Markdown is AMAZING! It will change the way your write. This article itself was written in Markdown.

Markdown is designed to allow you to concentrate on what you write and not on how it is going to be styled. No more fighting to get all your fonts the same, or screaming at lists that just won’t number correctly.

Markdown is a light version of what is called a “mark-up language”. HTML is a heavyweight version of a mark-up language. Markdown is a light-weight version, hence the name. Markdown relies on some special markings to denote things like headings, bold and italics. These symbols are very easy to remember and easy to add in. It’s also very easy to create:

  • Lists (such as this one)

  • Links

  • Images

  • And quotes

Learning Markdown syntax doesn’t take long and is well worth the effort. Markdown editors are springing up all over the place now. Colably includes a Markdown editor and you can choose to write some, or all of your content in Markdown. Some other Markdown editors around the web are:

  • Editorially – a collaborative writing environment.

  • Dillinger – a cloud enabled Markdown editor that has a live preview and can be linked to your Dropbox or Google drive.

  • Markable – another online Markdown editor with auto-save and Evernote integration.

Markdown Cheatsheet

This is a quick reference. For more complete info, see John Gruber's original spec.

Headings in Markdown

#Heading 1#

##Heading 2##

etc...

Text styles in Markdown

**bold**

*italics*

Lists in Markdown

Unordered lists using *

* Item 1

* Item 2

* Item 3

Ordered lists using numbers

  1. Item 1

  2. Item 2

  3. Item 3

Links in Markdown

[Link text goes here](http://www.example.com)

Images in Markdown

![Description](http://www.example.com/example.png)

Escaping Characters in Markdown

So what do I do if I actually want to include a *, or a # in the text. Well as I mentioned before this article is written in Markdown and I’ve had to do just that. It’s easy. Whenever you want a special character just precede it with a backslash (\) character, e.g. \*.

You can use the backslash before any of these:

  • \ backslash

  • ` backtick

  • * asterisk

  • _ underscore

  • {} curly braces

  • () parentheses

  • # hash mark

  • + plus sign

  • - minus sign (hyphen)

  • . dot

  • ! exclamation mark

MultiMarkdown - Beyond Markdown

As the name suggests Markdown is extremely stripped down and although it is flexible enough for most writers it lacks features that some may need, such as tables. Step in MultiMarkdown which is a slightly more heavyweight version of Markdown. More about MultiMarkdown

What's you're experience of MarkDown? Do you love it as much as we do? Let us know by leaving a comment below.