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

This section will only give an overview on how to structure your content. It will not provide an exhaustive list of formatting options.

Please refer to the addtional documentation. It offers more detailed information on how to create content with innoDoc.

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. It is written in YAML format.

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


If your content uses just one language, you will still need to list the 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.

The names of the directories determine the section order. They are sorted alphanumerically. Therefore it’s advisable to use a numerical prefix (e.g. 01-section).

The directory name itself is the ID for the section and can be used to create cross-references from one part in the the text to another. Also, they are used to form 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 _).

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/

Custom pages

A course can also include custom pages that are not part of the section structure. You can define pages by adding them to the pages key of the manifest file. You need to define an ID, optionally an icon and can choose if the page should show up in the navigation and footer part of the viewer.

  - id: about
    icon: info-circle
    link_in_nav: true
    link_in_footer: true

For every page you need to provide a content file in each language. It uses the page ID as the name (e.g. The content file is placed in the _pages directory inside the language folder.

Pages also need a YAML header like described in Sections and subsections.

Example directory structure

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


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

Static files

The directory _static is used for placing static files such as images and videos.

The directory exists under the root and can also be placed inside a language folder for content that needs to be localized. The converter will prefer files from the localized 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.

Additional documentation

For more detailed instructions including examples on how to author content refer to the innoDoc example course. It features in-depth descriptions on all content elements and the general course structure.


If you want to start compiling content, check out the source code and start using innoConv right away.