Markdown - Simple to write, limited features
Blogging is a fantastic way to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world. However, creating high-quality blog posts can be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you're not a skilled writer or designer. Fortunately, there's a solution that can help streamline your content creation process: Markdown.
Markdown is a lightweight markup language that was created to make writing for the web easier and more intuitive. Unlike traditional word processors, Markdown doesn't require you to use complicated formatting menus or buttons. Instead, you write plain text and add simple symbols to indicate headings, lists, links, and other formatting elements.
Markdown was created in 2004 by John Gruber, a software developer, and writer. Gruber wanted to create a simple, easy-to-read and easy-to-write markup language for the web. He was inspired by other plain text formatting syntaxes, such as setext and textile, but wanted to create something even more straightforward.
Gruber released the first version of the Markdown syntax specification in 2004, and it quickly gained popularity among bloggers, writers, and developers. One of the key benefits of Markdown is its simplicity, as it allows users to format their text using plain text characters and symbols, rather than having to use complex word processing tools.
Over the years, Markdown has been adopted by many different platforms, including blogging platforms, project management tools, text editors, and code repositories. It has also been extended and modified by many users and developers, leading to the creation of several different variations of the Markdown syntax.
Today, Markdown remains one of the most widely used lightweight markup languages, and its popularity continues to grow as more and more people discover the benefits of its simplicity and versatility. Whether you're a blogger, a project manager, or a developer, Markdown is a tool that can help you create and share high-quality content more efficiently.
Here are some of the key benefits of using Markdown for blogging:
It's fast and easy to learn
If you can type, you can write in Markdown. The syntax is simple, intuitive, and straightforward, so you can start using it right away without any prior experience. Moreover, there's no need to spend hours learning how to use a complicated word processor. You can focus on what you do best: writing.
It's highly readable
When you write in Markdown, your content is easy to read and understand, even if you're not a trained designer or writer. You don't have to worry about formatting or design elements getting in the way of your message. This makes it perfect for blogging, where the focus is on communicating with your readers.
It's portable and flexible
Markdown is a plain text format, which means that it's compatible with almost any software, operating system, or device. You can write your blog posts on a PC, a Mac, a tablet, or a smartphone, and you can easily move your content from one platform to another. Moreover, you can export your Markdown files to HTML, PDF, or any other format if you need to publish your content on a different platform or for a different purpose.
It's easy to collaborate
Collaborating with others on a blog post can be challenging, especially if you're using a complex word processor. With Markdown, you can share your content with others without any worries. They can edit the text, add comments, or suggest changes, and you can easily merge these changes back into your original document. This makes it ideal for team blogging or guest posts.
It's ideal for version control
If you're a blogger, you know how important it is to keep track of changes to your content. With Markdown, you can use version control systems like Git to keep track of every change you make to your blog post. You can see who made the changes, when they were made, and why they were made, which makes it easier to revert to previous versions if necessary.
While Markdown has many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are a few of the most significant:
Limited formatting options
While Markdown is great for basic formatting, it doesn't offer all the formatting options you may need. For example, you can't insert images, create tables, or add advanced formatting elements. If you need to use these features, you'll need to convert your Markdown file to HTML or another format, which can be time-consuming.
No WYSIWYG editor
Markdown is a plain text format, so you won't see your formatting as you type. This can be a challenge for some users who are used to seeing the final result of their formatting as they work. However, there are many Markdown editors that offer a WYSIWYG
Where can Markdown be used?
Markdown can be used in a variety of applications, including:
- Blogging platforms, such as Wordpress or Ghost
- Project management tools, such as Trello or Asana
- Code repositories, such as GitHub or Bitbucket
- Note-taking apps
Markdown may not be the best choice for everyone. There are several alternatives to Markdown that offer different features and benefits, making them a good option for those who need more formatting options or are looking for a different workflow.
reStructuredText is a markup language that is primarily used for technical documentation. It is more flexible than Markdown, allowing users to create tables, diagrams, and other complex structures with ease. reST is widely used in the Python community and is a popular choice for documentation projects.
AsciiDoc is a markup language that is similar to Markdown but offers more features, such as support for tables, callouts, and footnotes. It is also easier to read and write than reST, making it a good choice for those who want a balance between simplicity and versatility.
MediaWiki is the markup language used by Wikipedia. It is a powerful and flexible language that supports a wide range of formatting options, including tables, links, images, and templates. MediaWiki is a good choice for those who need a lot of control over their content, but it can also be complex and challenging to learn.
HTML is the markup language used to create web pages. It is the most powerful and flexible markup language available, but it is also the most complex. HTML is a good choice for those who are already familiar with it, or for those who need full control over their content, including the ability to add custom styling and interactivity.
LaTeX is a markup language that is used primarily for academic and technical writing. It is highly versatile, supporting a wide range of formatting options, including mathematical equations and custom styles. LaTeX is a good choice for those who need to produce high-quality documents, but it can be complex and challenging to learn.
Each of these alternatives to Markdown has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Whether you're a blogger, a technical writer, or a developer, there is a markup language out there that will help you create and share high-quality content more efficiently.
Markdown Support in MonsterWriter
MonsterWriter is a "What-You-See-Is-What-You-Meen" writing application. This means you will not be bothered by the markdown symbol in the middle of your text. But still you can use some markdown commands to enhance your writing flow. For example when you type a "# " at the beginning of the section, it will turn the section into a level one heading.