Pandoc-Suite for Academic Writing in Markdown (Alfred Workflow)

edited May 16, 2021
So basically, Zotero has proper integrations with Word and Libreoffice via Plugins. Using the BetterBibTex-Extension, Zotero also works with Plain Text and Latex, although it is not very userfriendly for those less tech-savvy people. The best guide to use Zotero with Markdown that I could find (, still entails installing a somewhat unstable applescript-based Citation Picker (Zotpicker) and a great but not very customizable menubar tool (Docdown). So while the tech-savvy LaTeX users and the people content with Word are both served, that leaves people in between like me a bit hanging.

Thus I sat down the last couple of days and wrote an Alfred Workflow, which enables Academic Citations and Bibliography in Markdown. It does so by providing a quick and stable citation picker, and a user-friendly interface for Pandoc for automatically creating a Bibliography like the Word/Libreoffice-Plugins do. After the initial setup, it's basically pressing one keyboard shortcut to create a properly formatted Docx, PDF or HTML file from your markdown writer of your choice. As all Pandoc configuration is done via the Workflow, you will never have to open the Terminal.

→ Demo Image:
→ Usage & Installation Guide:
→ Download at Github:

I initially wrote this workflow just for myself, but I think it could also be helpful to others. Enjoy!

PS: Didn't know where else to "publish" this, so feel free to point me to a more appropriate place!
  • Cool -- posting here is definitely good. I've added this to the plugins page:
  • Feel honored to be included :) Thanks!
  • I thought this looked like just the thing - I am trying to figure out an easy way to get Ulysses to play with Zotero and found some of the tutorials a little intimidating. I've carefully followed the instructions for the Alfred workflow, which were much clearer than the others, but haven't had success in actually exporting it with citations that are formatted correctly. I have saved using Ulysses in markdown (and had to delete the iA writer Applescript which didn't work for me in the Alfred workflow), and it outputs a Word file but the citations are just as they were in the Markdown (ie in Pandoc format). Any hints @chrisgreiser welcome, as I'd love for this to work!
  • @joycekwc
    That sounds like an issue with Pandoc citeproc. Write me an eMail with some screenshots and I'll have a look.
    (My eMail address is at the bottom of – I want to refrain posting it here to prevent spam through crawlers)

    Also, concerning iA Writer, most likely it's a missing permission for Alfred to control iA Writer. Strangely, some people seem to not get a prompt by Mac OS asking for that permission. You can grant the permission manually at the System settings:
  • @chrisgrieser FWIW, I've had a similar problem. I'm really intrigued by this solution, as I've recently started to move my writing to Ulysses. But when I run the Alfred Workflow, it generates a word file that doesn't have any of the bibliographic information. (I'm pretty non-tech sophisticated, so it's possible I've missed a step somewhere in the install...)
  • @pfypher Write me an eMail and attach a screenshot, and I'll take a look
  • Thanks @chrisgrieser - I haven’t had a chance to get back to the computer yet where this is all set up, but will do so and shoot you an email with screenshots.
  • For everyone finding this thread via google: I just released version 2.0 with completely reworked and simplified UI. Installation as well as interface are now much more intuitive, especially for all those people who are trying out Alfred for the first time because of this workflow.

    After the initial setup, you can just select a Markdown file in Finder and press a hotkey and the Pandoc Suite will convert it into the desired format.

    Download and User Guide:
  • Great thanks! I’ll give that a try.
  • Hi! The Workflow seems so promising, but your Notion User Guide page seems to be down :( I am sort of lost on how to set my .bib path. Any chance you could get it up and running again? Thanks so much @chrisgrieser
  • @jeongeunjenpark

    Thanks for the tip, I hadn't noticed that the Notion page had an issue. It should be fixed now.

    (You may need to clear your browser cache & delete cookies for to make it work though.)
  • Thanks so much! I can now insert citation keys. I am still lost as to how to convert the resulting md to a docx. Whenever I try to set the CSL file, the Alfred window just disappears without giving me a hint as to what is wrong. My CSL shows up as "Currently: ". When I try to convert, it returns an error log that I am pointing to a folder and not a CSL file. At the same time, my citation styles show up as locally available. I am a bit lost as to the conflicting information.
  • Oh, I copypasted the wrong value in the new settings menu of the last release >.<

    Thanks for pointing it out. I fixed the issue in version 4.9:
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