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You can make your README formatted by putting README with specific extension.

Supported Formats

format extension
rdoc README.rdoc
Markdown README.markdown, README.md, README.mdown, README.mkd, README.mkdn
Textile README.textile
PNG README.png (should display an image. At the moment, it isn’t working)
reStructuredText README.rst
POD README.pod
(no formatting) README.* (all but above extensions), README (no extension)

Unsupported Formats

  • rd (README.rd)
  • html (README.html — considered insecure)

Notes

  • If there is both README and README.foo, README.foo is displayed. (This doesn’t always seem to be true; README.txt is displayed before README, but README is displayed before README.somethingunusual.)
  • feature request: format READMEs without an extension
  • feature request: DokuWiki syntax as DW is often used to write whole doKumentation for software
  • feature request: TiddlyWiki Syntax
  • feature request: Something MediaWiki like such as MediaCloth or WikiCreole
  • feature request: txt2tags
  • feature request: support i18n filename format like README_ja.txt
  • feature request: HAML — http://haml-lang.com/ — *.(html)?.haml
  • feature request: creole syntax
  • feature request: support .README.* to allow projects to have a readme in a dotfile
  • feature request: syntax highlighting for code blocks
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