tango Light, Dracula, and Solarized Light (from left to right), and PragmataPro as font.


mdcat works best with iTerm2 or Kitty, and a good terminal font with italic characters. Then it

  • nicely renders all basic CommonMark syntax (no tables or footnotes though),
  • highlights code blocks with syntect,
  • shows links and images inline in supported terminals (see above, where "Pixabay" is a clickable link!),
  • adds jump marks for headings in iTerm2 (jump forwards and backwards with ⇧⌘↓ and ⇧⌘↑).
Terminal Basic syntax Syntax highlighting Links Images Jump marks
Basic ANSI
Windows ConEmu
Windows 10 console
Generic VTE 0.50 or newer¹
iTerm2 ✓ 2)
kitty ✓ 2)
  1. VTE is Gnome’s terminal emulation library used by many popular terminal emulators on Linux, including Gnome Terminal, Xfce Terminal, Tilix, etc.
  2. SVG images require rsvg-convert from librsvg.

Not supported:


Try mdcat --help or read the mdcat(1) manpage.


  • The Releases page provides pre-build binaries for Linux, macOS and Windows.
    • Tip: You can copy or hard-link mdcat to mdless for a variant of mdcat which paginates by default (like mdcat -p).
  • 3rd party packages:
    • Homebrew: brew install mdcat
    • Arch Linux: pacman -S mdcat
    • Void Linux: xbps-install -S mdcat
    • Nixpkgs: nix-env -i mdcat
    • Scoop: scoop install mdcat
    • Chocolatey: choco install mdcat
  • You can also build mdcat manually with cargo install mdcat.

Future plans

  • Figure out a better way to show HTML GH-3.
  • CommonMark extensions: Footnotes GH-1.
  • CommonMark extensions: Tables GH-2.
  • Ignore soft wraps and wrap inline text a column limit instead GH-4.


Copyright Sebastian Wiesner sebastian@swsnr.de

Binaries are subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0, see LICENSE.

Most of the source is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0, see LICENSE, unless otherwise noted; some files are subject to the terms of the Apache 2.0 license, see http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0


~456K SLoC