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I've used Pandoc to generate .md, .tex, .pdf from .tex and .xhtml files.

In tex I am using BibTeX and in ODT (save-as .xhtml) I am using Zotero to insert my citations.

Currently neither .tex nor .xhtml are consistently good at generating different formats. Obviously using e.g.: LibreOffice to create .pdf works fine, as does pdflatex. However I would like to generate multiple different formats.

One alternative to Pandoc I can consider is LibreOffice/OpenOffice on Linux, where more output formats are supported.

What should I use as my base format, and which converter should I use?

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You should use Markdown (.md) as your main authoring format, and you already seem to be familiar with it.

Study Pandoc's manual page and see which specific extensions to the base Markdown syntax (they are many!) it supports (which you do not seem to be familiar with!)

With Pandoc and its Markdown you can output all the formats you've mentioned: LaTeX, ODT, PDF, XHTML. Additionally to that, you can Pandoc let spit out the following: **manpage, EPUB/EPUB3, DocBook, DokuWiki, AsciiDoc, CommonMark, DOCX, ICML (for InDesign), JSON, Muse, org, PPTX, Reveal.js, Beamer, RTF and some more.

Get the most recent Pandoc package for your operating system right from GitHub, and run these commands to see the complete lists of formats:

pandoc --list-output-formats
pandoc --list-input-formats

Oh, and Pandoc can insert your citations and bibliographic references just fine, using biblatex or natbib as you please, applying any CSL style you like -- even to DOCX output!

  • I reference pandoc heavily in my question. With one of my set ups, I do use pandoc-citeproc. – A T Dec 18 '18 at 5:49
  • @AT: If you already know everything my answer mentions -- why your questions? Can you elaborate what your specific problem is? – Kurt Pfeifle Dec 18 '18 at 7:46
  • Looking for something with interactive citation integration. With Zotero I have to continuously export large bibtex files. There has to be an efficient way of doing this, that allows for productive authoring? – A T Dec 18 '18 at 13:32
  • @AT: AFAIU, Zotero is good for maintainining your collection of citation references. It's only worth while doing it if you use them a lot and very frequently. Pandoc does not need this (it can do + live with citations directly inserted into the Markdown sources) -- but Pandoc also can make use of bibtex and natbib citations, if you want this. – Kurt Pfeifle Dec 18 '18 at 17:05
  • @AT: (I still don't understand where your problem is -- Pandoc can generate a lot of different output formats from one single source .md file, and include citations in all of them, with any CSL style you want; pick one of thousands of CSL styles!) – Kurt Pfeifle Dec 18 '18 at 17:05

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