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import pandoc


The good news are that you generally don't need to configure anything: when you use the pandoc Python library, it does inspect your system to find the available pandoc command-line tool and configures itself accordingly. Most of the time, this is what you want.

However, if you need more control on this configuration step, you can import pandoc and call configure before you do anything else with the library:

import pandoc

If you do this, the implicit configuration does not take place; it is triggered only when no configuration is specified when

  • you import pandoc.types or

  • you call or pandoc.write.


To have the library find a pandoc executable in your path, and configure itself accordingly, enable the auto option


This is the method used by the implicit configuration. If instead you want to specify manually the pandoc executable, use the path argument, for example:


Some features1 of the Python pandoc library do not require the pandoc executable, but in this case we still need to know what version of pandoc you target, so specify for example:

pandoc.configure(version=' 2.18')

Actually, the exact version of pandoc is not even required. Instead what matters is the version of the document model that you intend to use, or equivalently, the version of the pandoc-types Haskell package used by the pandoc executable. Accordingly, you may configure pandoc with the pandoc_types_version argument:


Extra Arguments

To get a copy of the configuration (or None if the library is not configured yet), enable the read option. The call pandoc.configure(read=True) does not change the current configuration but returns a dictionary whose keys are auto, path, version and pandoc_types_version, such as

>>> pandoc.configure(read=True) # doctest: +ELLIPSIS, +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
{'auto': True, 
 'path': ..., 
 'version': '2.18', 
 'pandoc_types_version': '1.22.2'}

The read option may be combined with other arguments, for example

config = pandoc.configure(auto=True, read=True)

This is actually a good way to know where the pandoc executable has been found, what is its version and the corresponding version of pandoc-types.

When it is needed, it is also possible to restore the unconfigured state:


  1. typically conversion between json and Python object representations of documents and analysis or transformations of documents as Python objects. As soon as you use convert to or from any other format, markdown for example, you need a pandoc executable.