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In the words of its creator, John Gruber, “Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).”
I’ve known about Markdown for quite some time, but for some reason, I’ve always just stuck with writing up my blog posts in plain ol’ HTML. Since I’m now trying out MarsEdit, and it has preview functionality for Markdown, I thought I’d give it a shot. Turns out, I love it, especially the human-readability of it, which I suppose is really the entire point.
I had a really hard time, however, finding a good cheat sheet. Several links to one made by Ollieman indicate he had the best one, but as his site is currently down, I ended up making my own. Please share and enjoy!
Since I use WordPress for my blog, and I have installed PHP Markdown Extra as a plug-in, I have also included an addendum on the second page of the cheat sheet noting the additions and changes in the “Extra” version.
I would also note that several popular text editors have support for Markdown translations, such as my much beloved TextMate, in which I am writing this very post. In fact, there is an excellent screencast (30.3 MB download) which demonstrates use of the Blogging Bundle for TextMate, and gives a good overview of how Markdown can be used inside the editor, and how to export to various formats.
Many thanks to John Gruber and Aaron Swartz for creating Markdown, and Michel Fortin for creating the PHP “Extra” version.
Download here: Markdown Syntax Cheat Sheet