Some “aFAQs” (A Few Asked Questions)

So, how can I start using Markdown for my project(s)?

Markdown today is now globally supported in any software or writing tool you may come across. Before, you would have to install the original Markdown Perl script from its official website in your own system if you want to use it on your word processor or even your CMS. Today, you can simply extend your writing tool via plugins or Markdown may already be one of the defaults, like your favorite text editor such as SublimeText, Notepad++, or powerful IDEs like Aptana Studio and Komodo Edit.

Be sure to check the documentation of your writing tool by visiting its official website to see if Markdown support is a default or an extension via plugins. And then, just follow installation/setup instructions as stated Markdown support is an extension or a plugin to your writing tool.

What if I’m building a website from scratch, like plain HTML/CSS or using CSS Frameworks like Bootstrap?

Ha! You think I’d forget about this one? I may use WordPress on most of my sites now, but I still do build sites with plain HTML/CSS or a CSS Framework (just not Bootstrap though).

You know those three web-based Markdown text editors that I’ve linked from the previous parts of this tutorial? These three, I mean?

Each of these has their own conversion features when you compose your content using Markdown in their editor. The instructions would go something like this, for example:

  1. Write your content using Markdown on the text field.
  2. Press “Convert” (or “Export”).
  3. The HTML version of your content that you wrote using Markdown will automatically be generated.
  4. Copy the provided HTML code and paste it on your website.

But can I still write my content using HTML though?

Sure you can. This tutorial serves as an alternative for you to write cleaner text for your website without the hassle of “debugging” the mistakes you may have made by forgetting to close your HTML tag or even misspelling your HTML tag too. Markdown can save you all of that extra work and you will be more focused on putting in your content and building your site flawlessly without getting bugged by these small issues.

So, because of Markdown, for non-web designer/developer users, they would be the writers. For web designers/developers, they would be the procrastinators.

We can all be writers and procrastinators. Even professional writers can be procrastinators, you know?

When did you start using Markdown?

Not too long ago. I began learning it in Udemy, then I started testing Markdown on my personal blog by activating the Markdown support feature in the Jetpack plugin for WordPress. I’m really happy that I write a lot faster and better now, procrastinator or not.

I also use Markdown for Scrivener whenever I write my (fan)fics. But then I realized that fanfictionNET supports word processor file extensions such as .odt and .docx that I really have to convert to those files, so Markdown is kinda useless in this situation.

How come the original Markdown is so limited, that there are third parties who are making their own extensions of Markdown to support other features?

Mainly because Markdown is truly designed for writers of the web. Those third parties who began adding their own extensions to Markdown are procrastinators like everybody else. It is not an intended replacement for HTML text writing, but it does create a lot cleaner content for your website.

You know how you can view the source code of every website you visit in your browser? How can you tell if the web designer/developer wrote their content using Markdown for the content of their site?

You can’t. You’ll only see pure HTML text when you view the source code of these websites. The only way that you can tell if the designer/developer used Markdown to write their content is if they mentioned how they built their website. For example:

  • This site is hosted by GitHub Pages. (GitHub Pages only host HTML/CSS and Javascript files, plus they also have GFM for their Markdown extension. It’s kind of automatic that the creator may have used Markdown for their content.)
  • Powered by Jekyll, Hugo, or some other static site generator. (By default, the creator has no choice but to use Markdown to create their site content.)
  • My WordPress-powered blog has Jetpack installed. (It’s also highly likely that the creator may also be using Markdown if the support is turned on via Jetpack.)
  • I created this site in 1-2 hours. (I’m pretty sure that’s kind of impossible, but you may never know.)

Besides Markdown, are there any other tools or syntax for web procrastinators?

Well, there are a few, and I do plan on building tutorials on a few of these too.

  • Emmet – HTML coding for procrastinators.
  • Sass – CSS preprocessor that can help procrastinators write CSS a whole lot faster.
  • Less – same as Sass, but a little more complicated.
  • Stylus – same as Sass and Less, except they only use commas and colons and nothing else.
  • CSS Frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Materialize, etc. – All you need is your content and a little bit of styling your way.

More Markdown Goodies

Mashable has compiled a very long list of tools that you can use for writing Markdown. Dated 2013, there were 76 tools to take advantage of, for Windows only, for Mac OS only, cross-platform, even online. Today, there are probably many more than 76 tools that you can search around the net. Because there’s so many, once I see them not included in the original Mashable article I just linked, I’ll be sure to add it here.  

On the final note…

I would really love to hear from you. Just leave comments below or contact me directly via the Contact form. If you like this tutorial and would like me to make more tutorials like these, please feel free to let me know, as well as any suggestions on what tutorial I can make next. But remember, I don’t know everything, and I’ll let you know.

Thank you very much for visiting and I’ll see you all again very soon!