A human-readable Markdown reference you can include in your projects.
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Human Markdown Reference

The Human Markdown Reference is a set of short, easy to understand HTML pages you can include in any project that uses Markdown.

Important: This is not designed to be a complete reference. Just a quick guide for the layman.

You can view a live demo.

It's perfect for including as a pop-up help window next to your textarea.

The author of this reference recommends using Markdown over Textile as it's easier to learn and better suited to normal writing.

See also: the Human Textile Reference.

How To Use

Download or clone this repository.

Copy the markdown-reference/ directory to your project.

Add a help link to the reference:

HTML Snippet

You can format your text using
<a href="markdown-reference/index.html"
   onclick="window.open(this.href,'markdown_reference','height=400,width=600,scrollbars=1'); return false;">Markdown</a>.

Rails Snippet

You can format your text using
<%= link_to 'Markdown', 'markdown-reference/index.html', :popup => ['markdown_reference', 'height=400,width=600,scrollbars=1'] %>

Reference Sections

The reference sections include:

  • Text formatting
  • Links and images
  • Headings
  • Lists
  • Special



The Human Markdown Reference is licensed under the MIT licence and is freely available for you to use or modify for any project.


It's extremely lightweight; one HTML file, one minified CSS file, two images. If your web server has GZip compression switched on it should total 2.3KB.


The guide uses JavaScript to toggle the different categories. If the browser's JavaScript is disabled, every category will be shown expanded, which is fine.

It uses jQuery 1.4.4 from the Google's AJAX CDN (the request should be a cache hit, so you'll incur no extra wait time).


Included stylesheet is compiled using Sass. If you want to make modifications, alter sass/markdown-reference.css. You can output the compressed version with:

sass sass/markdown-reference.scss markdown-reference/stylesheets/markdown-reference.css -t compressed

If you're developing, you can use Sass' --watch option.