The CodeChat System

The CodeChat System provides a powerful literate programming authoring system to a variety of text editors and IDEs. Specifically, it provides a GUI to automatically render source code and/or markup documents to HTML, displaying the HTML document produced by the rendering process next to the source. For example:


This screenshot shows the Visual Studio Code editor with the CodeChat extension.

In ❶, the left panel shows a the Visual Studio Code text editor with Python source code. CodeChat renders this source code to ❷, the right panel, which shows the resulting HTML document. Finally, ❸ displays output from the build process. A splitter between ❷ and ❸ allows the user to adjust the build output size or hide it entirely. Below ❸, a status bar displays the build status and a count of errors and warnings produced by the build.

In addition to native support for Markdown and reStructuredText, the CodeChat System supports almost any external renderer via user-provided YAML configuration files. For example, CodeChat can:

  • invoke Pandoc to render a wide variety of markup formats;

  • use Sphinx to build project documentation;

  • call Runestone or PreTeXt to create interactive textbooks;

  • employ Doxygen to generate documentation from source code;

… and much more.

Getting started

To get started, follow the Installation and use instructions.


First read the Common problems page then open an issue. See also the Change Log.

Development and Contributors

For insight into the design of this software, see the Developer documentation. The following developers provided valuable help in creating the CodeChat System.


Copyright (C) 2012-2022 Bryan A. Jones.

This file is part of the CodeChat System.

The CodeChat System is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

The CodeChat System is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with the CodeChat System. If not, see