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3 min read

Using variables from external file in your Quarto project

My use case is: I need to write some technical, long, documentation where I need to provide some information like IP adresses of used servers, some paths to the application, configuration folders, ...

The normal way to do this is to just put information directly in the documentation and to make sure to update every occurrence in case of changes during the lifecycle of the application.

The best way is probably to use an external file where information are stored in a key-value form and, during the rendering process of Quarto, replace shortcodes by values.

3 min read

Quarto conditional display

Like me, you've definitely abandoned Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and friends and do everything in Markdown. Like me, you use the same markdown file to generate your documentation in html, pdf, docx, pptx, revealjs, ... as required situation by situation.

My personal use case is the following one: I've a single, sometimes big, file for the documentation of a tool I've created. In this document, I could display f.i. tables containing several columns that could be wide. This won't be a problem if I display the documentation as an HTML document, since we have a horizontal scrollbar in the browser to navigate from left to right. But when I generate a PDF, the table will explode the width of my PDF page and the result will be awful.

Same idea when, if my output is an HTML page, I can easily display a listing of a few dozen lines of my source code, for example, to illustrate a feature. On the other hand, if I display it as a slideshow, this will be counterproductive, since the slide will be huge and not very effective.

And, if my goal is to generate a slideshow, the last part of my documentation will be a Thank you for listening! Do you have any questions? chapter. And that one should certainly not be part of the docx / pdf / html output. Just for the revealjs display.

10 min read

Running Quarto Markdown in Docker

Quarto is a tool for producing PDF, Word document, HTML web pages, ePub files, slideshows and many, many more output based on a Markdown file.

Using Quarto, you can render any markdown content to a new PDF f.i.

Quarto supports a very large number of features, to which are added extensions from its community, making it a really practical tool for anyone wishing to produce documentation.

Personally, I haven't used a Word-type word processor for several years; nor have I used PowerPoint since, I don't even know when the last time was.

And yet, I produce a great deal of documentation and slideshows. I write everything in markdown and generate pdfs or slideshows from the same content.

Until recently, I'd been using pandoc but, having taken the time to look around Quarto, it's a hell of a lot more powerful.