Ordinary and Extraordinary Markdown

Page contents


What is Markdown?

Markdown is a lightweight markup language that was designed to be easy for humans to read and write. For example, the Markdown markup for a list can look like the following list of colors of the rainbow.🌈

* Red
* Orange
* Yellow
* Green
* Blue
* Indigo
* Violet

This is significantly simpler than the HTML markup for a list, which involves the <ul>, <li>, </li>, and </ul> HTML tags. Details about the Markdown markup for unordered lists – and a lot more – are in the “features” sections below.

Because Markdown is so lightweight, a lot of extended versions or flavors have been created since its inception in 2004. For an overview of Markdown's history, flavors, and more, see wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown.

Meta

This article's Markdown flavor

This article is written in Goldmark-flavored Markdown and is rendered by the static site generator Hugo.

Click here to view the part of Infinite Ink's Hugo config.yaml that is relevant to rendering this article's Markdown.
markup:
  goldmark:
    extensions:
      definitionList: true
      footnote: true
      linkify: true
      strikethrough: true
      table: true
      taskList: true
      typographer: true
    parser:
      attribute: true
      autoHeadingID: true
      autoHeadingIDType: github
    renderer:
      hardWraps: false
      unsafe: true  # default is false
      xHTML: false
  highlight:
    codeFences: true
    guessSyntax: false
    hl_Lines:
    lineNoStart: 1
    lineNos: false
    lineNumbersInTable: true
    noClasses: true
    style: perldoc  # default is monokai
    tabWidth: 4

 

All but the two highlighted lines are Hugo's default settings. Thanks to the unsafe: true setting, Hugo will render any raw HTML in Infinite Ink's Markdown content files. For example, the <details> “twisty” that we are in the midst of now was written in raw HTML.

(Note that Internet Explorer and some other browsers do not support <details> twisties. If you are using one of these browsers, you probably did not need to “Click here” to see this part of the article.)

To learn more about Hugo's markup settings, see:

Provenance

The “Markdown ordinary features” and “Markdown extraordinary features” sections below were created by @jonschlinkert and forked by Infinite Ink. The original source is at gist.github.com/jonschlinkert/5854601. Thank you @jonschlinkert!1


Markdown ordinary features

The following markdown features are defined by the CommonMark standard, and are generally supported by all markdown parsers and editors.

Headings

Headings from h1 through h6 are constructed with a # for each level:

# h1 Heading
## h2 Heading
### h3 Heading
#### h4 Heading
##### h5 Heading
###### h6 Heading

 

Renders to:

h1 Heading

h2 Heading

h3 Heading

h4 Heading

h5 Heading
h6 Heading

And this HTML:

<h1>h1 Heading</h1>
<h2>h2 Heading</h2>
<h3>h3 Heading</h3>
<h4>h4 Heading</h4>
<h5>h5 Heading</h5>
<h6>h6 Heading</h6>

A note about “Setext” Headings

Note that this document only describes ATX headings, as it is the preferred syntax for writing headings. However, the CommonMark specification also describes Setext headings, a heading format that is denoted by a line of dashes or equal signs following the heading. It's recommended by the author of this guide that you use only ATX headings, as they are easier to write and read in text editors.



Paragraphs

Body copy written as normal plain-text will be wrapped with <p></p> tags in the rendered HTML.

So this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, graecis denique ei vel, at duo primis mandamus. Et legere ocurreret pri, animal tacimates complectitur ad cum. Cu eum inermis inimicus efficiendi. Labore officiis his ex, soluta officiis concludaturque ei qui, vide sensibus vim ad.

Renders to this HTML:

<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, graecis denique ei vel, at duo primis mandamus. Et legere ocurreret pri, animal tacimates complectitur ad cum. Cu eum inermis inimicus efficiendi. Labore officiis his ex, soluta officiis concludaturque ei qui, vide sensibus vim ad.</p>


Breaks

You can use multiple consecutive newline characters (\n) to create extra spacing between sections in a markdown document. However, if you need to ensure that extra newlines are not collapsed, you can use as many HTML <br> elements as you want.

Horizontal Rule

The HTML <hr> element is for creating a “thematic break” between paragraph-level elements. In markdown, you can use the following for this purpose:

Renders to:






Emphasis

Bold

For emphasizing a snippet of text with a heavier font-weight.

The following snippet of text is rendered as bold text.

**rendered as bold text**

renders to:

rendered as bold text

and this HTML

<strong>rendered as bold text</strong>

Italics

For emphasizing a snippet of text with italics.

The following snippet of text is rendered as italicized text.

_rendered as italicized text_

renders to:

rendered as italicized text

and this HTML:

<em>rendered as italicized text</em>

Blockquotes

Used for defining a section of quoted text from another source, within your document.

To create a blockquote, use > before any text you want to quote.

> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer posuere erat a ante

Renders to:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer posuere erat a ante.

And the generated HTML from a markdown parser might look something like this:

<blockquote>
  <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer posuere erat a ante.</p>
</blockquote>

Blockquotes can also be nested:

> Donec massa lacus, ultricies a ullamcorper in, fermentum sed augue.
Nunc augue augue, aliquam non hendrerit ac, commodo vel nisi.
>> Sed adipiscing elit vitae augue consectetur a gravida nunc vehicula. Donec auctor
odio non est accumsan facilisis. Aliquam id turpis in dolor tincidunt mollis ac eu diam.
>>> Donec massa lacus, ultricies a ullamcorper in, fermentum sed augue.
Nunc augue augue, aliquam non hendrerit ac, commodo vel nisi.

Renders to:

Donec massa lacus, ultricies a ullamcorper in, fermentum sed augue. Nunc augue augue, aliquam non hendrerit ac, commodo vel nisi.

Sed adipiscing elit vitae augue consectetur a gravida nunc vehicula. Donec auctor odio non est accumsan facilisis. Aliquam id turpis in dolor tincidunt mollis ac eu diam.

Donec massa lacus, ultricies a ullamcorper in, fermentum sed augue. Nunc augue augue, aliquam non hendrerit ac, commodo vel nisi.



Lists

Unordered

A list of items in which the order of the items does not explicitly matter.

You may use any of the following symbols to denote bullets for each list item:

* valid bullet
- valid bullet
+ valid bullet

For example

+ Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
+ Consectetur adipiscing elit
+ Integer molestie lorem at massa
+ Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet
+ Nulla volutpat aliquam velit
  - Phasellus iaculis neque
  - Purus sodales ultricies
  - Vestibulum laoreet porttitor sem
  - Ac tristique libero volutpat at
+ Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel
+ Aenean sit amet erat nunc
+ Eget porttitor lorem

Renders to:

And this HTML

<ul>
  <li>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet</li>
  <li>Consectetur adipiscing elit</li>
  <li>Integer molestie lorem at massa</li>
  <li>Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet</li>
  <li>Nulla volutpat aliquam velit
    <ul>
      <li>Phasellus iaculis neque</li>
      <li>Purus sodales ultricies</li>
      <li>Vestibulum laoreet porttitor sem</li>
      <li>Ac tristique libero volutpat at</li>
    </ul>
  </li>
  <li>Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel</li>
  <li>Aenean sit amet erat nunc</li>
  <li>Eget porttitor lorem</li>
</ul>

Ordered

A list of items in which the order of items does explicitly matter.

1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
2. Consectetur adipiscing elit
3. Integer molestie lorem at massa
4. Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet
5. Nulla volutpat aliquam velit
6. Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel
7. Aenean sit amet erat nunc
8. Eget porttitor lorem

Renders to:

  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
  2. Consectetur adipiscing elit
  3. Integer molestie lorem at massa
  4. Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet
  5. Nulla volutpat aliquam velit
  6. Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel
  7. Aenean sit amet erat nunc
  8. Eget porttitor lorem

And this HTML:

<ol>
  <li>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet</li>
  <li>Consectetur adipiscing elit</li>
  <li>Integer molestie lorem at massa</li>
  <li>Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet</li>
  <li>Nulla volutpat aliquam velit</li>
  <li>Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel</li>
  <li>Aenean sit amet erat nunc</li>
  <li>Eget porttitor lorem</li>
</ol>

Time-saving Tip

Sometimes lists change, and when they do it's a pain to re-order all of the numbers. Markdown solves this problem by allowing you to simply use 1. before each item in the list.

For example:

1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
1. Consectetur adipiscing elit
1. Integer molestie lorem at massa
1. Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet
1. Nulla volutpat aliquam velit
1. Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel
1. Aenean sit amet erat nunc
1. Eget porttitor lorem

Automatically re-numbers the items and renders to:

  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
  2. Consectetur adipiscing elit
  3. Integer molestie lorem at massa
  4. Facilisis in pretium nisl aliquet
  5. Nulla volutpat aliquam velit
  6. Faucibus porta lacus fringilla vel
  7. Aenean sit amet erat nunc
  8. Eget porttitor lorem


Code

Inline code

Wrap inline snippets of code with a single backtick: `.

For example, to show <div></div> inline with other text, just wrap it in backticks.

For example, to show `<div></div>` inline with other text, just wrap it in backticks.

“Fenced” code block

Three consecutive backticks, referred to as “code fences”, are used to denote multiple lines of code: ```.

For example, this:

```html
Example text here...
```

Appears like this when viewed in a browser:

Example text here...

And renders to something like this in HTML:

<pre>
  <p>Example text here...</p>
</pre>

Indented code

You may also indent several lines of code by at least four spaces, but this is not recommended as it is harder to read, harder to maintain, and doesn't support syntax highlighting.

Example:

    // Some comments
    line 1 of code
    line 2 of code
    line 3 of code

// Some comments
line 1 of code
line 2 of code
line 3 of code

Syntax highlighting

Various markdown parsers, such as remarkable, support syntax highlighting with fenced code blocks. To activate the correct styling for the language inside the code block, simply add the file extension of the language you want to use directly after the first code “fence”: ```js, and syntax highlighting will automatically be applied in the rendered HTML (if supported by the parser). For example, to apply syntax highlighting to JavaScript code:

```js
grunt.initConfig({
  assemble: {
    options: {
      assets: 'docs/assets',
      data: 'src/data/*.{json,yml}',
      helpers: 'src/custom-helpers.js',
      partials: ['src/partials/**/*.{hbs,md}']
    },
    pages: {
      options: {
        layout: 'default.hbs'
      },
      files: {
        './': ['src/templates/pages/index.hbs']
      }
    }
  }
});
```

Which renders to:

grunt.initConfig({
  assemble: {
    options: {
      assets: 'docs/assets',
      data: 'src/data/*.{json,yml}',
      helpers: 'src/custom-helpers.js',
      partials: ['src/partials/**/*.{hbs,md}']
    },
    pages: {
      options: {
        layout: 'default.hbs'
      },
      files: {
        './': ['src/templates/pages/index.hbs']
      }
    }
  }
});

And the following complicated HTML is an example of what might be generated by the markdown parser, when syntax highlighting is applied by a library like highlight.js:

<div class="highlight"><pre><span class="nx">grunt</span><span class="p">.</span><span class="nx">initConfig</span><span class="p">({</span>
  <span class="nx">assemble</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">{</span>
    <span class="nx">options</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">{</span>
      <span class="nx">assets</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="s1">'docs/assets'</span><span class="p">,</span>
      <span class="nx">data</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="s1">'src/data/*.{json,yml}'</span><span class="p">,</span>
      <span class="nx">helpers</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="s1">'src/custom-helpers.js'</span><span class="p">,</span>
      <span class="nx">partials</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">[</span><span class="s1">'src/partials/**/*.{hbs,md}'</span><span class="p">]</span>
    <span class="p">},</span>
    <span class="nx">pages</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">{</span>
      <span class="nx">options</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">{</span>
        <span class="nx">layout</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="s1">'default.hbs'</span>
      <span class="p">},</span>
      <span class="nx">files</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">{</span>
        <span class="s1">'./'</span><span class="o">:</span> <span class="p">[</span><span class="s1">'src/templates/pages/index.hbs'</span><span class="p">]</span>
      <span class="p">}</span>
    <span class="p">}</span>
  <span class="p">}</span>
<span class="p">});</span>
</pre></div>


Autolinks are absolute URIs and email addresses inside < and >. They are parsed as links, where the URI or email address itself is used as the link's label.

<http://foo.bar.baz>

Renders to:

http://foo.bar.baz

URIs or email addresses that are not wrapped in angle brackets are not recognized as valid autolinks by markdown parsers.

[Assemble](http://assemble.io)

Renders to (hover over the link, there is no tooltip):

Assemble

HTML:

<a href="http://assemble.io">Assemble</a>
[Upstage](https://github.com/upstage/ "Visit Upstage!")

Renders to (hover over the link, there should be a tooltip):

Upstage

HTML:

<a href="https://github.com/upstage/" title="Visit Upstage!">Upstage</a>

Named Anchors

Named anchors enable you to jump to the specified anchor point on the same page. For example, each of these chapters:

# Table of Contents
  * [Chapter 1](#chapter-1)
  * [Chapter 2](#chapter-2)
  * [Chapter 3](#chapter-3)

will jump to these sections:

## Chapter 1 <a name="chapter-1"></a>
Content for chapter one.

## Chapter 2 <a name="chapter-2"></a>
Content for chapter one.

## Chapter 3 <a name="chapter-3"></a>
Content for chapter one.

Anchor placement

Note that placement of achors is arbitrary, you can put them anywhere you want, not just in headings. This makes adding cross-references easy when writing markdown.



Images

Images have a similar syntax to links but include a preceding exclamation point.

![Minion](https://octodex.github.com/images/minion.png)

Minion

or

![Alt text](https://octodex.github.com/images/stormtroopocat.jpg "The Stormtroopocat")

Alt text

Like links, Images also have a footnote style syntax

![Alt text][id]

Alt text

With a reference later in the document defining the URL location:

[id]: https://octodex.github.com/images/dojocat.jpg  "The Dojocat"

Raw HTML

Any text between < and > that looks like an HTML tag will be parsed as a raw HTML tag and rendered to HTML without escaping.

(Note that no attempt is made by the markdown parser to validate your HTML).

Example:

**Visit <a href="https://github.com">Jon Schlinkert's GitHub Profile</a>.**

Renders to:

Visit Jon Schlinkert's GitHub Profile.

Escaping with backslashes

Any ASCII punctuation character may be escaped using a single backslash.

Example:

\*this is not italic*

Renders to:

*this is not italic*

Markdown extraordinary features

The following markdown features are not defined by the CommonMark specification, but they are commonly supported by markdown parsers and editors, as well as sites like GitHub and GitLab.

Strikethrough

In GFM2 you can do strikethroughs.

~~Strike through this text.~~

Which renders to:

Strike through this text.



Todo List

- [ ] Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
- [ ] Consectetur adipiscing elit
- [ ] Integer molestie lorem at massa

Renders to:

Links in todo lists

- [ ] [foo](#bar)
- [ ] [baz](#qux)
- [ ] [fez](#faz)

Renders to:



Tables

Tables are created by adding pipes as dividers between each cell, and by adding a line of dashes (also separated by bars) beneath the header (this line of dashes is required).

Example:

| Option | Description |
| ------ | ----------- |
| data   | path to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates. |
| engine | engine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default. |
| ext    | extension to be used for dest files. |

Renders to:

OptionDescription
datapath to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates.
engineengine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default.
extextension to be used for dest files.

And this HTML:

<table>
  <tr>
    <th>Option</th>
    <th>Description</th>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>data</td>
    <td>path to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates.</td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>engine</td>
    <td>engine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default.</td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>ext</td>
    <td>extension to be used for dest files.</td>
  </tr>
</table>

Aligning cells

Center text in a column

To center the text in a column, add a colon to the left and right of the dashes in the row beneath a header.

| Option | Description |
| :----: | :---------: |
| data   | path to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates. |
| engine | engine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default. |
| ext    | extension to be used for dest files. |

Renders to:

OptionDescription
datapath to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates.
engineengine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default.
extextension to be used for dest files.

Right-align the text in a column

To right-align the text in a column, add a colon to the right of the dashes in the row beneath a header.

| Option | Description |
| -----: | ----------: |
| data   | path to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates. |
| engine | engine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default. |
| ext    | extension to be used for dest files. |

Renders to:

OptionDescription
datapath to data files to supply the data that will be passed into templates.
engineengine to be used for processing templates. Handlebars is the default.
extextension to be used for dest files.


Footnotes👣

Markdown footnotes are not officially defined by the CommonMark specification. However, the feature is supported by remarkable and other markdown parsers, and it's very useful when available.

Markdown footnotes are denoted by an opening square bracket, followed by a caret, followed by a number and a closing square bracket: [^1].

This is some text[^1] with a footnote reference link.

The accompanying text for the footnote can be added elsewhere in the document using the following syntax:

[^1]: "This is a footnote"

When rendered to HTML, footnotes are “stacked” by the markdown parser at the bottom of the file, in the order in which the footnotes were defined.

Inline footnotes

Some markdown parsers, for example remarkable, also support inline footnotes. Inline footnotes are written using the following syntax: [^2 "This is an inline footnote"].3


Notes


  1. The sections titled “Markdown ordinary features” and “Markdown extraordinary features” were forked from the “Standard features” and “Non-standard features” sections of the Markdown Cheatsheet at gist.github.com/jonschlinkert/5854601. Thank you @jonschlinkert and everyone who contributed to this open-source cheatsheet. ↩︎

  2. The acronym GFM usually means GitHub-flavored Markdown. To learn about GFM, see github.com's Mastering Markdown, Writing on GitHub, and GitHub Flavored Markdown Spec. ↩︎

  3. The Goldmark parser, which parsed this article's Markdown, does not support inline footnotes. ↩︎


Discussion and reactions

All comments are welcome, including relevant links to your site and suggestions for improving this page. Thanks to GitHub and Utterances, the possible reactions are 👍️ 👎️ 😂️ 🎉️ 😕️ ❤️ 🚀️ and 👀️.