Trying out Quarto on macOS

I decided to try out Quarto, the new notebook/markdown/publishing system built on Pandoc.

I followed their Get started guide and downloaded and installed the macOS installer.

Having run the installer, quarto --help showed that I had the CLI command installed.

Setting up VS Code and solving ImportErrors

Next I installed the Quarto extension for VS Code by clicking the "Install" button on this page:

I started following the tutorial there, which worked... up until the point where I clicked "Render", when I got this error in the VS Code terminal:

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'nbformat'

This looked suspiciously to me like an xkcd 1987 problem: which of the many versions of Python on my computer was Quarto using? And why didn't that version have the right packages installed?

I figured out which Python was being used by adding this block to the tutorial Markdown file and executing it in VS Code:

import sys

This output:


Now that I knew which Python was being used, I could install the nbformat and later the nbclient packages that the error messages were complaining about:

/Applications/ -m pip install nbformat nbclient

Having installed those two packages into that particular Python instance, the "Render" button in VS Code worked and gave me a rendered PDF preview.

I filed a bug report about this here:


Created 2022-08-18T13:03:58-07:00, updated 2022-08-18T13:10:56-07:00 · History · Edit