Content creation

This section deals with the creation of content files that are fed into innoConv for processing.

As already mentioned, the main format for writing content is Markdown. The available references for the Markdown language generally do apply for innoConv but we will direct you specifically to Pandoc’s Markdown. The reason for that is Markdown exists in different flavours and innoConv is using Pandoc under the hood.

See also

The Example course serves as a reference to authors.

Best practices

Text editor

Content is written in plain-text. Therefore you will need a text editor to author innoDoc content. The choices are endless. If in doubt your operating system comes with a text editor pre-installed.


Please use UTF-8 character encoding exclusively when writing documents for innoConv. Make sure your editor uses the right encoding.

Version control

Writing large amounts of text is often a joint effort with a lot of edits and many contributors. Using a VCS (e.g. git) for personal use is highly recommended. On a collaborative project it’s indispensable.

Writing content

Your content typically resides in a dedicated directory referred to as root directory from now on. There are some conventions that you need to follow. These are explained in this section.

The manifest file

The root directory is home to the manifest.yml file. It is used to store meta information about your content, like the title, the languages and so on.

A minimal example for a content manifest.
  en: Example course
  de: Beispielkurs
languages: en,de


If your content uses only one language, you will still need to put this single language here.

Directory and file structure

Sections and subsections

In the previous section we saw how to specify the available languages for the content. For every language one sub-directory needs to exist in the root directory.

Under each language directory there is a structure of folders reflecting the part/chapter/section structure of the text.


Every directory needs one

The names of the directories determine the order in the actual text. They are sorted alphanumerically. The directory name itself can be used to create cross-references from one part in the the text to another. Also, they might appear in more technical contexts such as URLs.


While technically not strictly required, for convenience it’s advisable to limit directory names to characters, numbers, hyphen and underscore (a-z, 0-9, - and _).

Example directory structure for two languages.
├── manifest.yml
├── en
|   ├──
|   ├── 01-part
|   |   ├──
|   |   ├── 01-section
|   |   |   └──
|   |   └── …
|   └── …
└── de
    ├── 01-part
    |   ├──
    |   ├── 01-section
    |   |   └──
    |   └── …
    └── …


The directory structure in each of the language folders need to match!

Static files

There can be optional directories _static for media files.

These can exist in two different locations: Either at the root folder or inside a language folder. Some files might have a translated version. To account for this a localized version of the file can be put in the language’s static folder.

Locations for static files.
├── _static
|   ├── chart.svg
|   └── image.png
├── en
|   ├── _static
|   |   └── video.mp4
└── de
    └── _static
        └── video.mp4

For the sake of clarity other needed files and directories are omitted in this listing.

Content files

A file needs to exist in every section folder. It has a small section at the top of the file called YAML metadata block that contains the section title.

Example YAML metadata block.
title: Example title for this section

After the metablock you can write your actual content.


A needs to exist for every language version, e.g. en/section01/ and de/section01/

This section will not provide an exhaustive list of formatting options. Instead it will mainly focus on some features that are unique to innoDoc.

See also

All possibilities are documented in the example course.

Media files


Media files


PGF/TikZ is used to create vector graphics and is written in TeX.


pgf/tikz example

Interactive exercises


section interactive exercises



section cross-references



section glossary



  • general words

  • use with only one language

See also

Example course

There’s an example course. It’s a comprehensive demonstration of what is possible with innoConv.

It serves the following purposes:

  • Showcase the capabilities and features

  • Reference for authors

  • Material for automatic software tests


If you want to start compiling content, check out this course and start using innoConv right away.