When I first learned of MarkDown I was torn between having to write academical papers in software like Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages. Both are surely functional Programs, even though I’d always preferred Open or Libre Office, for the sake of standards and an open world.
In my studies as a Multimedia Designer in Denmark I even handed in some papers that were written in HTML and compiled to PDF.
That clearly was not the most practical, but for me the most bearable of these alternatives. Plain text is just great, especially for people who write a lot or the ones that code on a somewhat daily basis.
Writers should not be bound to an editor when trying to publish for a certain channel.
I believe in this! Even though I publish almost everything electronically, either to the university or to one of my sites, having the source material in MarkDown files enables you to just pass them on to somebody and they can convert it to many formats or just read it straight away with the many great editors that do the markup for you, so you can focus on reading and not how your version of Word or similar chooses to display. You set the rules.
MarkDown Genius Syntax
It doesn’t get any easier to write rich texts, than with MarkDown. Rich in terms of being able to paste any sort of HTML, easily link, insert images and with some extensions even add footnotes.
What an ugly word, I mean: you can use it anywhere. Every plain text editor supports it, from Notepad and Vim to specialised editors like Mou, MarkdownPad or UberWriter. What you write you can copy to HTML and put it straight into your blog or export a PDF for the not-yet-MarkDown infected.
If you want to, you can also use it directly in Chrome, Firefox and Thunderbird with a little extension called Markdown Here.
Great for Geeks
MarkDown is easy to pick up and use, but for the ones who write code it has some more perks. You can track changes to markdown documents with git or any version control system for that matter. Also it just is a plain text file with a couple of more cool things, so you can run your scripts and regexes on it easily.
It’s got rendering packages for PHP, node.js and ruby to mention a couple of server side environments and both WordPress.org and github require you to submit your documentation and README files in it.
I’m getting pretty positive responses of people around me who I’ve been telling about it and that it quickly becomes a part of their workflow. Have you tried markdown and if so, what do you think of it?