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.


CommonMark is a rationalized version of Markdown syntax, implemented in C and thus faster than default Kramdown implemented in Ruby. It slightly differs from original Markdown and does not support all the syntax elements implemented in Kramdown, like Block Inline Attribute Lists.

It comes in two flavors: basic CommonMark with jekyll-commonmark plugin and GitHub Flavored Markdown supported by GitHub Pages.


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