It is possible to include special metadata at the top of a MultiMarkdown document, such as title, author, etc. This information can then be used to control how MultiMarkdown processes the document, or can be used in certain output formats in special ways. For example:

Title:    A Sample MultiMarkdown Document  
Author:   Fletcher T. Penney  
Date:     February 9, 2011  
Comment:  This is a comment intended to demonstrate  
          metadata that spans multiple lines, yet  
          is treated as a single value.  

The syntax for including metadata is simple.

Metadata “Variables”

You can substitute the value for a metadata key in the body of a document using the following format, where foo and bar are the keys of the desired metadata.

# A Variable in a Heading [%foo] #

A variable in the body [%bar].

“Standard” Metadata keys

There are a few metadata keys that are standardized in MultiMarkdown. You can use any other keys that you desire, but you have to make use of them yourself.

My goal is to keep the list of “standard” metadata keys as short as possible.


This value represents the author of the document and is used in LaTeX, ODF, and RTF documents to generate the title information.


This is used to enter further information about the author — a link to a website, the name of an employer, academic affiliation, etc.

Base Header Level

This is used to change the top level of organization of the document. For example:

Base Header Level: 2

# Introduction #

Normally, the Introduction would be output as <h1> in HTML, or \part{} in LaTeX. If you’re writing a shorter document, you may wish for the largest division in the document to be <h2> or \chapter{}. The Base Header Level metadata tells MultiMarkdown to change the largest division level to the specified value.

This can also be useful when combining multiple documents.

Base Header Level does not trigger a complete document.

Additionally, there are “flavors” of this metadata key for various output formats so that you can specify a different header level for different output formats — e.g. LaTeX Header Level, HTML Header Level, and ODF Header Level.

If you are doing something interesting with File Transclusion, you can also use a negative number here. Since metadata is not used when a file is “transcluded”, this allows you to use a different level of headings when a file is processed on its own.

Biblio Style

This metadata specifies the name of the BibTeX style to be used, if you are not using natbib.


This metadata specifies the name of the BibTeX file used to store citation information. Do not include the trailing ‘.bib’.

This can be used to provide a copyright string.


This metadata specifies a URL to be used as a CSS file for the produced document. Obviously, this is only useful when outputting to HTML.


Specify a date to be associated with the document.

HTML Header

You can include raw HTML information to be included in the header. MultiMarkdown doesn’t perform any validation on this data — it just copies it as is.

As an example, this can be useful to link your document to a working MathJax installation (not provided by me):

HTML header:  <script type="text/javascript"

HTML Footer

Raw HTML can be included here, and will be appended at the very end of the document, after footnotes, etc. Useful for linking to scripts that must be included after footnotes.

Quotes Language

This is used to specify which style of “smart” quotes to use in the output document. The available options are:

The default is english if not specified. This affects HTML output. To change the language of a document in LaTeX is up to the individual.

Quotes Language does not trigger a complete document.

LaTeX Author

Since MultiMarkdown syntax is not processed inside of metadata, you can use the latex author metadata to override the regular author metadata when exporting to LaTeX.

This metadata must come after the regular author metadata if it is also being used.

LaTeX Footer

A special case of the LaTeX Input metadata below. This file will be linked to at the very end of the document.

LaTeX Input

When outputting a LaTeX document it is necessary to include various directions that specify how the document should be formatted. These are not included in the MultiMarkdown document itself — instead they should be stored separately and linked to with \input{file} commands.

These links can be included in the metadata section. The metadata is processed in order, so I generally break my directives into a group that need to go before my metadata, a group that goes after the metadata but before the document itself, and a separate group that goes at the end of the document, for example:

latex input:        mmd-memoir-header
Title:              MultiMarkdown Example
Base Header Level:  2
latex mode:         memoir
latex input:        mmd-memoir-begin-doc
latex footer:       mmd-memoir-footer

You can download the LaTeX Support Files if you want to output documents using the default MultiMarkdown styles. You can then use these as examples to create your own customized LaTeX output.

This function should allow you to do almost anything you could do using the XSLT features from MultiMarkdown 2.0. More importantly, it means that advanced LaTeX users do not have to learn XSLT to customize their code as desired.

LaTeX Mode

When outputting a document to LaTeX, there are two special options that change the output slightly — memoir and beamer. These options are designed to be compatible with the LaTeX classes of the same names.

LaTeX Title

Since MultiMarkdown syntax is not processed inside of metadata, you can use the latex title metadata to override the regular title metadata when exporting to LaTeX.

This metadata must come after the regular title metadata if it is also being used.

MMD Footer

The MMD Footer metadata is used to specify the name of a file that should be appended to the end of the document using the File Transclusion feature. This is useful for keeping a list of references, abbreviations, footnotes, links, etc. all in a single file that can be reused across multiple documents. If you’re building a big document out of smaller documents, this allows you to use one list in all files, without multiple copies being inserted in the master file.

ODF Header

You can include raw XML to be included in the header of a file output in OpenDocument format. It’s up to you to properly format your XML and get it working — MultiMarkdown just copies it verbatim to the output.



Transclude Base

When using the File Transclusion feature to “link” to other documents inside a MultiMarkdown document, this metadata specifies a folder that contains the files being linked to. If omitted, the default is the folder containing the file in question. This can be a relative path or a complete path.

This metadata can be particularly useful when using MultiMarkdown to parse a text string that does not exist as a file on the computer, and therefore does not have a parent folder (when using stdin or another application that offers MultiMarkdown support). In this case, the path must be a complete path.