See also

Installing Jupyter

Nbconvert is part of the Jupyter ecosystem.

Installing nbconvert

Nbconvert is packaged for both pip and conda, so you can install it with:

pip install nbconvert
# OR
conda install nbconvert

If you’re new to Python, we recommend installing Anaconda, a Python distribution which includes nbconvert and the other Jupyter components.


To unlock nbconvert’s full capabilities requires Pandoc and TeX (specifically, XeLaTeX). These must be installed separately.

Installing Pandoc

For converting markdown to formats other than HTML, nbconvert uses Pandoc (1.12.1 or later).

To install pandoc on Linux, you can generally use your package manager:

sudo apt-get install pandoc

On other platforms, you can get pandoc from their website.

Installing TeX

For converting to PDF, nbconvert uses the TeX document preparation ecosystem. It produces an intermediate .tex file which is compiled by the XeTeX engine with the LaTeX2e format (via the xelatex command) to produce PDF output.

New in version 5.0: We use XeTeX as the rendering engine rather than pdfTeX (as in earlier versions). XeTeX can access fonts through native operating system libraries, it has better support for OpenType formatted fonts and Unicode characters.

To install a complete TeX environment (including XeLaTeX and the necessary supporting packages) by hand can be tricky. Fortunately, there are packages that make this much easier. These packages are specific to different operating systems:

  • Linux: TeX Live

    • E.g. on Debian or Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install texlive-xetex

  • macOS (OS X): MacTeX.

  • Windows: MikTex

Because nbconvert depends on packages and fonts included in standard TeX distributions, if you do not have a complete installation, you may not be able to use nbconvert’s standard tooling to convert notebooks to PDF.

PDF conversion on a limited TeX environment

If you are only able to install a limited TeX environment, there are two main routes you could take to convert to PDF:

  1. Using TeX by hand
    1. You could convert to .tex directly; this requires Pandoc.

    2. edit the file to accord with your local environment

    3. run xelatex directly.

  2. Custom exporter
    1. You could write a custom exporter that takes your system’s limitations into account.