Using Markdown in Documentation

All of the notes, descriptions, and content fields in the Stoplight editors supports use of GitHub flavored Markdown and raw HTML. You can use Markdown to easily format your text content into beautiful documentation.

What is Markdown?

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

For example, this entire page was created using Markdown and HTML!

Below is a quick reference of all the Markdown syntax that is supported by Stoplight.

Table of Contents

  • Headers
  • Emphasis
  • Lists
  • Images
  • Code and Syntax Highlighting
  • Tables
  • Blockquotes
  • Inline HTML
  • Horizontal Rule
  • Line Breaks
  • Videos

Headers

# H1
## H2
### H3
#### H4
##### H5
###### H6

H1

H2

H3

H4

H5
H6

Emphasis

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.~~

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.

Lists

(In this example, leading and trailing spaces are shown with dots: ⋅⋅⋅)

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 

⋅⋅⋅You can have properly indented paragraphs within list items. Notice the blank line above, and the leading spaces (at least one, but we’ll use three here to also align the raw Markdown). 

⋅⋅⋅To have a line break without a paragraph, you will need to use two trailing spaces.⋅⋅
⋅⋅⋅Note that this lien is separate, but within the same paragraph.⋅⋅
⋅⋅⋅(This is contrary to the typical GFM line break behaviour, where trailing spaces are not required.)

* Unordered lists can use asterisks 
- Or minuses 
+ Or pluses 
  1. First ordered list item

  2. Another item

    • Unordered sub-list
  3. Actual numbers don’t matter, just that it’s a number

    1. Ordered sub-list
  4. And another item

    You can have properly indented paragraphs within list items. Notice the blank line above, and the leading spaces (at least one, but we’ll use three here to also align the raw Markdown). To have a line break without a paragraph, you will need to use two trailing spaces.

  • Unordered list can use asterisks
  • Or minuses
  • Or pluses

Links

There are two ways to create links

[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”)

[I’m a reference-style link](Arbitrary case-insensitive reference text)

[I’m a relative reference to a repository file](../blob/master/LICENSE)

[You can use numbers for reference-style link definitions](1)

URLs and URLs in angle brackets will automatically get turned into links. 
http://www.example.com or <http://www.example.com> and sometimes example.com (but not on GitHub, for example). 

Some text to show that the reference links can follow later. 

[arbitrary case-insensitive reference text] : https://www.mozilla.org 
[1] : https://slashdot.org 
[link text itself] : http://www.reddit.com

I’m an inline-style link

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

[I’m a reference-style link](Arbitrary case-insensitive reference text)

I’m a relative reference to a repository file

You can use numbers for reference-style link definitions

URLs and URLs in angle brackets will automatically get turned into links. http://www.example.com or http://www.example.com and sometimes example.com (but not on GitHub, for example).

Some text to show that the reference links can follow later.

[1] : https://slashdot.org

[link text itself] : http://www.reddit.com

Images

Here’s our logo (hover to see the title text) : 

Inline-style :
![alt text](https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/641056907474538498/qIbg0pZP_bigger.png)

Here’s our logo (hover to see the title text) :

Inline-style : alt text

Code and Syntax Highlighting

Inline ‘code’ has ‘back-ticks around’ it. 

Inline ‘code’ has ‘back-ticks around’ it.

Blocks of code are either fenced by lines with three back-ticks, or are indented with four spaces. We recommend only using the fenced code blocks – they’re easier to use and support syntax highlighting.

```javascript 
var s = "JavaScript syntax highlighting";
alert(s);
{
  "JSON": "Syntax Highlighting"
}
No language indicated, so no syntax highlighting.

```javascript 
var s = "JavaScript syntax highlighting";
alert(s);
{
  "JSON": "Syntax Highlighting"
}
No language indicated, so no syntax highlighting.

Tables

Colons can be used to align columns. 

| 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. You can also use inline Markdown. 

Markdown | Less | Pretty 
--- | --- | ---
*Still* | 'renders' | **nicely**
1 | 2 | 3 

Colons can be used to align columns.

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. You can also use inline Markdown.

Markdown Less Pretty
Still renders nicely
1 2 3

Blockquotes

> Blockquotes are very handy in email to emulate reply text. 
> This line is part of the same quote. 

Quote break. 

> This is a very lonbg line that will still be quoted properly when it wraps. Oh boy let's keep writing to make sure this is long enough to actually wrap for everyone. Oh, you can *put* **Markdown** into a blockquote.

Blockquotes are very handy in email to emulate reply text. This line is part of the same quote.

Quote break.

This is a very long line that will still be quoted properly when it wraps. Oh boy let’s keep writing to make sure this is long enough to actually wrap for everyone. Oh, you can put Markdown into a blockquote.

Inline HTML

You can also use raw HTML in your Markdown, and it’ll mostly work pretty well.

<dl>
  <dt>Definition list</dt>
  <dd>Is something people use sometimes.</dd>
  
  <dt>Markdown in HTML</dt>
  <dd>Does *not* work **very** well. Use HTML <em>tags</em>.</dd>
</dl>
Definition list
Is something people use sometimes.
Markdown in HTML
Does *not* work **very** well. Use HTML tags.

Horizontal Rule

Three or more...

---

Hyphens 

***

Asterisks

___

Underscores

Three or more…


Hyphens


Asterisks


Underscores

Line Breaks

Our basic recommendation for learning how line breaks work is to experiment and discover – hit once (i.e., insert one newline), then hit it twice (i.e., insert two new lines), see what happens. You’ll soon learn to get what you want.

Here are some things to try out:

Here's a line for us to start with. 

This line is separated from the one above by two new lines, so it will be a *separate paragraph*.

This line is also a separate paragraph, but...
This line is only separated by a single new line, so it's a separate line in the *same paragraph*. 

Here’s a line for us to start with.

This line is separated from the one above by two new lines, so it will be a separate paragraph.

This line is also a separate paragraph, but… This line is only separated by a single new line, so it’s a separate line in the same paragraph.


Credits

Most of this information was pulled from Adam Pritchard’s Mardkown Cheatsheet. Thank you Adam for putting together this cheatsheet!