Heading Permalink Extension

This extension makes all of your heading elements (<h1>, <h2>, etc) linkable so that users can quickly grab a link to that specific part of the document - almost like the headings in this documentation!

Tip: You can combine this with the Table of Contents extension to automatically generate a list of links to the headings in your documents.


This extension is bundled with league/commonmark. This library can be installed via Composer:

composer require league/commonmark

See the installation section for more details.


This extension can be added to any new Environment:

use League\CommonMark\Environment\Environment;
use League\CommonMark\Extension\CommonMark\CommonMarkCoreExtension;
use League\CommonMark\Extension\HeadingPermalink\HeadingPermalinkExtension;
use League\CommonMark\Extension\HeadingPermalink\HeadingPermalinkRenderer;
use League\CommonMark\MarkdownConverter;

// Extension defaults are shown below
// If you're happy with the defaults, feel free to remove them from this array
$config = [
    'heading_permalink' => [
        'html_class' => 'heading-permalink',
        'id_prefix' => 'content',
        'apply_id_to_heading' => false,
        'heading_class' => '',
        'fragment_prefix' => 'content',
        'insert' => 'before',
        'min_heading_level' => 1,
        'max_heading_level' => 6,
        'title' => 'Permalink',
        'symbol' => HeadingPermalinkRenderer::DEFAULT_SYMBOL,
        'aria_hidden' => true,

// Configure the Environment with all the CommonMark parsers/renderers
$environment = new Environment($config);
$environment->addExtension(new CommonMarkCoreExtension());

// Add this extension
$environment->addExtension(new HeadingPermalinkExtension());

// Instantiate the converter engine and start converting some Markdown!
$converter = new MarkdownConverter($environment);
echo $converter->convert('# Hello World!');


This extension can be configured by providing a heading_permalink array with several nested configuration options. The defaults are shown in the code example above.


The value of this nested configuration option should be a string that you want set as the <a> tag’s class attribute. This defaults to 'heading-permalink'.


This should be a string you want prepended to HTML IDs. This prevents generating HTML ID attributes which might conflict with others in your stylesheet. A dash separator (-) will be added between the prefix and the ID. You can instead set this to an empty string ('') if you don’t want a prefix.


If this value is true, the id attributes will be written to the <h> tag instead of the <a>.


The class will be added to the <h> tag (no matter if apply_id_to_heading is set true or false)


This should be a string you want prepended to the URL fragment in the link’s href attribute. This should typically be set to the same value as id_prefix for links to work properly. However, you may not want to expose that same prefix in your URLs - in that case, you can set this to something different (even an empty string) and use JavaScript to “rewrite” them.

For example, to emulate how GitHub heading permalinks work, set id_prefix to 'user-content', set fragment_prefix to '', and insert some JavaScript into the page like this:

var scrollToPermalink = function() {
    var link = document.getElementById('user-content-' + window.location.hash);
    if (link) {
        link.scrollIntoView({behavior: 'smooth'});

window.addEventListener('hashchange', scrollToPermalink);
if (window.location.hash) {


This controls whether the anchor is added to the beginning of the heading tag (before), the end of the tag (after), or not added at all (none).

min_heading_level and max_heading_level

These two settings control which headings should have permalinks added. By default, all 6 levels (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) will have them. You can override this by setting the min_heading_level and/or max_heading_level to a different number (int value).


This option sets the symbol used to display the permalink on the document. This defaults to \League\CommonMark\Extension\HeadingPermalink\HeadingPermalinkRenderer::DEFAULT_SYMBOL = '¶'.

If you want to use a custom icon, then set this to an empty string '' and check out the Adding Icons sections below.

Note: Special HTML characters (" & < >) provided here will be escaped for security reasons.


This option sets the title attribute on the <a> tag. This defaults to 'Permalink'.


This option sets the aria-hidden attribute on the <a> tag. This defaults to aria-hidden="true".

Setting this option to false would render the <a> tag excluding the aria-hidden entirely.


If you wanted to style your headings exactly like this documentation page does, try this configuration!

$config = [
    'heading_permalink' => [
        'html_class' => 'heading-permalink',
        'insert' => 'after',
        'symbol' => '¶',
        'title' => "Permalink",

Along with this CSS:

.heading-permalink {
    font-size: .8em;
    vertical-align: super;
    text-decoration: none;
    color: transparent;

h1:hover .heading-permalink,
h2:hover .heading-permalink,
h3:hover .heading-permalink,
h4:hover .heading-permalink,
h5:hover .heading-permalink,
h6:hover .heading-permalink,
.heading-permalink:hover {
    text-decoration: none;
    color: #777;

Styling Ideas

This library doesn’t provide any CSS styling for the anchor element(s), but here are some ideas you could use in your own stylesheet.

You could hide the icon until the user hovers over the heading:

.heading-permalink {
  visibility: hidden;

h1:hover .heading-permalink,
h2:hover .heading-permalink,
h3:hover .heading-permalink,
h4:hover .heading-permalink,
h5:hover .heading-permalink,
h6:hover .heading-permalink
  visibility: visible;

You could also float the symbol just a little bit left of the heading:

.heading-permalink {
  float: left;
  padding-right: 4px;
  margin-left: -20px;
  line-height: 1;

These are only ideas - feel free to customize this however you’d like!

Adding Icons

You can also use CSS to add a custom icon instead of providing a symbol:

$config = [
    'heading_permalink' => [
        'html_class' => 'heading-permalink',
        'symbol' => '',

Then targeting the html_class given in the configuration in your CSS:

 * Custom SVG Icon.
.heading-permalink::after {
  display: inline-block;
  content: "";
   * Octicon Link (https://iconify.design/icon-sets/octicon/link.html)
   * [Pro Tip] Use an SVG URL encoder (https://yoksel.github.io/url-encoder).
  background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg' aria-hidden='true' style='-ms-transform:rotate(360deg);-webkit-transform:rotate(360deg)' viewBox='0 0 16 16' transform='rotate(360)'%3E%3Cpath fill-rule='evenodd' d='M4 9h1v1H4c-1.5 0-3-1.69-3-3.5S2.55 3 4 3h4c1.45 0 3 1.69 3 3.5 0 1.41-.91 2.72-2 3.25V8.59c.58-.45 1-1.27 1-2.09C10 5.22 8.98 4 8 4H4c-.98 0-2 1.22-2 2.5S3 9 4 9zm9-3h-1v1h1c1 0 2 1.22 2 2.5S13.98 12 13 12H9c-.98 0-2-1.22-2-2.5 0-.83.42-1.64 1-2.09V6.25c-1.09.53-2 1.84-2 3.25C6 11.31 7.55 13 9 13h4c1.45 0 3-1.69 3-3.5S14.5 6 13 6z' fill='%23626262'/%3E%3C/svg%3E");
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-size: 1em;

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