Mastering Markdown
What is Markdown?

note: Before beginning this course, you need to have a basic understanding of HTML. If not, take some courses in Web Fundamentals Track.

Markdown is widely accepted by developers, bloggers and editors. So, what is it?

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers.

— John Gruber, creator of Markdown

A few words explain a lot:

  • text-to-HTML: It means the Markdown syntax you type will be converted to HTML.
    e.g. **pancake** will becomes <strong>pancake</strong>
  • conversion: You need to compile into HTML to view properly in browsers.
  • web writers: Markdown is suitable to write content, e.g. blog post (but not to HTML page structure).

Many online services have adapted Markdown as their content formatting tool, such as:

  • Codecademy forum (Yeah! Did you know?)
  • Stack Overflow: a superb Q&A site for developers
  • GitHub: README.md in repository is actually written in Markdown
  • Tumblr: You can write blog articles using its built-in Markdown editor
  • and many others built with modern web frameworks

There are lots of plugins or libraries for Markdown to help you out in development.

In fact, you can use it to format your content in Codecademy forum!

So... What does Markdown look like? See at the right hand side!


A Markdown file is just a text file, usually in .md , .markdown , .mdown extension.

The Markdown content you wrote will be parsed into normal HTML that can be understood by web browsers.

Click "RUN" to see the resulting HTML generated from Markdown to HTML.

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