Markdown Basics for Beginners (on Steemit)


How to Stock Photo

If you are starting out it can be confusing getting to grips with Markdown.

Markdown is a formatting system that allows you to make posts quickly using symbols as shortcuts for formatting without the hassle of using html.

Here are some of the most basic markdown shortcuts that I personally have started using.

Why use Markdown over HTML?

Simplicity Stock Photo

  • Simplicity and ease of use compared to HTML/CSS.
  • Faster than HTML/CSS due to less typing.
  • Faster than the WYSIWYG Steemit text editor for similar reasons.
  • Easier to read/review/spot errors and also edit compared to HTML/CSS.
  • Can be combined with HTML/CSS for more advanced formatting and features.

Once you learn how to use these very basic techniques you will be much quicker at posting.

Other Resources I Recommend

  1. For more detailed information I would suggest using the Markdown Cheatsheet by Adam Pritchard which has been recommended by a number of people.
  2. You can also pick up tips from other users - there is nothing wrong with asking!
  3. In addition I should mention that @charlieshrem has created a markdown editor at which is also a very useful tool for composing and posting in markdown. Not only that but it also allows you to save your posts and submit them directly to Steemit!

Format of this post

I will be using screenshots to illustrate the actual text you type into the markdown editor and then illustrate the preview that you get.

(This is because if I actually put the markdown text in the post it will not show as is but will become formatted according to the markdown specs.)

The markdown text you type has a CREAM background colour to stand out.

Basic Points Before we get to the Markdown

Here is a view of what you see when you click on the "Submit a Story" button (A) at the top right of your Steemit browser window:

Default View 1

The default view allows the entry of markdown or html below: Default View 2 If you click on the top right corner where it says "Editor" (B) it will take you to the very basic text editor which is fine but WILL NOT allow you to use markdown or html.

Further it could in the past cause you to lose certain html/markdown formatting so I think the last update prevented switching once you start entering text in order to prevent this happening.

That said you can still go into the regular text editor by accident before you start typing. If you find your markdown is not working this may be the reason. If you can't see the "Markdown" button to switch back you will need to do this:

Copy your text to the clipboard or a separate document and hit clear (C). The "Markdown" option should reappear as shown below (D), click it and then you can paste your text back in.

The Markdown Bit (Finally!)


This is one of the best points about Markdown.

Unlike html where you need to use formatting tags for paragraphs, simply hitting Enter/Return once or twice in Markdown will create paragraphs (depending on how you prefer to format).

It works exactly the same way as a standard word processor.

That saves a lot of typing compared to html.


For headings use a hash symbol "#" followed by a gap:

e.g. you type this:

Headings MD

and you get this:

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

The more hashes you use the smaller the heading.

You can use up to 6 - NB don't forget to leave a gap between the hashes and your text or it will confuse the editor.


Italics use underscores or asterisks

e.g. you type:


and you get this:

underscores or



For bold use double underscores or asterisks

e.g. you type:


and you get:

double underscore

double asterisk

Both Bold and Italic Combined

Mix them (asterisks and underscores) for text that is both italicised and bold:

e.g. you type:

Mix Bold Italic

and get:


Numbered Lists:

You type numbered points like this, the number followed by a full stop/period:

Number Lists

and you get this:

  1. Point 1
  2. Point 2
  3. Point 3

Bulleted Lists

For bulleted lists use asterisks with a space:

You type:

Bullet lists

and you get:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • etc


The easiest way to do these is to use square brackets to surround your title followed by round brackets (without a gap) with the link:

e.g. you type:


and you get:


Images are similar but formatted like this:

![Title] (Text)

e.g. You type:

Images MD

and you get:

My Water Texture Image

{N.B. You don't have to use a separate image name and file name and can simply use an image link on it's own (Steemit only) or the following format:}

Image Name

Youtube Videos

Thanks to @kryptik in the chat for asking about these as I forgot to mention these in the original edit. Basically just treat the youtube video like an image link so the format would be:


Quotes use the "greater than" mathematical symbol i.e. ">"

e.g. you type:

Quotes MD

and you get:

This is a quote.

Section Dividing Lines

Three or more asterisks, hyphens, or underscores make a dividing line to separate sections. (Thanks to @cristi for showing me this):

e.g. you type:

Section Divisions

and you get 3 identical dividing lines:

The above all look the same in preview regardless of which triple symbol you use.

Extra tips

If it isn't working there are 3 common possibilities:

  1. You have either a space missing (headings - the editor will see it as a tag) or an extra space in the case of other types of text.
  2. You are using the text editor which does not read markdown (which I explain near the top of the post).
  3. You are using a feature that is not compatible with the Steemit implementation of markdown - this might happen if you are using some obscure functions.

If you get stuck - ASK for help or use Google - there are plenty of online resources like the aforementioned Markdown Cheatsheet.

NOTE - If you use for image hosting it will automatically create Markdown formatted links for you (plus HTML versions and more) as shown in the screenshot below:

SteemImg SC

Thanks to @blueorgy for creating this valuable tool for us to use.


These are just the basics to get you started. In fact I don't really use anything else besides these markdown tricks to format my post. As I stated earlier you can find plenty more information on line. I hope this has been useful and easy to understand. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes or anything is unclear.

The Obligatory Kitten Shot

Your reward for getting to the end:- Kitten Shot

If you like my work and aren't already, please follow me and check out my blog (I mainly discuss photography but I do other topics too) - @thecryptofiend

Image Credits: All images that aren't personally taken screenshots are taken from my own Thinkstock account. More information can be supplied on request.