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Abbreviation Extension for Python-Markdown

This extension adds abbreviation handling to Python-Markdown.

Simple Usage:

    >>> import markdown
    >>> text = """
    ... Some text with an ABBR and a REF. Ignore REFERENCE and ref.
    ... *[ABBR]: Abbreviation
    ... *[REF]: Abbreviation Reference
    ... """
    >>> markdown.markdown(text, ['abbr'])
    u'<p>Some text with an <abbr title="Abbreviation">ABBR</abbr> and a <abbr title="Abbreviation Reference">REF</abbr>. Ignore REFERENCE and ref.</p>'

Copyright 2007-2008
* [Waylan Limberg](
* [Seemant Kulleen](


import markdown, re
from markdown import etree

# Global Vars
ABBR_REF_RE = re.compile(r'[*]\[(?P<abbr>[^\]]*)\][ ]?:\s*(?P<title>.*)')

class AbbrExtension(markdown.Extension):
    """ Abbreviation Extension for Python-Markdown. """

    def extendMarkdown(self, md, md_globals):
        """ Insert AbbrPreprocessor before ReferencePreprocessor. """
        md.preprocessors.add('abbr', AbbrPreprocessor(md), '<reference')
class AbbrPreprocessor(markdown.preprocessors.Preprocessor):
    """ Abbreviation Preprocessor - parse text for abbr references. """

    def run(self, lines):
        Find and remove all Abbreviation references from the text.
        Each reference is set as a new AbbrPattern in the markdown instance.
        new_text = []
        for line in lines:
            m = ABBR_REF_RE.match(line)
            if m:
                abbr ='abbr').strip()
                title ='title').strip()
                self.markdown.inlinePatterns['abbr-%s'%abbr] = \
                    AbbrPattern(self._generate_pattern(abbr), title)
        return new_text
    def _generate_pattern(self, text):
        Given a string, returns an regex pattern to match that string. 
        'HTML' -> r'(?P<abbr>[H][T][M][L])' 
        Note: we force each char as a literal match (in brackets) as we don't 
        know what they will be beforehand.

        chars = list(text)
        for i in range(len(chars)):
            chars[i] = r'[%s]' % chars[i]
        return r'(?P<abbr>\b%s\b)' % (r''.join(chars))

class AbbrPattern(markdown.inlinepatterns.Pattern):
    """ Abbreviation inline pattern. """

    def __init__(self, pattern, title):
        markdown.inlinepatterns.Pattern.__init__(self, pattern)
        self.title = title

    def handleMatch(self, m):
        abbr = etree.Element('abbr')
        abbr.text ='abbr')
        abbr.set('title', self.title)
        return abbr

def makeExtension(configs=None):
    return AbbrExtension(configs=configs)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    import doctest