THE BASICS

What the Heck Is Markdown, Anyway?

Making sense of the internet's favorite language.

Markdown is a writing tool for the internet age. When you write in Markdown, the formatted text can easily be exported as a perfectly formatted blog post, web page, or forum comment—all without writing a single line of HTML.

Even if you have no interest in blogging or building websites, Markdown has enough clever features to make it a valuable tool for everyday writing. Our favorite Markdown-friendly apps offer distraction-free writing zones, easy-to-memorize formatting shortcuts, searchable tags, and customizable themes.

Ulysses' clever keyboard lets you add formatting in a tap.

Markdown uses a special kind of “syntax” (things like hashtags, slashes, underscores, asterisks) to quickly bold words, create bulleted lists and hyperlinks, and more. After a short tutorial, you’ll find each app’s syntax is much, much easier to type than HTML—and even everyday keyboard shortcuts. One of our editors uses Markdown when he's writing his novel because he loves the way he never has to lift his hands from the keyboard.

Bear's got plenty of colorful themes to choose from.

Markdown comes in many flavors—which means each app works a little differently. But you can’t go wrong with any of these great choices!

    Bear

    Private Markdown Notes

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    Ulysses

    The ultimate writing app

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    Byword

    Productivity

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    iWriter

    Simple and elegant text editor

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