#paper #markdown #terminal #terminal-file #viewer #render #syncat

app paper-terminal

Writes a file to a paper in your terminal. Especially if that file is Markdown.

19 releases (8 stable)

3.0.0 Nov 14, 2023
2.2.1 Jun 25, 2022
2.1.2 Apr 2, 2021
2.1.1 Dec 5, 2020
0.2.0 Jun 12, 2019

#320 in Command line utilities

44 downloads per month

MIT license

1.5K SLoC

Paper terminal

dependency status

See paper.png to see what this looks like!

Writes a file to a paper in your terminal. Especially if that file is Markdown! Features supported include:

  1. The usual text, and paragraphs with automatic line-wrapping. You can manually wrap with
    hard breaks as expected.

    Otherwise, paragraphs will be nicely spaced.

  2. Headings

  3. Bold / Italic / Bold and Italic / Strikethrough

  4. Lists

    • Ordered
    • Unordered
      • Nested
  5. Rules

  6. Inline code

  7. Code blocks, with syncat integration for syntax highlighting. Note that you must install syncat and make the syncat executable available on your path for this to work.

    fn main() {
        println!("Hello world");
  8. Blockquotes


    And even nested block quotes

  9. And even images! Here's a photo of my cat

    My cat. His name is Cato

  10. Task lists:

    • Easy
    • Hard
  11. Footnotes[^ft]

    [^ft]: This is the footnote!

  12. Tables

Comparison with other command line Markdown renderers

Not a very good comparison... this is more of an example of a table!

Tool CommonMark Paper Paging Wrapping Syntax Images Tables Looks good*
foxfriends/paper-terminal Yes Yes No Yes syncat Pixelated Yes Yes
ttscoff/mdless Yes No Yes No pygmentize Sometimes Yes No
lunaryorn/mdcat Yes No No No syntect Sometimes No No

* subjective


Paper uses syncat stylesheets to allow full customization of styling. See the default stylesheet (src/default.syncat) as an example of how this works. To override the default styles, create paper.syncat in your active syncat theme.

  • Different scopes are represented as nodes, inspired by the corresponding HTML tag names.

    • h1 through h6
    • strong
    • emphasis
    • strikethrough
    • code
    • blockquote
    • ul, ol, li
    • footnote-ref, footnote-def, footnote
    • table
    • caption
    • link
  • The paper and shadow can be matched with paper and shadow. Styles applied to paper are applied to everything.

  • The "prefix" and "suffix" tokens can be used to match the decorations

    • List item bullets
    • Blockquote markers
    • Code block margins
  • The "lang-tag" token matches the language name written in the bottom corner of the code block

  • You can apply styles to code blocks with a specific language by using the language name as the token

For now, the prefix/suffix contents are not customizable, but this may be added in future if it is desired.


Paper can be installed from crates.io using Cargo:

cargo install paper-terminal


# Print the help
paper --help

# Render README.md
paper README.md

# Render README.md, with syntax highlighting
paper README.md -s
paper 0.1.0
Cameron Eldridge <cameldridge+git@gmail.com>
Prints papers in your terminal

    paper [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] [file]...

        --dev          Print in debug mode
        --help         Prints help information
    -u, --hide-urls    Hide link URLs
    -i, --no-images    Disable drawing images
    -p, --plain        Don't parse as Markdown, just render the plain text on a paper
    -s, --syncat       Use syncat to highlight code blocks. Requires you have syncat installed.
    -V, --version      Prints version information

    -h, --h-margin <h-margin>    Horizontal margin (overrides --margin)
    -m, --margin <margin>        Margin (shortcut for horizontal and vertical margin set to the same value) [default:
    -v, --v-margin <v-margin>    Vertical margin (overrides --margin)
    -w, --width <width>          The width of the paper (including the space used for the margin) [default: 92]

    <file>...    Files to print


~254K SLoC