Sipping tea and building a story.

3 Reasons Why Everyone Needs to Learn Markdown

My Thoughts

Whether you know HTML or not, Markdown provides a clean slate for getting down to the actual task of writing. It’s easier on the eyes.

You already know of my Markdown fetish from previous blog posts and tweets.

For someone who spends a considerable amount of time working with HTML, it’s nice to get out of the tags and into a light syntax that almost anyone can comprehend. It works so well for me that I like sharing it with others who haven’t had a chance to explore it yet.

Most platforms support it too (sorry Blogger users) and it encourages good blogging. Getting folks out of those WYSIWYG editors and into a proper writing environment is always a good thing.

I see new bloggers taking advantage of markdown’s …

  • header syntax (# = h1, ## = h2, ### = h3)
  • emphasis (*emphasis*)
  • lists (- unordered list item / 1. ordered list item)
  • blockquotes (> This is a blockquote) and
  • paragraphs (add a space between lines)

… to actually make their blogs more readable and enjoyable. They use the syntax because it’s easy to use and in the process blog more or at least more understandably.

The intuitive nature of the whole affair makes it an essential part of my blogging.

I fire up BBEdit for the same reason I use Markdown. It works so very well (industrially well) and saves time.

It is easier to stay out than get out. Mark Twain

Don’t be left out of Markdown … those who are in with it, dont’ want out.

In The Beginning

I see this and I think, “This is where a good heading starts.”

Yes, I’ll say it again, “I have a Markdown fetish.”

I see the image above and I immediately want to start writing .. or perhaps tweet something brilliantly tagged and brilliantly lost in the Twitterverse.

# = <h1> in the world of Markdown.

In The Beginning

I see this and I think, “This is where a good heading starts.”

Yes, I’ll say it again, “I have a Markdown fetish.”

I see the image above and I immediately want to start writing .. or perhaps tweet something brilliantly tagged and brilliantly lost in the Twitterverse.

# = <h1> in the world of Markdown.

Hello World

#include <stdio.h>

int main(void)
    printf("Hello world!");

Split Path

Tumbling Down The Blogging Path

I suppose it’s time to formally mention that I’m wandering down the Tumblr path. Although I’ve painted myself as a Posterous fan in the past, their recent acquisition by Twitter has left me seeking a plan B platform.

I’ve used Tumblr as much as Posterous (I actually wander and wonder through all of the blogging platforms) and have to say that I’m happy to hang my hat on the Tumblr door once again.

Tumblr’s design is quite slick - just take a look at the login screen. It’s the subtle design choices that make it a nice place to be. There are plenty of themes to choose from but I can always dive in under the hood to edit the HTML and CSS to my liking. That’s a major win for me.

Perhaps the most helpful feature is the capability to discover other tumblogs using tags and saved tags. This search and discovery process was critically missing on Posterous.

Of course, Tumblr’s support of markdown makes this my happy spot. Anyone who spends a few moments with me on the topic of blogging or writing knows that I have a fetish for markdown. It’s a lean way to write anywhere knowing that what’s written will look just fine anywhere. Markdown lets me write with complete focus on the actual content.

Tumblr supports markdown as an editor option from the web. I’m hoping that they will support it soon from the recently updated iOS app too.

The Tumblr team is listening to feedback and that makes me feel pretty good about this place. Their recent response to a tweet about supporting markdown and saved tags from the updated iOS app, reassured me that the team is keeping it’s eyes on the user experience from the social media side. They didn’t actually say that they would support these features but acknowledged that the feedback was received and appreciated. I think they’ll do the right thing about these features and add them, but they are listening and that carries a lot of weight in my book.

Tumblr is not plan B anymore - it is the A-team in my workflow now.

Link reblogged from Mental Drizzle with tags:

I’ll say it again, I’m addicted to markdown.


I needed to create several different pages of HTML text for my company, Catalyst Custom Technology. I had known about markdown for quite some time, from digging around on John Gruber’s site. However, I didn’t have the opportunity to use it until now.

Markdown makes it very easy to note your…

# Are You Markdown Savvy?

If the phrase below is emphasized (in italics), then the new Tumblr app passes.

If the phrase is surrounded with asterisks (*), it fails.

Here we go : *I Tumble*

## Where’s The Love?

If you see ## above, then the question stands.

If “Where’s The Love?” appears as a nice heading (h2 to be exact), then Tumblr has shown me the .md love.

Markdown is an option on Tumblr and I’m hoping that Tumblr supports it on the new iOS app because it is the best thing since goldfish crackers.

- See my previous post

- Also, where are my saved tags?

Oh, Tumblr … I’m glad you’re trying with the new iOS app to polish up the UE side, but please fix these items.


This little text editing app that I just discovered has found a home on my app doc - yes, even replacing the Google+ app spot.

Markdown Love

Ohh, what’s not to love about an app that supports writing in Markdown from iOS?

I spend enough of my life hand coding in text editors that finding a way to focus simply on writing without all of the markup and CSS drama, while confident that anyone can read and understand this (without HTML knowledge or a special program), is just my cup of tea.

I started this in iOS with Nocs and finished it in OS X with BBEdit.

The Nocs app is very customizable and includes control of the CSS. It integrates well with Drop Box too.

Noc, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Markdown Fridge

Visit The Fridge

You now know enough Markdown to communicate with your web people.

Plus you don’t need to know HTML to make sense of it.

By writing your content in markdown, anyone can actually make sense of it. It’s being written in plain text with just a few symbols to add some structure.

The web ninjas and our scripts can then easily convert this markdown to valid HTML for the web.

The look and feel of your content will still be determined by the CSS rules that sit on your website but you don’t have to worry about those details in markdown.

In markdown, you are simply focusing on the writing. Us web ninjas will worry about the rest.

I’m pretty much using markdown everywhere now … email, text fields on the web, blogging, social media sites … anywhere I want to write without distraction.

Markdown returns the joy of writing with its simplicity.

There’s something very calming about using plain text everywhere - even in the meta focused world we now live in.

I hope you’re down with markdown too.

I Remember Markdown

Although I enjoy writing in Tumblr’s HTML editor, I like to mix it up now and then.

For most types of coding, I recently discovered the venerable text editor, BBEdit.

Coming from UNIX Vim, I’m finding it to be another great tool for writing HTML.

I often take notes in HTML because I like marking up text so much. Is that so geekish?

Well I’ve found that it also helps me memorize things a bit more easily as I imagine the structure of my notes on a webpage and what CSS styles I might give them.

As I visualize the structure and style presentation of my notes, it serves as a mnemonic tool.

Well, BBEdit let’s me handle the HTML side very nicely even though I still enjoy using Vim from the command line. But, BBEdit makes writing in HTML so easy with many available add-ons known as packages, scripts and clippings.

BBEdit is a rock solid editor that “just works”. It works very well in fact. I never worry about it crashing or losing my work.

I so enjoy hand coding.

I decided to make use of BBEdit’s Markdown support too.

Markdown is a quick way of writing using hashtags for headers, blank lines to separate paragraphs, asterisks for lists and a few other characters that translate into HTML elements.

A BBEdit Markdown script allows me to convert the Markdown to valid HTML with two simple clicks. That converted text can now be used in a real webpage, say a Tumblr Post from the HTML editor. Just copy the code over and paste.

Or …

Markdown In Tumblr

I can copy the Markdown text into Tumblr’s Markdown Editor. Markdown is enabled within Tumblr by clicking on the Preferences gear at the top of the Tumblr page and selecting the Edit posts using Markdown option.

I’m still playing around with this feature of Tumblr.

I Remember

So now as I take notes in Markdown, I visualize the HTML tags that will be added to the converted text. Then I imagine how the notes will look inside a live website. Then I recall the content sitting within all of these conversions.

I remember what I was writing about.

So this post began from within BBEdit using Markdown. I copied it over to Tumblr’s Markdown Editor and can pretty much recall well enough what I wrote about.

By the way, Markdown is a great way to write while forgetting about all of the formatting optons of a word processing type of application. It’s all about writing in plain text. It’s very calming, like a sip of tea, when writing in plain text.

Whether I’m writing a blog or taking notes, I’m starting to do it with Markdown now. Mentally combining Markdown and HTML is a slick way for remembering stuff - well at least for me.

You can mark my words, Markdown is nice to know and takes probably about three minutes to learn. You can find more information about it here : Daring Fireball