Fast web server allowing to browse, search and edit project documentation written in Markdown

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import hadsPlantuml from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/hads-plantuml';


Hey it's Another Documentation Server! (hads)

NPM version Build status Node version XO code style Downloads License

The master of hell docs

Hads is a fast Node.js based web server allowing to browse, search and edit documentation written in Markdown.



  • No configuration needed
  • Github-like presentation
  • GFM (Github Flavoured Markdown)
  • Automatic indexation and search
  • In-browser editor
  • Table of contents using Markdown extension [[toc]]
  • Navigation index using Markdown extension [[index]]
  • Diagrams and flowcharts using Mermaid and PlantUML syntax
  • Drag'n drop images
  • 100% offline
  • Custom CSS style


npm install -g hads
hads -o

Your browser will open http://localhost:4040 and display your project documentation.

Command-line options

Usage: hads [root dir] [options]

  -p, --port        Port number to listen on       [default: 4040]
  -h, --host        Host address to bind to        [default: "localhost"]
  -i, --images-dir  Directory to store images      [default: "images"]
  -o, --open        Open default browser on start
  -r, --readonly    Read-only mode (no add or edit feature)
  --help            Show this help

If no root dir is specified, ./ will be used.


Home page

The server will automatically search for a file named index.md, readme.md or README.md on the specified documentation root and will use it as your home page.

You can customize the CSS style in a file named custom.css.

Table of contents

The special text [[toc]] will be replaced by the table of contents of the markdown document, based on headings.

Navigation index

The special text [[index]] will be replaced by the full navigation index of all markdown files found under the specified root dir. File and folder names will be humanized for better readability.

It is particularly useful on the home page to provide an overview of the available documentation for your project.

The sorting of each index level is as follows:

  1. Any README.md, readme.md, or index.md is always at the top.
  2. All files and folders that are prefixed with a number (e.g. 001-abc and 002 mno and 003_xyz) are next, sorted by their respective prefix numbers. Note that the prefix numbers are stripped out in the index.
  3. All remaining files, sorted by their name.
  4. All remaining folders, sorted by their name.

Mermaid Diagrams and flowcharts

You can use the Mermaid syntax to insert diagrams and flowcharts directly in your markdown, by using code blocks with the mermaid language specified, like this:

graph TD;

Mermaid configuration can be overridden on a given page using the global variable MERMAID_CONFIG in a <script> tag, for example:

MERMAID_CONFIG = { theme: 'forest' };

PlantUML Diagrams

You can use the PlantUML syntax to insert diagrams and flowcharts directly in your markdown, by using code blocks with the plantuml or puml language specified, like this:

Alice -> Bob: Authentication Request
Bob --> Alice: Authentication Response

Alice -> Bob: Another authentication Request
Alice <-- Bob: Another authentication Response


[Prototype design] lasts 15 days
[Test prototype] lasts 10 days

Since PlantUML uses Graphviz/DOT, it is also possible to directly use the DOT language.

digraph foo {
  node [style=rounded]
  node1 [shape=box]
  node2 [fillcolor=yellow, style="rounded,filled", shape=diamond]
  node3 [shape=record, label="{ a | b | c }"]

  node1 -> node2 -> node3


See changelog here