GitOps for Presentations

Yes, I work for Microsoft. No, I do not like PowerPoint. Here’s my alternative with the source code which I’ll explain here.

For 20+ years I’ve done UNIX/Linux development and have worked at Microsoft for 6 years. And I’ve learned that Microsoft will typically build the all-encompassing Enterprise-ready solution and the OSS ecosystem will build a narrow-focused tool that you can piece together with others.

Each have their own benefits and constraints. There is No Silver Bullet.

A common set of requirements I encounter are:

  • I need to easily present to a public audience
  • I might have to use someone else’s computer
  • I want to share the slides afterwards
  • I need to quickly update the slides
  • I just want to display text and images. (PowerPoint is an absurdly impressive tool with lots of features that I rarely use.)

Internal Microsoft SharePoint policy prevents sharing slides with external visitors. This often results in emailing 10-100MB PPTs or PDF files around. Blah!

Piecing bits of OSS, I present to you “GitOps for Presentations”. It involves:

  • Git + GitHub – Version control of content
  • Markdown – Easy styling of content
  • MARP – Converts CommonMark to HTML, PDF, PPT
  • VSCode – Edit the content (There’s even a MARP extension which allows you to preview in real-time!)
  • GitHub Actions – Build the presentation from Markdown
  • GitHub Pages – Host the presentation



  • MARP’s formatting is basic. Especially if you’re coming from PowerPoint

That’s cool, but why didn’t you …

  • use Remark or Reveal.js?
  • There’s many great presentations frameworks, but I wanted something really simple. KISS
  • You should be able to replace MARP with any of those other frameworks and still get the same results.
  • just present your PPT and email it?
  • That requires work and time. At conferences, I don’t have time/might forget to follow-up with everyone. I create a QR code and put it at the end of the slides. This enables self-service, discovery and also saves me previous keystrokes.
  • use or Google Slides?
  • Microsoft has embraced OSS and purchased GitHub, so I wanted to find a way to explore integrating all of this. I’ve been very happy with the results!

I’m sold! How do I get started?

  • I’ve made it easy for anyone to get started by creating a GitHub template for this project (which is also a presentation)
  • Click “Use this template” and create a new repository
  • Enable GitHub Actions to auto-publish to GitHub Pages
  • In your new Repo, click Settings -> Pages
  • Set Source to GitHub Actions
  • You’re done!


  • I’m quite familiar with GitOps, and while this is outside of running Kubernetes clusters as IaC, there are some similarities with the top-level concept of using Git to set my desired state of my presentation.
  • MARP technically uses CommonMark. It’s close enough for what most people will need

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