I am currently writing a textbook. In doing so I choose to use Markdown. The book is located on Github you can download this and build the book yourself. This book is being used for a class is hard enough, I am using a flavor of Markdown called Pandoc for my choice to produce PDF, ePub, html, docx, and mobi (Kindle)

There are differences and trade offs trying to take a common markdown code base and publish it to different formats. Currently I don’t have a feature parity between both formats they both have extra items the other one doesn’t.

Recently I reinstalled Pandoc with MikTeX for Windows and BasicTeX for Mac, and a deb package for texlive for Ubuntu 16.04. These packages are needed to turn Pandoc markdown into PDFs via a LateX library.

Installing the latest version of Pandoc 1.17.1 and running my build script to produce a PDF all of a sudden generated this error…

*Pandoc Error* Oh no… this error is not very helpful as I have 13 chapters worth of material, what could be causing this error? It could be anywhere! I did what any good detective did, I removed each chapter 1 by 1 and rebuilt the PDF trying to narrow down where the error is by process of elimination.

I went all the way down - stripping all the chapters out but one. That was the title page. The file titlesec.tex is a LaTeX style formatting command to generate a title page and also make sure that each new chapter starts on its own page. This worked for the entire last year using this command line option:

Here is the full code that throws the error: pandoc --toc -V geometry:margin=1in --number-sections --include-in-header ./title/titlesec.tex -s -o ./output/pdf/Understanding-the-Technology-and-Philosophy-of-Linux-Part-I-$STAMP.pdf ./Chapter-01/chapter-01.md ./Chapter-02/chapter-02.md ./Chapter-03/chapter-03.md ./Chapter-04/chapter-04.md ./Chapter-05/chapter-05.md ./Chapter-06/chapter-06.md ./Chapter-07/chapter-07.md ./Chapter-08/chapter-08.md ./Chapter-09/chapter-09.md ./Chapter-10/chapter-10.md ./Chapter-11/chapter-11.md ./Chapter-12/chapter-12.md ./Chapter-13/chapter-13.md ./Chapter-14/chapter-14.md ./Chapter-15/chapter-15.md ./Appendix-A/Appendix-A.md ./Appendix-B/Appendix-B.md ./Appendix-C/Appendix-C.md

Strange… The quick fix for this error was to remove the offending line of code:

--include-in-header ./title/titlesec.tex

Replacing it with this line:

-V documentclass=report

Which then generates the expected PDF – compare the difference below: *Pandoc Broke*

*Pandoc Fixed*

*Pandoc Success*