How is Google Docs to Markdown so good on Discourse?

I frequently need to convert Google Docs to Markdown for work. Instead of installing a slightly-sketchy extension or downloading at .odt then running pandoc to convert to .md, I frequently copy/paste right into a Discourse discussion and viola.

Every single time it’s the smoothest Markdown transition. The same happens for tables when I copy table-structured information and it automatically builds a Markdown table around it.

How does it do that?

I started poking around the source code but the JS libraries are a bit out of my skillset. I ask because if it’s something I could use elsewhere in open source (first up: Joplin).

Any tips or advice on walking the code is appreciated.


That’s the result of @vinothkannans hard work! :muscle:


We created our own HTML to markdown JS module in /app/assets/javascripts/discourse/app/lib/to-markdown.js. Thanks for the appreciation.


Totally agree! I have been amazed a number of times copying Google Docs we’ve drafted into Discourse Wikis. Thanks @vinothkannans!


Slightly tangential to the rest of your post… I read somewhere that you can get better results if you export as .docx and then pandoc that to Markdown. And, for me, it’s worked fine (but I haven’t tried exporting as .odt and converting that to Markdown).

But the next time I need to convert from Google Docs to Markdown, I’ll definitely give the ‘Discourse converter’ a go :slight_smile:

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