Turns plain text or email into a scholarly, APA-formatted paper.

Author: Henry Kroll III


PaperDragon is a tiny and free alternative to bloated office software. Create nice, double-spaced documents in minutes using any text editor, like Notepad. Working with plain text avoids the long list of delays and distractions offered by modern word processors. Text files can be created on almost any device, take up less room, and are easily searched and indexed.

Embedded jpg and png images with captions, font selection, bold and italics are now supported. The final paper has page numbers, running headline, and a reference section. Works well with Zotero for generating references.


To install PaperDragon on Windows, download the archive and double-click it. Copy the folder to Program Files and put pd.exe somewhere in your computer's path (like c:\).

Linux, Mac versions

PaperDragon was made for any operating system. It is written in Anchor, the standard C programming language we are all familiar with, but using a Python or Lua-like coding style. First, download and install Anchor and then run "make" to compile it for your particular operating system.

$ make
$ sudo make install


Pd is a command-line program. It can be run in a terminal (Start Menu-->Run-->cmd). To create a paper from paper.txt:

pd paper.txt > paper.doc

Usage Instructions

Create a text file using your favorite text editor. Put headings on their own line with optional RTF tags or use HTML tags for bold and italics. Feel free to use paper.txt as a template. Open paper.txt with any text editor to see how the formatting should look. Be sure to save it as something else before editing.

Known Problems

Bad formatting results from editing files created by PaperDragon. The reason is PaperDragon uses RTF format and most word processors don't implement RTF properly. Be sure to save the document as a specific document type (e.g. as...Word 2000/97) if any changes have been made.

PaperDragon and documentation are Copyright © 2010 Henry Kroll III. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".