How do I format my text?Last Updated: Feb 16, 2017 11:42AM CST

Have you ever had to write or paste text on the internet, but it didn't look the way you wanted, leaving you to fight and struggle with the text box? We've been there too, so we've incorporated a better way to input and format text into parts of Scholastica.

We do this using a plain text formatting syntax called "Markdown". Don't worry, it's super easy and very powerful. Kiss fighting formatting problems goodbye!

Bold and Italics

You can format bold and italics by simply surrounding the text with a few characters.

Markdown Formatted Output
**Make me bold**

_Make me italic_
      

Make me bold

Make me italic

Paragraphs

Paragraphs are simply a line of text followed by a blank line. If you want to have two separate paragraphs make sure there's a blank line between them.

Markdown Formatted Output
George Washington was the first US President.

John Adams was the second US President.
              

George Washington was the first US President.

John Adams was the second US President.

Lists

Lists are very intuitive. You can either use a * or a number to specify your list item.

Here's a cool thing for ordered lists: You can just use 1. for each item and the formatted output will automatically be ordered correctly.

Nested lists require that the nested item be indented 2 spaces.

Markdown Formatted Output
* unordered list item 1
* unordered list item 2
* unordered list item 3

1. ordered list item 1
1. ordered list item 2
1. ordered list item 3

* Regular list item
  * Nested list item
    * Additionally nested list item
    * Second additionally nested list item

      

 

  • unordered list item 1
  • unordered list item 2
  • unordered list item 3

 

  1. ordered list item 1
  2. ordered list item 2
  3. ordered list item 3

 

  • Regular list item
    • Nested list item
      • Additionally nested list item
      • Second additionally nested list item

Sometimes you might want to link to another resource.

Markdown Formatted Output
[I'm a link to Google](http://www.google.com)
I'm a link to Google

Images

An image is just like a link except that there's a ! at the beginning.

Markdown Formatted Output
![Description of pic](http://goo.gl/ljvogW)

Headings

Headings are great way to divide your text into different sections.

You can create them by prepending text with a hash mark #.

The number of hashes signifies whether you want a "level one", "level two", "level three", etc type of header.

 

Markdown Formatted Output
# Header

## Sub-Header


 

Header

Subheader

 

You may need to quote what someone else said. It's simple, just prepend your text with a 'more than' sign, >

Markdown Formatted Output
> Four score and seven years ago
our fathers brought forth on
this continent, a new nation,
conceived in Liberty,
and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Code formatting (or special emphasis)

Some people use this method to bring attention to the code they write. Some people use it just to make normal text stand out by making it look very unstyled. The key to formatting text is either wrapping a line of text in backticks ` or by placing a block of text between three backticks ```

Markdown Formatted Output

`Doesn't this line of text stand out?`

```
Doesn't this chunk
of multilined text
stand out too?
```
           

 

Doesn't this line of text stand out?

 

Doesn't this chunk
of multilined text
stand out too?
            

Equation support with LaTeX

Actual, formatted equations is often next to impossible to get into online text boxes. Not here! The text editor you're using supports LaTeX formatting, a format widely used among STEM fields.

LaTeX image

Special note when using US dollar signs (i.e. $)

You may notice weird formatting when using US dollar signs (i.e. $). If you encounter this issue, there is a simple work around: Place a forward slash immediately in front of the dollar sign (e.g. \$ rather than $).

This problem arises because LaTeX, by convention, uses a single US dollar sign to delimit inline equations. As a result, our text editor can sometimes confuse a literal dollar sign for the start of an equation.

More About Markdown

Markdown is a formatting-friendly way to write text! Rather than fighting with rich text editors to avoid indenting and auto-formatting that you don't need, Markdown allows you to concentrate on what you mean to say, instead of getting tangled in toolbars and keyboard shortcuts. It's as simple as adding a few extra characters so that Markdown knows what you want your text to look like.

To put it simply, Markdown makes everything easier: writing text, formatting text, and even converting what you wrote to other markup languages, like HTML or XML. Scholastica is part of a growing trend of technology organizations that accommodate Markdown as a way to help users write efficiently, including: Tumblr, Squarespace, and more.

Further reading:

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