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Convert Google Docs content to Markdown or HTML using the gd2md-html add-on

by Tom Johnson on Sep 22, 2017 •
categories: technical-writing

gd2md-html is a Google Docs add-on that will convert your Google Doc content into either Markdown or HTML. This tool provides a much-needed converter that enables you to use Google Docs as a platform for content development without manually reformatting the content when you're ready to publish it in another system.

Check out gd2md-html here. Here’s the description:

gd2md-html is a free Google Docs add-on that converts a Google Doc to a simple, readable Markdown or HTML text file. gd2md-html requires minimal permissions: it will ask for permission to access the current Doc (to convert it). It requires no other permissions.

Install gd2md-html. Note: Not all Markdown renderers support all Markdown features. For example github Markdown does not support a table of contents ([TOC]), footnotes, or definition lists. Also, some Markdown environments strip heading IDs and replace them with their own generated IDs. You’ll have to do some manual adjustments, depending on your target environment.

A few years ago, I wrote a post called A simple way to write, edit, and publish documentation online using Google Docs and Markdown. In it, I described how I would use Markdown syntax in Google Docs as a way to reduce the amount of reformatting I’d need to do when ready to publish the content to my CMS (at the time, Drupal). (The Markdown syntax I was using wasn’t rendered in Google Docs — it was the equivalent of using Markdown syntax in Notepad or another plain text editor.)

With this free Google 2 Markdown/HTML add-on (gd2md-html), you can use Google Doc’s formatting tools to make the content more readable for reviewers. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about all the work required to later format your content when you’re ready to publish it in another system.

Although I’m not currently using Google Docs to review content (due to company restrictions), I wish I were. Google Docs remains the best tool I’ve ever used for reviewing content with subject matter experts.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.