With a few extra keystrokes, as a WordPress blogger you can type in rich text without lifting your hands from the keyboard–thanks to Jetpack’s new feature called “Markdown”.
“Markdown lets you compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. Markdown is used by writers and bloggers who want a quick and easy way to write rich text, without having to take their hands off the keyboard, and without learning a lot of complicated codes and shortcuts” (Jetpack).
What is rich text?
It’s text formatting that bolds, underlines, uses different colors, allows pictures and more–in contrast to plain text that doesn’t support any type of text formatting. HTML coding is the best way to fancy-up your text and have it look the same way to your viewer, but it’s easier for most people to simply click a few buttons in rich text to change their words to italicized or have bullet lists. Rich text was developed by Microsoft, and thus is supported by Microsoft applications (like Outlook) but not other email systems. Thankfully Outlook will convert rich text to HTML format automatically when emailing, making it readable within any other program just as you wrote it in rich text. Rich text gives a win-win: your writing can utilize text formatting, yet it’s easier than HTML!
WordPress.org sites: Enable the Markdown feature within your Jetpack menu.
WordPress.com blogs: You’ll be able to use Markdown if you enable it within your Settings tab; just check the box to the right, then “save” at the bottom of the page.
You can also enable Markdown for your site’s commentators; go to Settings → Discussion in your dashboard, and check the box labeled Use Markdown for comments. Click “save” at the bottom of the page to apply.
Using Markdown: To begin using Markdown, just go to add a new or edit a draft blog post or page. Jetpack recommends using this writing option within your writing editor’s “text” tab for best results.With Markdown enabled, I can now type up a post in my post editor’s text tab, using simple punctuation marks to change up my words’ format. For example, if I type double asterisks around a word or phrase, any words between the asterisks will be bolded; one asterisk on either side makes the words italicized.
If you’re not familiar with Markdown, read up on the available Markdown typing shortcuts in the quick reference guide here.
Be sure to read up on using Jetpack’s many features by checking out the comprehensive overview of the WordPress Jetpack plugin and a summary of ALL of the available features.
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