BSD-3-Clause licensed by Elben Shira
Maintained by [email protected]
This version can be pinned in stack with:pencil-1.0.1@sha256:785f97977d9138ef789bfe4289724251a1586f001c82dfd4e10d3e4ef4764a04,6611



Pencil is a static site generator. Use Pencil to build a personal website, a blog, and more. Pencil comes pre-loaded with goodies such as Markdown and Sass/Scss support, templating, blogging, and tagging. Designed with the Haskell beginner in mind, but flexible enough to extend for your own needs.

The easiest way to get started is to read the tutorials at and reference the Haddock docs.

The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener… the marble topped tables, the smell of early morning… and luck were all you needed. — Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


Here’s an example that shows a personal website with a blog and an RSS feed. Based off the this example.

{-# LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings #-}

module Main where

import Pencil

config :: Config
config =
  updateEnv (insertText "title" "My Awesome Website") defaultConfig

website :: PencilApp ()
website = do
  layout <- load "layout.html"
  index <- load "index.markdown"
  render (layout <|| index)

  loadAndRender "stylesheet.scss"

main :: IO ()
main = run website config

You can check out other examples. The Blog is a good one.

My personal website ( uses Pencil (source here). And so does Pencil’s website at (source here).





All notable changes to this project will be documented in this file.



Tests were failing from the sdist distribution due to missing files in extra-source-files. Add them.


This is a milestone release! Version 1.0.0. Several breaking changes, but if you read through the changes below, you should find updating your code to be pretty easy. Please email me if you are having problems!


  • Added GHC 8.4 and 8.6 support.
  • Added (<<|) and coll to add collection values into structrues.
  • Added useFilePath, escapeXml, rename, to, move to manipulate loaded Pages.
  • Added loadAndRender convenience method. Supports individual files and directories. You’ll want to use this one to move over static assets quickly and easily: loadAndRender "images/".
  • Added toTextRss and rfc822DateFormat to render content ready for an RSS template. See the Blog example for details.


  • All of the Pencil.Blog functions are now re-exported in Pencil. So you only need to import Pencil now.
  • load now automatically figures out the desired final FilePath, so it doesn’t take a (FilePath -> FilePath) as the first argument anymore. You can change your code from load toHtml "foo.markdown" to load "foo.markdown", for the most part. Use load' to manually specify the FilePath transform. See examples in the Hackage docs for load', to, move and rename.
  • loadResources, like load, no longers takes a file path transformer. Use to, move or rename to change the file path. But really, you probably can use loadDir or loadDir' or loadAndRender instead of loadResources.
  • Renamed structure to struct. It’s shorter.
  • passthrough now works with directories too.
  • insertPages return type changed from Env to PencilApp Env. We now evaluate the given pages (e.g. replace variables) before inserting into env. So you’ll need to change from let env' = insertPages "posts" posts env to env <- insertPages "posts" posts env.
  • Renamed updateEnvVal to adjust.
  • Renamed insertEnv to insert.
  • Renamed injectTagsEnv to injectTags.
  • Renamed arrayContainsString to arrayContainsText.
  • Changed how structures work internally to allow collection values into structures.
  • Examples now match the tutorials. This is the start of merging the tutorials into the pencil repo itself, instead of living somewhere else.
  • Two new errors: CollectionNotLastInStructure and CollectionFirstInStructure to handle collection positions in structures.


  • Specify example test files in the pencil.cabal file, so that pencil tests run properly.


  • renderCss. Use loadAndRender instead. As in: loadAndRender "style.scss"
  • Removed VarNotInEnv error type, since Pencil no longer throws that.



  • Updated dependencies. Should be able to use with recent versions of Stack LTS releases and Nix channels.
  • Pandoc updated to 2.5 from 1.x. Source code renders using <a> tags now, so you may have to change your CSS. If you want CSS to target only <a href> tags, use a[href] { ... }.



  • Escape template directives using $${example}. This will be rendered literally as ${example}.



  • Blog example.
  • Minor method changes.


  • Bounds changed for ghc 8.0.2 and 8.2.2 support.
  • Improved documentation.



  • First release.








The format is based on Keep a Changelog.