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Using Zettlr with portable pandoc

edited March 9 in Customisation

Hi,
got a problem with getting my portable pandoc recognized by Zettlr (Windows 7).

Does Zettlr require a simple path to the .exe file of pandoc portable?
Tried this in the settings, but without success... Zettlr didn't find pandoc despite my link to the pandoc portable .exe

C:\Users\MaxMuster\Desktop\pandoc-2.9.2.exe

I also managed to make Zettlr portable with ThinApp. https://www.vmware.com/products/thinapp.html
Hope you can update the documentation for such a case...

Thx neeewbee

Comments

  • Does Zettlr require a simple path to the .exe file of pandoc portable?

    That was a very good question, I've had to have a look at the source code to answer this :sweat_smile:

    But here's what Zettlr does: It will take the path in the Pandoc-field, extract the directory name (so it needs the executable, otherwise it'll take the parent directory) and put the directory name in your PATH. That means: Whenever something is executed (such as pandoc), Windows should look in all PATH directories, including, in your case, the Desktop, and run the Pandoc executable if found there. What was the exact error message Zettlr gave you?

    Also, maybe try to put the absolute path in your Pandoc command field, replacing pandoc (also in the advanced tab), so that the full command reads: C:\your\path\pandoc.exe [the rest of the command]

    I also managed to make Zettlr portable with ThinApp. https://www.vmware.com/products/thinapp.html
    Hope you can update the documentation for such a case...

    Is it what I think it is, some kind of Docker container? I wanted to make the app portable at some point, BUT therefore I'll need to rewrite some of the logic internally, because currently Zettlr writes everything to the user data, which is a little bit unhelpful for a portable app that is supposed to persist settings across PCs :D At least I think so, it has no high priority as Zettlr can also be installed "Only for me", circumventing admin rights on locked down computers

  • First let me say thanks for your help... and the effort you and your supporters made to accomplish such a great open source software.

    So, i'll start with the easy question:

    What was the exact error message Zettlr gave you?

    "Error: Pandoc wurde auf diesem System nicht gefunden. Bitte installiere zunächst pandoc, um Dateien... "

    As I am a german and non techie, I understood, that my System doesn't know where to find pandoc.
    I also have heard and found out that similar to Java in some cases, there has to be set an Windows PATH blabla for the OS beeing able to find my pandoc installation. And something with "Umgebungsvariablen" which I have managed to find in Systemsettings>System>...

    So I think I have to set a Windows PathVariable (-user or -system?) somehow, but I don't know what and where it should be inserted, as I'm a non-techie, with limited computer problemsolving capabilities... As soon as I got pandoc recognized by my Windows, I'll move my Installation to the USB Drive, what path is needed for this action to keep working?

    Next question in the next posting!

  • edited March 10

    Is it what I think it is, some kind of Docker container?

    I really don't know... I just use this nasty little program (ThinApp) in a clean, minimal Windows environment to create portableApps in case a unruly Software (as yours) doesn't offer me a portable Version. ;)

    Probably you might think about offering a portable Version in the future too... If you do, you could take into consideration https://portableapps.com/development requirements from the most popular https://portableapps.com Community with over 870 million downloads!!! This could also lead to increased interest of developers speeding up development & growing your user community for this already great software, because as always... there is lots of functionality people would like to see in Zettlr in the future.

    Probably something like better code representation possibilities in a first strategic step:
    https://md.bytewerk.org/uploads/upload_c35292993377952ddbc6d013b97b7b08.png
    which could lead to further support for the project from professional programmers, which should speed up integration of further things on the wish list?!? I think of this project development speed issue like a chicken-egg-problem! Involving the portable apps community could make a huge difference and would be (imho) a good strategic next move?!?

    I don't know which kind of Markdown implementation they use under the hood in this picture of code representation, I have made it where I've currently been at: https://md.bytewerk.org/ for using online Markdown. But I want to switch to an offline Markdown editor like yours, because software has to be free to use in the private space and not online only? What happens, when there is an internet or local network glitch? You can't work anymore, if you rely on the cloud software services!!!
    You should always have to be in possession of your "productivity every day workhorse-tools" on your local machine, otherwise you could wake up one morning and recognize, the online service doesn't exist or work anymore!!! What a nightmare?!?

    So, sorry for the long answer with additional topics.
    In short the answer is: I don't know!

    Thx neeewbee

  • I also have heard and found out that similar to Java in some cases, there has to be set an Windows PATH blabla for the OS beeing able to find my pandoc installation. And something with "Umgebungsvariablen" which I have managed to find in Systemsettings>System>...

    PATH ist eine Umgebungsvariable! Und die wird von Zettlr gemanaged.

    So I think I have to set a Windows PathVariable (-user or -system?) somehow, but I don't know what and where it should be inserted, as I'm a non-techie, with limited computer problemsolving capabilities...

    No, don't worry. But curious that Windows doesn't recognize the added path, mh ... did you restart Zettlr after changing the setting? I think that's also needed!

    If it doesn't work, I have to have a look at that logic again.

    Probably you might think about offering a portable Version in the future too...

    As I said, yes, but it doesn't have a high priority. My resources are limited, and currently I have to wrench out a lot of small stuff happening on the backend! Furthermore, I can't go to any different specs, but I'll use the Electron-builder portable setting to do so, which'll work either way. I'm never impressed by this and that many downloads (let's be honest, even my bragging with xyz downloads is more for show), and I suspect just offering a portable app would increase developers' interest :wink:. I think it's more aimed at non-tech-customers (but nevertheless an option).

  • Hi,

    I've restarted Zettlr, but it didn't work. So here is a screenshot of the settings I made in Zettlr for you to have a look on...

    Hope that will help.

    Thx neeewbee

  • edited March 10

    ok, seems like I've made a small mistake.... :#

    C:\Users\Q\Desktop\pandoc-2.9.2\pandoc.exe should have been used instead!
    [I restarted and tried again to create an output in .odf; .docx and .pdf but all failed.] - not anymore!

    [Pandoc is now recognized, the Open Office and Word are starting, but only an empty page is opened!
    In LaTeX the xelatex is starting as I can see in the windows task manager, but no output is created and Xelatex get's terminated automatically after some time.] - this still is a problem, but a minor one.

    [I looked into different suspected folders for new output, but didn't find something.] - looked into the false folders!
    But right now I've found the output in a subsubsubfolder of my portable Version of Zettlr, created by ThinApp! :)

    Crazy!???? But it is my fault... doing crazy things with other peoples software does create strange results sometimes!

    So your software does what it should do... even if someone is hacking it a little bit, very nice!

    Thx neeewbee

  • Ahhhh -- I think I got an interesting idea: Could you try renaming pandoc-2.9.2.exe to simply pandoc.exe and see if that works? Zettlr searches for pandoc, not pandoc-2.9.2 (but replacing pandoc at the beginning of your pandoc command with pandoc-2.9.2 should do the trick just as well, if I'm not mistaken)

  • @hendrik said:
    Ahhhh -- I think I got an interesting idea: Could you try renaming pandoc-2.9.2.exe to simply pandoc.exe and see if that works? Zettlr searches for pandoc, not pandoc-2.9.2 (but replacing pandoc at the beginning of your pandoc command with pandoc-2.9.2 should do the trick just as well, if I'm not mistaken)

    I've used a wrong file directory, as you can see above.

  • Perfect, I'm glad it works now! :)

  • edited March 10

    @hendrik said:
    Perfect, I'm glad it works now! :)

    #metoo :) LOL

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