Markdown is a very simple way to add formatting to any document like headers, Italics, bold, back quotes, bulleted lists, and more to a normal plain text (txt) files. The language was originally created as a simple way for anyone without any programming language to write to a format that could be simply converted to HTML that is in an easy to read format.
To create Italics, bold and bold-Italics all you need to do is put an astrix before and after the text you want, so for Italics it is (* italics *), then bold is two Astrix then three for both bold and Italics together. For heading you just push the hash sign in front, you can use upto 6 hash sign for headings 1-6 ie (# Heading) for heading 1. You can add other formating included numbered if bullet lists, hyperlinks, even include graphics from online, as well as back quotes, strike through, underline etc. You can even insert graphics or photos though these you need on the web as you use a hyperlink format to show them.
So really basic formatting that you have in any word processor other than being able to change the font, the advantage is you can write using these codes with any simple text editor, including notepad within windows. This then can be exported to other formats that will show the formatting as it should be ie, HTML, docx, pdf and others. Though this will depend on the app / software you use to write in.
Most of the writing I do is for this blog so markdown is the prefect choice, so can export with any formatting direct. For even letter writing if you think about it most of the time you only use basic formatting anyway, so really no need for full on word processor. Again if you write in markdown you can export this to most word processors like Microsoft word, libre office, Google docs with the formating though may need additional software on some programs.
The main advantage for me is can write using markdown formating in any app or program other on my phone, tablet or Windows pc. With many apps they have a clean interface, ie no clutter of icons etc. For mobile on android I used a program called Jotterpad , as it has a very clean interface and can write in txt or md format and supports loading from Google drive. You can then export to pdf, docx, print etc. I also use a journal / diary app by the same company called Journey , again this supports markdown formatting. For windows I use a program called Typora this is free at the moment as in beta, but works perfect.
As everything I write is in small text files, I have them on Google drive so can access from any device. The programs I use can directly read and write these files directly within Google drive. I have a folder in drive called TXT files then in the I have other folders for work, blog and published so works well for organising all my files.
So really if you only do basic word processing really you don’t need a fully fledged program. For me It is great as even writing this I’m lying on my bed watching TV and typing on my tablet with a Bluetooth keybaord, the once done just click share to WordPress and all formatted ready to click publish then I have a backup of the file on Google drive, On some articles I write then also export them to my journal app again with all formating.
Below are the basic formating shortcuts in mark down
Bold & Italics ***Bold & Italics***
## Header 2
### Header 3
#### Header 4
##### Header 5
###### Header 6
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