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Markdown: Basics
================
<ul id="ProjectSubmenu">
<li><a href="/projects/markdown/" title="Markdown Project Page">Main</a></li>
<li><a class="selected" title="Markdown Basics">Basics</a></li>
<li><a href="/projects/markdown/syntax" title="Markdown Syntax Documentation">Syntax</a></li>
<li><a href="/projects/markdown/license" title="Pricing and License Information">License</a></li>
<li><a href="/projects/markdown/dingus" title="Online Markdown Web Form">Dingus</a></li>
</ul>
Getting the Gist of Markdown's Formatting Syntax
------------------------------------------------
This page offers a brief overview of what it's like to use Markdown.
The [syntax page] [s] provides complete, detailed documentation for
every feature, but Markdown should be very easy to pick up simply by
looking at a few examples of it in action. The examples on this page
are written in a before/after style, showing example syntax and the
HTML output produced by Markdown.
It's also helpful to simply try Markdown out; the [Dingus] [d] is a
web application that allows you type your own Markdown-formatted text
and translate it to XHTML.
**Note:** This document is itself written using Markdown; you
can [see the source for it by adding '.text' to the URL] [src].
[s]: /projects/markdown/syntax "Markdown Syntax"
[d]: /projects/markdown/dingus "Markdown Dingus"
[src]: /projects/markdown/basics.text
## Paragraphs, Headers, Blockquotes ##
A paragraph is simply one or more consecutive lines of text, separated
by one or more blank lines. (A blank line is any line that looks like a
blank line -- a line containing nothing spaces or tabs is considered
blank.) Normal paragraphs should not be intended with spaces or tabs.
Markdown offers two styles of headers: *Setext* and *atx*.
Setext-style headers for `<h1>` and `<h2>` are created by
"underlining" with equal signs (`=`) and hyphens (`-`), respectively.
To create an atx-style header, you put 1-6 hash marks (`#`) at the
beginning of the line -- the number of hashes equals the resulting
HTML header level.
Blockquotes are indicated using email-style '`>`' angle brackets.
Markdown:
A First Level Header
====================
A Second Level Header
---------------------
Now is the time for all good men to come to
the aid of their country. This is just a
regular paragraph.
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy
dog's back.
### Header 3
> This is a blockquote.
>
> This is the second paragraph in the blockquote.
>
> ## This is an H2 in a blockquote
Output:
<h1>A First Level Header</h1>
<h2>A Second Level Header</h2>
<p>Now is the time for all good men to come to
the aid of their country. This is just a
regular paragraph.</p>
<p>The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy
dog's back.</p>
<h3>Header 3</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>This is a blockquote.</p>
<p>This is the second paragraph in the blockquote.</p>
<h2>This is an H2 in a blockquote</h2>
</blockquote>
### Phrase Emphasis ###
Markdown uses asterisks and underscores to indicate spans of emphasis.
Markdown:
Some of these words *are emphasized*.
Some of these words _are emphasized also_.
Use two asterisks for **strong emphasis**.
Or, if you prefer, __use two underscores instead__.
Output:
<p>Some of these words <em>are emphasized</em>.
Some of these words <em>are emphasized also</em>.</p>
<p>Use two asterisks for <strong>strong emphasis</strong>.
Or, if you prefer, <strong>use two underscores instead</strong>.</p>
## Lists ##
Unordered (bulleted) lists use asterisks, pluses, and hyphens (`*`,
`+`, and `-`) as list markers. These three markers are
interchangable; this:
* Candy.
* Gum.
* Booze.
this:
+ Candy.
+ Gum.
+ Booze.
and this:
- Candy.
- Gum.
- Booze.
all produce the same output:
<ul>
<li>Candy.</li>
<li>Gum.</li>
<li>Booze.</li>
</ul>
Ordered (numbered) lists use regular numbers, followed by periods, as
list markers:
1. Red
2. Green
3. Blue
Output:
<ol>
<li>Red</li>
<li>Green</li>
<li>Blue</li>
</ol>
If you put blank lines between items, you'll get `<p>` tags for the
list item text. You can create multi-paragraph list items by indenting
the paragraphs by 4 spaces or 1 tab:
* A list item.
With multiple paragraphs.
* Another item in the list.
Output:
<ul>
<li><p>A list item.</p>
<p>With multiple paragraphs.</p></li>
<li><p>Another item in the list.</p></li>
</ul>
### Links ###
Markdown supports two styles for creating links: *inline* and
*reference*. With both styles, you use square brackets to delimit the
text you want to turn into a link.
Inline-style links use parentheses immediately after the link text.
For example:
This is an [example link](http://example.com/).
Output:
<p>This is an <a href="http://example.com/">
example link</a>.</p>
Optionally, you may include a title attribute in the parentheses:
This is an [example link](http://example.com/ "With a Title").
Output:
<p>This is an <a href="http://example.com/" title="With a Title">
example link</a>.</p>
Reference-style links allow you to refer to your links by names, which
you define elsewhere in your document:
I get 10 times more traffic from [Google][1] than from
[Yahoo][2] or [MSN][3].
[1]: http://google.com/ "Google"
[2]: http://search.yahoo.com/ "Yahoo Search"
[3]: http://search.msn.com/ "MSN Search"
Output:
<p>I get 10 times more traffic from <a href="http://google.com/"
title="Google">Google</a> than from <a href="http://search.yahoo.com/"
title="Yahoo Search">Yahoo</a> or <a href="http://search.msn.com/"
title="MSN Search">MSN</a>.</p>
The title attribute is optional. Link names may contain letters,
numbers and spaces, but are *not* case sensitive:
I start my morning with a cup of coffee and
[The New York Times][NY Times].
[ny times]: http://www.nytimes.com/
Output:
<p>I start my morning with a cup of coffee and
<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/">The New York Times</a>.</p>
### Images ###
Image syntax is very much like link syntax.
Inline (titles are optional):
![alt text](/path/to/img.jpg "Title")
Reference-style:
![alt text][id]
[id]: /path/to/img.jpg "Title"
Both of the above examples produce the same output:
<img src="/path/to/img.jpg" alt="alt text" title="Title" />
### Code ###
In a regular paragraph, you can create code span by wrapping text in
backtick quotes. Any ampersands (`&`) and angle brackets (`<` or
`>`) will automatically be translated into HTML entities. This makes
it easy to use Markdown to write about HTML example code:
I strongly recommend against using any `<blink>` tags.
I wish SmartyPants used named entities like `&mdash;`
instead of decimal-encoded entites like `&#8212;`.
Output:
<p>I strongly recommend against using any
<code>&lt;blink&gt;</code> tags.</p>
<p>I wish SmartyPants used named entities like
<code>&amp;mdash;</code> instead of decimal-encoded
entites like <code>&amp;#8212;</code>.</p>
To specify an entire block of pre-formatted code, indent every line of
the block by 4 spaces or 1 tab. Just like with code spans, `&`, `<`,
and `>` characters will be escaped automatically.
Markdown:
If you want your page to validate under XHTML 1.0 Strict,
you've got to put paragraph tags in your blockquotes:
<blockquote>
<p>For example.</p>
</blockquote>
Output:
<p>If you want your page to validate under XHTML 1.0 Strict,
you've got to put paragraph tags in your blockquotes:</p>
<pre><code>&lt;blockquote&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For example.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;/blockquote&gt;
</code></pre>
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