Markdown – Text To HTML Conversion

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

Daring Fireball: Markdown

This is how John Gruber, one of the inventors of markdown, explains the the tool as he calls it. It already sounds more complicated than it is. I suggest just to jump in. In this post I show you how to get started with Markdown (Wiki)

These are a few lines written in markdown syntax:

#First Headline (H1)

##Second Headline (H2)

This is a really short sentence with some **bold text**, some *italics* and a link to an [Example-Page](

* a bullet
* another bullet

> This is a quote

1. Numbered Item
2. Another Numbered Item

![Example Image](

A markdown enabled App will turn these lines into this:

<h1>First Headline (H1)</h1>
<h2>Second Headline (H2)</h2>
This is a really short sentence with some <strong>bold text</strong>, some <em>italics</em> and a link to an <a href="">Example-Page</a>
    <li>a bullet</li>
    <li>another bullet</li>
<blockquote>This is a quote</blockquote>
    <li>Numbered Item</li>
    <li>Another Numbered Item</li>
<img src="" alt="Example Image" />

So what happened here?

  • The Markdown App turns the markdown formatted text into valid html.
  • This HTML code can be pasted wherever you need the text (Mail, WordPress, your Website …)
  • You can also copy the formatted text for use in Pages or Word.

Why do I need this?

  • You’ll be able to write formatted text in every text-app, even on your phone without the hassle of a complicated interface.
  • You’ll be able to write simple HTML-Code without ever learning how to code.
  • You can use the HTML-Code for the web (your blog and website)  You don’t have to worry about who opens the file. After all, its just plain-text.
  • You can use themes to style your text with the click of a button. (You’ll need an app like Marked for that.

Ok, I’m convinced, where do I start?

  • Check out this Markdown Cheat Sheet. For starters you’ll do fine with my list of examples above as well.
  • Get a markdown app for desktop and mobile.
  • I highly recommend Ulysses as it has clients for the iPhone, iPad and Mac. It syncs over iCloud and Dropbox and has a really nice clean interface.
  • Don’t want to spend money right away? Go with Mou, it doesn’t have the different apps and sync but on Mac it does a really good job!

Where is Markdown Syntax supported

Once you start looking for it you’ll find markdown support in many, many places.

Further reading (for the real markdown-fan-boys)

Editorial – The ultimate Markdown app for iPad

Editorial is, simply put, the best writing app on the iPad. I won’t describe it at length here because Federico Viticcis Editorial Review on Macstories already does a perfect job there. So perfect that he turned it into a book called Writing On The iPad: Text Automation with Editorial

Markdown Presentations

I havent tried this one but it sure looks really promising. Deckset turns your markdown notes into beautiful presentations.