Steemit Markdown Basics for Beginners

5 months ago
73 in steemit

Introduction

How to Stock Photo

If you are starting out it can be confusing getting to grips with Markdown.

Markdown is a formatting system that allows you to make posts quickly using symbols as shortcuts for formatting without the hassle of using html.

Here are some of the most basic markdown shortcuts that I personally have started using.


Why use Markdown over HTML?

Simplicity Stock Photo

  • Simplicity and ease of use compared to HTML/CSS.
  • Faster than HTML/CSS due to less typing.
  • Faster than the WYSIWYG Steemit text editor for similar reasons.
  • Easier to read/review/spot errors and also edit compared to HTML/CSS.
  • Can be combined with HTML/CSS for more advanced formatting and features.

Once you learn how to use these very basic techniques you will be much quicker at posting.


Other Resources I Recommend

  1. For more detailed information I would suggest using the Markdown Cheatsheet by Adam Pritchard which has been recommended by a number of people.
  2. You can also pick up tips from other users - there is nothing wrong with asking!
  3. In addition I should mention that @charlieshrem has created a markdown editor at Steempower.org which is also a very useful tool for composing and posting in markdown. Not only that but it also allows you to save your posts and submit them directly to Steemit!

Format of this post

I will be using screenshots to illustrate the actual text you type into the markdown editor and then illustrate the preview that you get.

(This is because if I actually put the markdown text in the post it will not show as is but will become formatted according to the markdown specs.)

The markdown text you type has a CREAM background colour to stand out.


Basic Points Before we get to the Markdown

Here is a view of what you see when you click on the "Submit a Story" button (A) at the top right of your Steemit browser window:

The default view allows the entry of markdown or html below:

If you click on the top right corner where it says "Editor" (B) it will take you to the very basic text editor which is fine but WILL NOT allow you to use markdown or html.

Further it could in the past cause you to lose certain html/markdown formatting so I think the last update prevented switching once you start entering text in order to prevent this happening.

That said you can still go into the regular text editor by accident before you start typing. If you find your markdown is not working this may be the reason. If you can't see the "Markdown" button to switch back you will need to do this:

Copy your text to the clipboard or a separate document and hit clear (C). The "Markdown" option should reappear as shown below (D), click it and then you can paste your text back in.


The Markdown Bit (Finally!)


Paragraphs

This is one of the best points about Markdown.

Unlike html where you need to use formatting tags for paragraphs, simply hitting Enter/Return once or twice in Markdown will create paragraphs (depending on how you prefer to format).

It works exactly the same way as a standard word processor.

That saves a lot of typing compared to html.


Headings

For headings use a hash symbol "#" followed by a gap:

e.g. you type this:

Headings MD

and you get this:

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

The more hashes you use the smaller the heading.

You can use up to 6 - NB don't forget to leave a gap between the hashes or it will confuse the editor.


Italics

Italics use underscores or asterisks

e.g. you type:

Italics

and you get this:

underscores or

asterisks


Bold

For bold use double underscores or asterisks

e.g. you type:

Bold

and you get:

double underscore

double asterisk


Both Bold and Italic Combined

Mix them (asterisks and underscores) for text that is both italicised and bold:

e.g. you type:

Mix Bold Italic

and get:

Mixed


Numbered Lists:

You type numbered points like this, the number followed by a full stop/period:

Number Lists

and you get this:

  1. Point 1
  2. Point 2
  3. Point 3

Bulleted Lists

For bulleted lists use asterisks with a space:

You type:

Bullet lists

and you get:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • etc

Links:

The easiest way to do these is to use square brackets to surround your title followed by round brackets (without a gap) with the link:

e.g. you type:

Links

and you get:

Steemit


Images are similar but formatted like this:

![Title Text](Image link here "Image Name")

e.g.
You type:

Images MD

and you get:

My Water Texture Image

{N.B. You don't have to use a separate image name and file name and can simply use ![Image Title](Image Link) or even use just a link on it's own for Steemit - but just in case there is a problem with the link loading I would still use a title though.}


Youtube Videos

Thanks to @kryptik in the chat for asking about these as I forgot to mention these in the original edit. Basically just treat the youtube video like an image link so the format would be:

![Youtube Link Title](Youtube Video Link)


Quotes use the "greater than" mathematical symbol i.e. ">"

e.g. you type:

Quotes MD

and you get:

This is a quote.


Section Dividing Lines

Three or more asterisks, hyphens, or underscores make a dividing line to separate sections. (Thanks to @cristi for showing me this):

e.g. you type:

Section Divisions

and you get 3 identical dividing lines:




The above all look the same in preview regardless of which triple symbol you use.


Extra tips

If it isn't working there are 3 common possibilities:

  1. You have either a space missing (headings - the editor will see it as a tag) or an extra space in the case of other types of text.
  2. You are using the text editor which does not read markdown (which I explain near the top of the post).
  3. You are using a feature that is not compatible with the Steemit implementation of markdown - this might happen if you are using some obscure functions.

If you get stuck - ASK for help or use Google - there are plenty of online resources like the aforementioned Markdown Cheatsheet.

NOTE - If you use SteemImg.com for image hosting it will automatically create Markdown formatted links for you (plus HTML versions and more) as shown in the screenshot below:

SteemImg SC

Thanks to @blueorgy for creating this valuable tool for us to use.


Conclusion

These are just the basics to get you started. In fact I don't really use anything else besides these markdown tricks to format my post. As I stated earlier you can find plenty more information on line. I hope this has been useful and easy to understand. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes or anything is unclear.


The Obligatory Kitten Shot

Your reward for getting to the end:-
Kitten Shot


If you like my work and aren't already, please follow me and check out my blog (I mainly discuss photography but I do other topics too) - @thecryptofiend


Image Credits: All images that aren't personally taken screenshots are taken from my own Thinkstock account. More information can be supplied on request.


I have also created a new channel in the chat dedicated to photography of people/portraits called "Photography-portraits-people". Please check it out and post your photos there.


(Verification for me here: http://www.aapicture.com/about-me)


Some of my Previous Posts and Tutorials:

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Sort Order:  trending
67
  ·  5 months ago

this is still intimidating simply because it seems so time consuming. I will try it out fully though at some point and am grateful for your detailed instructions that will guide me through!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Yes it can seem that way but once you start doing it you will pick it up very quickly and it is a lot faster than using html tags.

70
  ·  5 months ago

You call markdown simple ?
I don't even want to know what you consider complex.
That said, thank you very much, Sincerely.
I've figured out most of that. Although I still don't understand the image thing.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

It is once you get using it lol:) What don't you understand about the image thing?

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70
  ·  5 months ago

dunno. If I understood what I don't understand I'd understand it.
I don't see how this![alt text](image link here "Title text")
translates into
this

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73
  ·  5 months ago

OK I didn't spot that ! I'll change it to make it clearer. Edit: OK it's changed.

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61
  ·  5 months ago

I also find this part of markdown confusing. I can type <img src="http://LINK.png" alt="DESCRIPTION"> faster than I can understand that. To each her own.

68
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you, I just learned a few things!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Great. I'm glad you found it useful:)

56
  ·  5 months ago

Great post there @thecryptofiend This will help me a lot! :)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Great glad it helps:)

67
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks very much for this info! I was mixing html with the markdown since the last Steemiy update but this way is going to be definetely easier and faster.
Resteeming 👍

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73
  ·  5 months ago

I think for some things like centering text you still need to use html but for everything else this is easier.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

@jessamynorchard Thanks glad you find it useful. It is hard enough using those tags on desktop so I can only imagine how hard it is on mobile!

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66
  ·  5 months ago

@dresden I've been doing the same thing. Thanks, @cryptofiend for this helpful helpfulness. The line breaks are going to be an especially big time saver for me, since I am an 100% mobile user, and those html tags don't flow as easily on my smartphone vs. computer. Thanks!

55
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you so much that is very helpful!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

I'm glad it helps:)

54
  ·  5 months ago

Great article and a great example of how to write a useful article! Fantastic job. :)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank for your kind words. I just hope it isn't too confusing.

62
  ·  5 months ago

Upvoted at 100%. This is a very helpful post to those of us too lazy to HTML. Like me.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks glad you found it useful. I would call it being smart with your time:)

62
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks. I needed that. I was a bit upset that the raw html editor was taken away actually

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73
  ·  5 months ago

It's still there - you can use html the same as before - you just can't switch back and forth between the text editor and html/markdown. I still use html if I want to center an image but I find generally markdown is a lot quicker.

70
  ·  5 months ago

@thecryptofiend so there's actually that.
New thing learned thanks a great lot!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Glad you like it:)

44
  ·  5 months ago

Oh! I did my first post 2 days ago and had few stupid question. This article explains everything with all necessary details. Thank you!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks glad it is useful for you:)

67
  ·  5 months ago

Useful, thank you!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks for reading. I'm glad it's useful.

54
  ·  5 months ago

Every little info helps...this is a lot..thank you.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

I'm glad for that, thank you for support:)

67
  ·  5 months ago

I just got 2 more content creators to join. I will link this post to them. Good post, Thanks.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you for your efforts for Steemit. Glad you are finding this useful too:)

65
  ·  5 months ago

The crazy thing is I was upset when I saw the HTML link go away on the post editor. So instead of learning Markdown I started doing all my post in Bluefish which is an HTML editor. Then I copy that code into the post editor and it recognizes my HTML. I think it is tough to make the posts the way I want them if I'm just using the regular editor on here.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

That's basically what I was doing before even though I knew how to use markdown and was using it for comments. The change has forced me to use markdown for my posts too and it is actually a lot easier and quicker than the html method. That said I was just typing out all the html into a text editor rather than automating the process in any way. I just find it works better for the way I think and write.

66
  ·  5 months ago

Is there an easier "pull-left" command?

BTW, no puppies = no vote! :P
J/K

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73
  ·  5 months ago

I'm not sure what you mean by pull left?

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66
  ·  5 months ago
like this
Like when you want an image to post to the right or left of the text.
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73
  ·  5 months ago

You would have to use tables I think. It is in the Markdown Cheatsheet - I haven't tested it myself because I have never had the need to use it. Let me know if you try it and if it works or not.

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66
  ·  5 months ago

Well, it worked in my reply above. But it's a little clunky. I saw somewhere that there's an easier way, but I didn't write it down or save it. Here's how I'm doing it now.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

OK thanks for the link will check it out when I have a moment:)

Edit OK cool it looks like it is just CSS rather than a Markdown implementation.

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66
  ·  5 months ago

I don't know much about coding, so just find what I can to make it happen. But I did recently run across a way to do it in Markdown. I was in a rush and failed to make a note. Of course, we always remember everything when we're rushing, right? Sigh...

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73
  ·  5 months ago

I think it might have been using the tables function. Hopefully someone will mention it again:)

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61
  ·  5 months ago

<div class="pull-left">Lorem ipsum</div> Cannot be simplified because it is calling on a CSS stylesheet. For more information about using these divs effectively see How to Wordwrap Your Images Like a Boss.
I've included a template at the end.

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66
  ·  5 months ago

Some really helpful tips there. Thanks.
You can do a simple line break with three asterisks. ***


There is another way to float an image. It seemed easier than the div pull command when I saw it. Maybe someday I'll see it again and write it down this time.

Have you figured a way to get links to show in your description of an image that's pulled left/right? I've tried different things, but the url always gets written out no matter what I try. But the only time I've done the "img src" command was when working with HTML.

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66
  ·  5 months ago

dafdsasdfasdsddalkdsjfalksdjf;lasdkfjaslkj

<*img align="right" src="doc/subpagelist.png">

Makes it float, but doesn't seem to have "right" or "left" influence here.

<![Alt](image.jpg#right)

without the < does the same thing. Can't find a way to make it stay to the right or left though.

Might be useful though. :P

67
  ·  5 months ago

Very helpful thank you and I got to the beautiful kittens, :)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks:)

61
  ·  5 months ago

Great post !

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you:)

73
  ·  5 months ago

Another excellent post @thecryptofiend!

I really learned something today!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Great, glad it helped:)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Sure did, I knew nothing about this 3 months ago and have been learning the whole time.

Now I have a few new skills to implement!

Thanks!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks for letting me know. I've actually upgraded the screenshots of the text a little bit to make it clearer.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Cool, great idea!

62
  ·  5 months ago

Great tutorial! I think this will be helpful for a lot of people. I definitely prefer markdown over raw HTML. HTML allows more fine-tuned control, but it can be finicky to get it just right and it feels more clunky than the simpler markdown syntax. Markdown also makes it easy to establish and stick with a consistent style from post to post. Becoming proficient with it is something that every aspiring blogger should aim for!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks. Yes I definitely agree:)

64
  ·  5 months ago

Great, bookmarked for future reference.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks glad you found it helpful:)

66
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks you @thecryptofiend for this informative post. I've ignored markdown, just keeping it basic with the editor to focus on the writing. But, it appears that the times are a changing and the opportunity to gain new skills has arrived. Thanks for making it more comprehensible and less intimidating. Off on the road to new discovery!!! UPvoted and resteemed. I'm already following you!!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks for your support. I'm pleased you find it useful:)

54
  ·  5 months ago

This post has been linked to from another place on Steem.

Learn more about linkback bot v0.4. Upvote if you want the bot to continue posting linkbacks for your posts. Flag if otherwise.

Built by @ontofractal

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you:)

39
  ·  5 months ago

It is useful, thank you.
But because steam -redaktor html accepts, no?

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Do you mean does Steemit allow HTML? Yes absolutely you can use either markdown or HTML or combine both of them.

64
  ·  5 months ago


Hi @thecryptofiend, I just stopped back to let you know your post was one of my favourite reads and I included it in my Steemit Ramble. You can read what I wrote about your post here.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you for you support. I will check it out now:)

62
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you for this, I really needed a bit of guidance with this stuff so cheers.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

You're welcome. I'm glad you found it useful:)

57
  ·  5 months ago

Great post! In fact, it was so good that we decided to feature it in our latest newspaper. Read it here: https://steemit.com/steemplus/@steemplus/steemplus-saturday-october-15-the-daily-newspaper-that-pays-you-to-find-high-quality-content

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you:)

66
  ·  5 months ago

Hey @thecrypofiend.

After the new hardfork has apparently scrapped the "Raw HTML" option, this is a perfect tutorial to proper formatting and shortcuts to get there.

Fantastic post as is the norm with you!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you. I think you can still use html with markdown. You just can't switch between the text editor and html once you have started typing.

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66
  ·  5 months ago

Exactly. I was so used to typing it up on the editor and adding presentational markdowns later.

So your guide is all the more awesome for helping me out!

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thanks. I have been forced to use it more due to being rushed and it is a lot faster than using html alone!

27
  ·  5 months ago

great blog, really a big help for newbie like me, thanks :)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you. I'm happy you found it useful. Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to cover:)

44
  ·  5 months ago

Top stuff, man. A real help. Appreciate it. Reposted so I can refer to it when I need to.

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Thank you. I'm really pleased it is helping:)

36
  ·  5 months ago

I hate HTML with the passion

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73
  ·  5 months ago

I'm not a big fan of it either!

51
  ·  4 months ago

We could use a more comprehensive (advanced) cheatsheet. For example, if I have:
# heading one
## heading one point one
# heading two
and I want an anchor on "heading two", to form a URL that jumps straight to heading two, how do I do that? The obvious conventional approach would be to use something like:
https://steemit.com/steemit/@mynick/my-article#heading-two
but it does not work.

I know it must be possible, because @ash just filed a bug report which demonstrates the existence of these undocumented anchors.

(I would reply to that bug report, but sadly the "reply" option is gone on articles that are even slightly old)

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73
  ·  4 months ago

I think for that kind of advanced formatting and features you need to combine html/css with Markdown. So technically it isn't markdown.

It would definitely be useful to have an official document that lists all the markdown, html and css styling options and how to use them.

I suspect it will happen eventually but it is probably not a priority.

Also from what I understand that bug report is referring to linking to a particular comment which is different from what you want.