Markdown is a syntax for writing rich text in a plain text environment. It was created by John Gruber (of Daring Fireball and The Talk Show). This guide is adapted from GitHub's Markdown Cheatsheet, but has been simplified a little.

This guide makes reference to "documents", which can be episode show notes, blog posts or pages within a podcast or network website. Whenever you see a text editor in your dashboard that looks like this, you'll be able to use Markdown:

Podiant Markdown editor

Markdown might look a little complex to begin with, but most of the syntax makes complete logical sense. Imagine writing a plain-text email where you had no buttons to make text bold or italic. You might use asterisks and underscores to create this formatting, and that's exactly how Markdown began.

To see what your handiwork looks like, remember you can always click the {review button in the editor, and you'll see your Markdown content rendered in rich text.

Emphasis

You can make text bold, italic or add a line through it by using asterisks, underscores and tildes ("~").

Examples

Emphasis, aka italics, with *asterisks* or _underscores_.

Strong emphasis, aka bold, with **asterisks** or __underscores__.

Combined emphasis with **asterisks and _underscores_**.

Strikethrough uses two tildes. ~~Scratch this.~~


Headings

The simplest way to write section headings is to start with a # character, followed by a space. Anything you put on that line will be considered a heading. To finish the heading and return to normal text, leave two blank lines.

Examples

# Heading one
## Heading two
### Heading three
#### Heading four
##### Heading five
###### Heading six


Lists

You can add ordered and unordered lists to a document. Start an ordered list with e number followed by a full stop. Start an unordered or bulleted list with an asterisk or a dash.

Examples

1. First ordered list item
2. Another item
- Unordered sub-list.
1. Actual numbers don't matter, just that it's a number
1. Ordered sub-list
4. And another item.

* Unordered list can use asterisks
- Or minuses
+ Or pluses


Links

This can be the trickiest thing to get your head around, but once you've got the pattern, it's pretty straightforward.

Links come in two parts: the link text, followed by the link URL. Surround the link text with square brackets [like so], then directly after the ending bracket, add the URL surrounded by round brackets (like so). Don't leave a space in-between the ] and the (.

Examples

[I'm an inline-style link](https://www.google.com)
[I'm an inline-style link with title](https://www.google.com "Google's Homepage")

You can of course [mix links](https://www.google.com) in with other text.


Linking within your page

If you use headings to separate sections, you can link to them from within another part of your Markdown page. This is especially useful if you have a long page, and/or you want to create a table of contents.

Example

## Contents

1. [Section one](#section-one)
2. [Section two](#section-two)
3. [Section three](#section-three)

## Section one

When you create headings, an ID is automatically assigned by making the text lowercase and replacing spaces with hyphens. So the ID for this section is "section-one".

## Section two

You can link to a section by using a # symbol and appending the section ID. We call these anchors. You can use anchors to jump forwards and backwards through a document.

[Back to top](#contents)

## Section three

You can also refer to a section within another URL, by appending the URL with a # and the section ID, like to:

[Next section](http://example.com/page/#contents)


Images

Images are a little trickier than links, but again, once you remember the syntax, it's not too hard, plus the text editor has an image button you can use.

The syntax for creating images is similar to that of links, except that we start with an exclamation mark. the text in the square brackets is meant to very briefly describe the image (this is called "alt text" and is vital for users who can't see the image on-screen). The next part in round brackets is the image URL, followed by a space and an optional title for the image in quote marks.

While alt text is invisible to those that can see the image, the title text appears when you hover your mouse over the image.

![Alt text](https://landing-assets.podiant.co/favicon/apple-touch-icon.png)

![Alt text](https://landing-assets.podiant.co/favicon/apple-touch-icon.png "I am the image title")


Paragraphs and line breaks

To create a paragraph of text, leave two empty lines between the first block of text and the second. This creates visible space between the two blocks of text.

On the rate occasions you want a line of text to appear directly under the preceding line, with no gap in-between the lines, add two spaces (hit the spacebar twice) at the end of the previous line.

Blockquotes

To quote a paragraph or more of text, add an angular bracket > to the beginning of the paragraph, and surround the block with a blank line either side.

Horizontal rules

You can divide sections of a document using horizontal rules. There are three simple ways to create them.

Examples

Three or more of these will create a horizontal rule:

---

Hyphens

***

Asterisks

___

Underscores


Tables

Podiant supports table syntax, although this should be used very sparingly, and not in episode show notes as it will not display correctly in most podcast apps. Tables can be useful for pages and possibly blog posts.

If you imagine how you might set out a table if you only had a plain text editor, that's essentially how you write them in Markdown. Use a beam or pipe character ("|") to create a vertical border in-between cells, and a dash to create a horizontal border between rows.

Examples

| Tables | Are | Cool |
| ------------- | ------------- | ----- |
| col 3 is | right-aligned | $1600 |
| col 2 is | centered | $12 |
| zebra stripes | are neat | $1 |

There must be at least 3 dashes separating each header cell.
The outer pipes (|) are optional, and you don't need to make the raw Markdown line up prettily.


Arbitrary HTML

To keep everyone safe and to minimise problems parsing show notes, Podiant does not allow any form of arbitrary HTML. Any HTML code you write (such as <b> for bold or <a> for link) is rendered as-is. This is primarily a safety measure to ensure that malicious code in <script> and <embed> tags can't make its way into your podcast website.
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