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Author a Document Locally


In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a Baseprint document snapshot, with HTML and PDF previews, locally on your computer. A Baseprint snapshot can then extend a Baseprint document succession.


Instead of generating a Baseprint document snapshot locally, you can opt to use a GitHub Action workflow. Each method offers distinct benefits. A Baseprint snapshot generated on GitHub can be easily shared and viewed through GitHub Pages. For more details, refer to the tutorial on how to Author a Document via GitHub. However, generating a Baseprint snapshot locally is much faster as it does not require a Git commit to see an updated Baseprint snapshot preview.


You will need a command-line environment that is either:



1. Write a Source File

Baseprinter requires source files as input. This how-to guide assumes you have a single source input file named However, source files can be of any format supported by Pandoc, such as LaTeX and Markdown.

Quickly create a source file by running:

echo Hello World >

2. Generate the Contents of a Baseprint Snapshot

Next, generate the contents of a Baseprint snapshot into a subdirectory called baseprint:

baseprinter -b=baseprint

The contents within the baseprint subdirectory can be published in a digital succession, as described in the tutorial Publish a Baseprint in a Temporary Digital Succession.

3. Generate a Fast HTML Preview

To generate a fast Baseprint snapshot preview in a subdirectory named preview:

baseprinter -b=baseprint --outdir=preview --skip-pdf

Open the file preview/index.html in a web browser. This preview will include an HTML preview, which typically resembles a generated PDF but on an indefinitely long single page of paper.

4. PDF Generation

To generate an actual PDF file, omit the --skip-pdf option.

baseprinter -b=baseprint --outdir=preview


You have successfully generated a Baseprint document snapshot in the baseprint subdirectory. You can use this Baseprint snapshot in the tutorial Publish a Temporary Document Succession.

Having a Baseprint snapshot preview automatically updated in your browser is convenient when authoring. To enable this functionality, consult the guide on How to Auto-Refresh with Baseprinter.