Forget MS Word, switch to Markdown

Markdown is a lightweight markup language for creating formatted text using a plain-text editor. It enables plain text formatting syntax aimed at making writing for the internet easier.

Ken Harrison

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Why Markdown

The philosophy behind Markdown is that plain text documents should be readable without tags mussing everything up, but there should still be ways to add text modifiers like lists, bold, italics, etc. It is an alternative to WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors, which use rich text that later gets converted to proper HTML.

Markdown is Future-proof. By “future-proof,” this means for as long as plain text is the standard (which it will be for a long, long time), Markdown will be usable and openable by modern programs. Compare this to Microsoft Word, which has over 10 different file types as of 2022. Keeping things plain text ensures there will never be an outdated version, so software doesn’t need to update to keep up with the format.

Markdown does have its own filename extension: .md. It is designed to be perfectly readable as a raw text file. So it’s safe to say that Markdown isn’t going anywhere.

Example
Here’s a quick example:

To make words bold using Markdown, you simply enclose them in ** (asterisks). So, **bold word** would look like bold word when everything is said and done.

Below is a list of guides and editors for Markdown! The ⭐️ denotes my personal favorites.

Guides

  1. Markdown Guide is a free and open-source reference guide that explains how to use Markdown, the simple and easy-to-use markup language you can use to format virtually any document ⭐️
  2. CommonMark is a strongly defined, highly compatible specification of Markdown

Text Editors

  • Visual Studio Code is a code editor redefined and optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications.⭐️
  • Zettlr: With Zettlr, writing professional texts is easy and motivating: Whether you are a college student, a researcher, a…

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Ken Harrison

Technical Product/Program Manager passionate about productivity, motivation and tech. Writing about the intersection of technology and effective management.