smu - a Simple Markup Language

smu is a very simple and minimal markup language. It is designed for use in wiki-like environments. smu makes it very easy to write your documents on the fly and convert them into HTML.

smu is capable of parsing very large documents. It scales just great as long as you avoid a huge amount of indents.


smu was started as a rewrite of markdown but became something more lightweight and consistent. It differs from CommonMark in the following ways:

Patches that increase the CommonMark compatibility are welcome as long as they don't increase the code complexity significantly.

This project is a fork of the original smu by Enno Boland (gottox). The main differences to the original smu are:

Inline patterns

There are several patterns you can use to highlight your text:


Creating titles in smu is very easy. There are two different syntax styles. The first is underlining with at least three characters:



This is very intuitive and self explaining. The resulting sourcecode looks like this:


Use the following prefixes if you don't like underlining:

# h1
## h2
### h3
#### h4
##### h5
###### h6


The simplest way to define a link is with simple <>.


You can do the same for E-Mail addresses:


If you want to define a label for the url, you have to use a different syntax

[smu - simple mark up](

The resulting HTML-Code

<a href="">smu - simple mark up</a></p>


Defining lists is very straightforward:

* Item 1
* Item 2
* Item 3


<li>Item 1</li>
<li>Item 2</li>
<li>Item 3</li>

Defining ordered lists is also very easy:

1. Item 1
2. Item 2
3. Item 3

Only the first number in a list is meaningful. All following list items are continously counted. If you want a list starting at 2, you could write:

2. Item 1
2. Item 2
2. Item 3

and get the following HTML which will render with the numbers 2, 3, 4:

<ol start="2">
<li>Item 1</li>
<li>Item 2</li>
<li>Item 3</li>

Code & Blockquote

Use the > as a line prefix for defining blockquotes. Blockquotes are interpreted as well. This makes it possible to embed links, headings and even other quotes into a quote:

> Hello
> This is a quote with a [link](


This is a quote with a <a href="">link</a></p>

You can define a code block with a leading Tab or with 4 leading spaces, too)


<pre><code>, too)

Please note that you can't use HTML or smu syntax in a code block.

Another way to write code blocks is to use code fences:

{"some": "code"}

This has two advantages:


Tables can be generated with the following syntax:

Heading1 Heading2
Cell 1 Cell2

Aligning the columns make the input nicer to read, but is not necessary to get correct table output. You could just write

Heading1 Heading2
Cell 1 Cell2

To align the content of table cells, use |:--| for left, |--:| for right and |:--:| for centered alignment in the row which separates the header from the table body.

Heading1 Heading2 Heading3
Left Center Right

Other interesting stuff

embed HTML

You can include arbitrary HTML code in your documents. The HTML will be passed through to the resulting document without modification. This is a good way to work around features that are missing in smu. If you don't want this behaviour, use the -n flag when executing smu to stricly escape the HTML tags.