- Markdown Tutorial: This site offers an interactive tutorial that teaches the basic Markdown syntax.
- Markdown Cheatsheet: This page offers a quick reference guide for Markdown syntax elements.
- Markdown Dingus: With this tool, you can write/paste in Markdown text and convert to HTML text, which you can then copy/paste into another text area (say, a Blackboard or Wordpress text area).
- Dillinger: This site offers a web browser Markdown editor. You can write/edit a Markdown document here, then export to an HTML or PDF document that will be downloaded to your computer.
The original Markdown syntax was developed in 2004 by John Gruber. Since then, it has been extended in many additional ways through other variants. For example, MultiMarkdown offers a syntax for creating tables, which Gruber’s Markdown does not.
- Gruber’s original Markdown specification
- MultiMarkdown: a variant created by Fletcher Penney that adds support for tables and footnotes. Many apps specifically support MultiMarkdown rather than Markdown itself because of these additional features.
- GitHub Flavored Markdown: If you write documents in GitHub’s interface (say, a Readme file for a project), you’ll need to use GitHub’s Markdown variant. It keeps all the original Markdown syntax, but adds extra features for code syntax highlighting, tasks lists, tables, links, strikethroughs, and linking to other usernames.
- Kramdown: This variant is the default for the Jekyll blog system (described on the Next Steps page) and has some key differences from the original Markdown syntax.
- CommonMark: This variant attempts to address the ambiguity that can arise for developers when using the original Markdown syntax. For example, what should happen if a user creates a bulleted list with line breaks? Different Markdown apps and variants have addressed this situation differently. CommonMark aims to specify what should happen in this case and others. Upon its release it caused some controversy as its original name was “Standard Markdown”, which caused some folks to see it as an attempt by large corporate interests to coopt Markdown and take control of its development.