Version 0.23.0

Posted May 14, 2021 ‐ 3 min read

RTL support, math, songbooks

Version 23 is a big feature update, and v24 is already under way!

Here’s what’s new:

Right to left support

Editor with Arabic text. Content in YAML frontmatter and code block are displayed left-to-right, while heading and paragraph text in Arabic are right-to-left

Deepdwn now has support for right to left script, both while editing and in the preview.

First, there’s a new setting under Preferences->Input, which controls the default writing and display direction for documents.

Heading reading 'Document direction', with radio buttons labeled 'Left-to-right', 'Right-to-left' and 'Automatic'

Here, you can select Right-to-left, Left-to-right, or Automatic.

If you select right-to-left, or left-to-right, that direction will be used for all documents unless overridden per-document.

You can also select Automatic, which will detect the first (non-neutral) character in your document, after any frontmatter, and use that to set document direction.

This global default setting can be overwritten on any document by adding dir: rtl or dir: ltr attribute to your frontmatter (see screenshot).

In right-to-left documents, frontmatter and code blocks will still be displayed left-to-right, as well as diagrams and music in the preview.

More music! Adding songbooks

One verse of Rockin' Robin by Bobby Day in songbook format in a code block on the lef., with rendered lyrics shown in preview on the right

To supplement sheet music and guitar tabs, Deepdwn can now display (and syntax highlight) songbooks (a mix of chords and lyrics), in ChordPro format.

Currently, all lyrics require a {section} as shown, but I’m planning to remove this requirement in a future update.


Math code and inline blocks in AsciiMath and LaTeX formats, along with chemistry notation in mhchem format. Rendered equations appear in the preview window on the right.

Deepdwn now supports AsciiMath, a markup language for mathematics that meshes really well with Deepdwn’s, and markdown’s easy to write/easy to read philosophy, and renders nicely.

LaTeX + chemistry

LaTeX is more common than AsciiMath for displaying math on the web and print.

It wouldn’t normally be included in Deepdwn, because despite it’s ubiquity, it does not read as well without rendering. However, AsciiMath depends on a LaTeX implementation for it’s rendering, so Deepdwn now also supports KaTeX.

Support for chemical equations has also been added, for good measure

Added indentation control

The last update ensured that indentation was consistant in Deepdwn, and defaulted to spaces. If you prefer tabs, you can now do so by changing the indentation setting in Preferences, as well as the visible tab size / number of spaces.

Indentation preferences with toggle for 'Use tab character' and text field to control indentation size

Immediate frontmatter updates

As part of RTL support, Deepdwn now immediately responds to changes to document frontmatter, instead of waiting until save. This means that changing document title, tags, categories, and direction setting will now update Deepdwn’s interface immediately.

This gives better feedback when entering frontmatter, and makes more sense in general.


  • Clicking URLs in the preview window will now open them in a new default browser window.
  • “Drafts” filter will no longer be activated automatically when selecting a draft document.
  • Heading indicators # now appear in a slightly different color (looks nice).
  • One more of several planned (large) code refactors.


  • Fixed checkbox display in generated PDFs.
  • Fixed incorrect ‘hide menu’ menu state on startup.
  • Fixed separator and sidebar nav border color in high contrast mode.
  • Fixed text selection background color making selected text unreadable in dark mode.