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Flask-PageDown

Implementation of StackOverflow's "PageDown" markdown editor for Flask and Flask-WTF.

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Flask-PageDown

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Implementation of StackOverflow's "PageDown" markdown editor for Flask and Flask-WTF.

What is PageDown?

PageDown is the JavaScript Markdown previewer used on Stack Overflow and all the other question and answer sites in the Stack Exchange network.

Flask-PageDown provides a PageDownField class that extends Flask-WTF with a specialized text area field that renders an HTML preview of the Markdown text on the fly as you type.

Installation

$ pip install flask-pagedown

Example

An example is worth a thousand words. Below is how to define a simple Flask-WTF form that includes a PageDown field:

from flask_wtf import Form
from flask_pagedown.fields import PageDownField
from wtforms.fields import SubmitField

class PageDownFormExample(Form):
    pagedown = PageDownField('Enter your markdown')
    submit = SubmitField('Submit')

The PageDownField works exactly like a TextAreaField (in fact it is a subclass of it). The handling in view functions is identical. For example:

@app.route('/', methods = ['GET', 'POST'])
def index():
    form = PageDownFormExample()
    if form.validate_on_submit():
        text = form.pagedown.data
        # do something interesting with the Markdown text
    return render_template('index.html', form = form)

The extension needs to be initialized in the usual way before it can be used:

from flask_pagedown import PageDown

app = Flask(__name__)
pagedown = PageDown(app)

Finally, the template needs the support Javascript code added, by calling pagedown.include_pagedown() somewhere in the page:

<html>
<head>
{{ pagedown.include_pagedown() }}
</head>
<body>
    <form method="POST">
        {{ form.hidden_tag() }}
        {{ form.pagedown(rows=10) }}
        {{ form.submit }}
    </form>
</body>
</html>

The Javascript classes are imported from a CDN, there are no static files that need to be served by the application. If the request is secure then the Javascript files are imported from an https:// URL to match.

If you prefer to use your own JavaScript source files, you can simply include your Converter and Sanitizer files directly in the HTML page instead of calling pagedown.include_pagedown():

<html>
<head>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://mycdn/path/to/converter.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://mycdn/path/to/sanitizer.min.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
    <form method="POST">
        {{ form.hidden_tag() }}
        {{ form.pagedown(rows=10) }}
        {{ form.submit }}
    </form>
</body>
</html>

To help adding specific CSS styling the <textarea> element has class flask-pagedown-input and the preview <div> has class flask-pagedown-preview.

With the template above, the preview area is created by the extension right below the input text area. For greater control, it is also possible to render the input and preview areas on different parts of the page. The following example shows how to render the preview area above the input area:

<html>
<head>
{{ pagedown.include_pagedown() }}
</head>
<body>
    <form method="POST">
        {{ form.pagedown(only_preview=True) }}
        {{ form.pagedown(only_input=True, rows=10) }}
        {{ form.submit }}
    </form>
</body>
</html>

Note that in all cases the submitted text will be the raw Markdown text. The rendered HTML is only used for the preview, if you need to render to HTML in the server then use a server side Markdown renderer like Flask-Markdown.

Also note that the current version does not include a toolbar like the one used by Stack Overflow.

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