8 Markdown

Last updated 2023-02-10

Markdown is a markup language used to format plain text files to help us provide additional meaning to our content. Markup languages are ideal authoring tools because they work on the principle of separating content from formatting. Markup languages are ideal authoring tools for the sciences because they rely on plain text, so any computer anywhere at any time will be able to open them and consequently, we will be able to read them.

Benefits of Markdown:

  • Simple and easy to learn
  • Can be used to generate many different output formats (i.e. pdf, html, docx etc.)
  • Can be read on any device with any operating system
  • Many different web-applications and websites (e.g. Reddit, GitHub) use markdown

In fact, when we think about the best practices in science, Markdown is an essential authoring tool because it allows for reproducibility and interpretability (i.e. is independent of specific operating systems or programs).

To learn more about Markdown see Matt Cone’s Markdown Guide here.