Get Started

Dive in to creating your first Quire publication

Dive in to creating your first Quire publication

Before getting started, make sure you have installed Quire and downloaded a freely available . We also recommend reviewing the Quire Basics Tutorial, a step-by-step introduction to the fundamentals of Quire.

Start a New Project

To create a new project run the quire new command. You can learn more about various commands in the Quire Commands section of this guide. Open your and copy and paste the text below, replacing my-project with what you would like your project folder to be called. (Don’t use spaces or special characters in your project name, and lowercase is recommended.)

quire new my-project

Quire will download a new starter project into a folder called “my-project” that can be found in your . The process may take a few minutes. The project is ready when you see the message: “Theme and dependencies successfully installed.”

Projects started with quire new will include demo content, images, and data. This information can be written over, re-used, or deleted altogether as you’d like.

  • If you’re a Mac user and receive an error message that references “Developer/CommandLineTools” please see the Troubleshooting section of this guide for a solution.

Copy an Existing Project

In addition to starting a Quire project from scratch as described in the previous section, you can also copy and work on a pre-existing Quire project. You would do this if you are collaborating with others on a publication. Keep in mind that changes are made locally. A hosting service such as GitHub or GitLab is recommended to share changes with other collaborators.

  1. Copy the Quire project directory into your home directory (typically from a thumb drive, Dropbox/Google Drive, or hosting service).

  2. Open your command-line shell and navigate to the project directory using the cd (change directory) command. For example, if your project directory was called my-project and it was in your home directory, you would enter cd my-project.

  3. Still in the command-line shell, type npm install and press enter to install the theme dependencies for your project. (This is done automatically when running quire new, but needs to be done manually when working on pre-existing projects.)

Files for Content Creators and Editors

Content creators and editors will primarily use the content directory. In addition to containing the Markdown files that comprise a publication, this directory also includes the _data, _computed, and _assets directories.

📁 content     <-- Markdown files with publication text
  📁 _data     <-- YAML files with publication data
  📁 _computed <-- Default `eleventyComputed.js` file
  📁 _assets   <-- Fonts, images, and styles

📁 content

The central part of Quire is the content directory where almost all of a publication’s textual content will live as individual (.md) files. Every Markdown file is a page of the publication. You can create additional directories in the content folder if your publication has sub-sections, such a catalogue entries. You can read more about how to structure the publication content in the Page Types & Structure section of this guide.

📁 _data

Important publication information, such as captions, references, and object metadata, lives in the _data directory and is stored as (.yaml) file. This information is considered data because it can usually be found in multiple places throughout the publication. Rather than re-entering the information each time it appears, Quire has been designed to simplify this process by storing it as YAML which is then pulled into the Markdown files through the use of identifiers. The key YAML files that you might make use of in a Quire project include publication.yaml, config.yaml, objects.yaml, figures.yaml, and references.yaml.

📄 publication.yaml

This file includes publication metadata including title, subtitle, contributors, copyright information, etc. This file is a requirement for all Quire projects and is also used for (SEO).

📄 config.yaml

This file is used for configuring different built-in layout options and for defining a number of key values used in Quire . Users who have worked on other non-Quire projects will note that they typically use the config.yaml file to also store publication metadata. Given the potentially large scope of this metadata in formal digital publications, Quire uses the publication.yaml explained above instead. Read more in Metadata & Configuration section of this guide.

📄 objects.yaml

This file includes information on catalogue objects including artist name, artwork year, dimensions, medium, location, link to work, etc. This file is only required when using the entry page type to create object entry pages (as you would find in a collection catalogue). Read more in Collection Catalogues.

📄 figures.yaml

This file includes information for figure images and figure groups including captions, credits, and alt text. Read more in Figure Images.

📄 references.yaml

This file includes reference information used to create in-text citations and bibliographies that are designed to meet scholarly needs. Read more in Citations & Bibliographies.

📁 _computed


📁 _assets

This directory includes anything that will be included in your final publication that doesn’t have to first be processed through Quire’s , such as fonts, images, and styles. The javascript directory will primarily be used by developers. Please see Files For Developers for more information about how JavaScript is used in Quire.

📁 fonts

This directory is where the default Quire fonts are located including “Noto Sans”, “Noto Serif”, and “IBM Plex Sans Condensed”. Learn how to change and add fonts in the Font Customization section of this guide.

📁 images

This directory is where publication images are stored. The src value in the figures.yaml file references the files names of the images as they are saved in this directory.

📁 styles

This directory includes a variables.scss file and a custom.css file for directly overriding theme styles (read more in Style Customization).

Files for Developers

Developers will primarily use the _includes, _layouts, _plugins directories and the config.yaml file.

📁 _includes
📁 _layouts
📁 _plugins
📁 content
  📁 _assets  <-- Includes javascript directory

📁 _includes


📁 _layouts


📁 _plugins


📁 _assets

In addition to including fonts, images, and styles, the _assets directory also contains a javascript directory for adding customizations with Javascript.

Create a Publication Outline

It is a good idea to start any project by creating a basic outline of your publication. To get started with your outline, open your Quire project in your text editor. You will see the directory contents listed on the left sidebar. The way you organize the Markdown files in the content directory of your project will define the structure of your publication and how the table of contents is organized. Learn more in the Table of Contents & Sidebar Menu section of this guide.

Here’s an outline showing the order, organization, and file names for a sample publication:

📁 content
  📁 _data      <-- not included in outline
  📁 _computed  <-- not included in outline
  📁 _assets    <-- not included in outline
  📄   <-- cover
  📁 part-one
    📄 <-- subsection landing page
  📁 part-two
    📄 <-- subsection landing page

The names of most .md files will effect the final URLs of your publication. By default, URLs will be the filename, minus the .md suffix. Files nested in a sub-directory within content will include that sub-directory in the URL as well.

The file inside the part-one

Subsection landing pages are named These files always inherit the URL of their parent directory. For example, if you have a content/part-one/ file, and your project is hosted at the domain, the URL for the landing page will be

The same goes for the cover which is an file in the main project directory. Since this file is in the root, or top-most, directory, the URL for it will be the base URL where you host the site.

When looking in the content directory on your computer or in your text editor, project files usually either appear alphabetically or by date modified, which is also how Quire will order them when building and previewing your publication. You can adjust this by adding order value in page YAML of each Markdown file. Learn more in Page Types & Structure.

There are some other important rules and tips to keep in mind when working in your text editor and creating an outline:

  1. To create a new file, right-click on the content directory and select “New File”.

  2. File names should be lowercase

  3. Use hyphen in place of spaces

  4. Always include the .md suffix.

Add Text and Images

Once an outline has been created, text and images can be added to the project.

In many cases, text will originate as a Word document. You can use Pandoc to convert Word documents into Markdown. Instructions can be found in the YAML & Markdown section of this guide.

Once images are added to the _assets/images/ folder and entries have been added to the figures.yaml, then you can use shortcodes to insert the images into their respective Markdown files. More information can be found in the Figure Images section of this guide.

Preview and Edit a Project

As you add content to your project, you can preview the site in your web browser. The preview is live and will update as you make changes.

To run the preview:

  1. Open your command-line shell and navigate to your Quire project directory using the cd (change directory) command. For example, if your project directory was called my-project and it was in your home directory, you would enter cd my-project.

  2. Still in the command-line shell, type quire preview and press enter to initiate the preview.

  3. To view the preview, open a web browser and visit the localhost URL that is provided in the command-line shell output (for example, http://localhost:8080) to see the publication. To stop the preview, press Control–C.

Some tips for previewing your publication:

  • Include YAML on page for it to be viewable in your web browser In order for pages to become active, you must have basic YAML included at the top of the page. Learn more about page YAML in Page Types & Structure

  • Hide pages from the table of contents view If you want to hide a page from the table of contents include toc: false in the YAML.

  • Hide pages from the sidebar menu If you want to hide a page from sidebar menu include menu: false in the YAML.

  • Start and stop the preview to refresh Quire In some cases, changes to .yaml, .scss and .css files may not show up in your preview immediately. If this happens, use Control-C to stop the preview and quire preview to restart it.