A beginner’s guide to Markdown

Find out how to use Markdown to enhance the readability of your app’s content with this quick how-to guide.
Ellen Wilkinson
September 2023

Markdown is a lightweight formatting language that you can use to add formatting elements to plain text documents. In the case of your Attractions.io mobile app, you can use it to bring app panes to life with pictures, links and text formatting.

In this guide, we’ll run you through the basics of Markdown so that you can create engaging featured content, messages and offers that get your guests attention and deliver a great user experience. 

Getting started with Markdown

We’ve outlined the most common Markdown elements that our customers use to enhance text in their Attractions.io mobile app. From our own experience of learning markdown, the best way to really get to grips with the language is to practice as you go, and there are plenty of free markdown tools available if you don’t fancy testing out your skills in the app right away. For example, The Dingus is a web application that allows you to type your own Markdown-formatted text and translate it to XHTML. 

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Keep reading to find out how to implement the most common text formats in markdown:

Creating paragraphs

A paragraph in Markdown refers to one or more consecutive lines of text, separated by one or more blank lines. A blank line is any line that contains nothing but spaces or tabs. For example: 

This is my first paragraph.

This is my second paragraph. There is line break between the two – just as if you were writing it on word! 

Adding headers

To create a heading, add number signs (#) in front of a word or phrase. The number of number signs you use should correspond to the heading level. For example, to create a heading level three (<h3>), use three number signs (e.g., ### My Header).

Using emphasis

Need to make an impact? Add an asterisk or underscores before and after text to make it stand out.

How to Use:

1. Italic requires a single asterisk or underscores* or _ either side of the text.

2. Bold requires two asterisks or underscores (** or __) either side of the text.

Adding Links

Markdown supports two styles of links: inline and reference. In both styles, the link text is delimited by [square brackets].

To create an inline link, use a set of regular parentheses immediately after the link text’s closing square bracket. Inside the parentheses, put the URL where you want the link to point, along with an optional title for the link, surrounded by quotes. For example:

This is [an example](http://example.com/ "Title") inline link.

[This link](http://example.net/) has no title attribute.

image showing how to use markdown to add links

Adding images

image showing how to use markdown to add images

Markdown’s syntax for images is designed to mirror the syntax it uses for links, making it easy to pick up. To add an image, open with an exclamation point, then follow with your alt text in square parentheses. After that, just add the image URL or path to standard parentheses, as follows:

![Alt text](Image URL) 

You can also add an optional title, in quotation marks as follows:

![Alt text](Image URL “image title”) 

Tips & Advice

  • Keep it simple: For your first time, it's okay to just use these basic features. As you get comfortable, you can explore more.
  • Preview before sending: Connect allows you to preview your content before you send it. Be sure to check that the markdown is configured properly.
  • Practice: The more you use it, the easier and more intuitive it will become!

Need help getting started with Markdown?

Above, we’ve covered the basic features of markdown that you’ll need to use in the day to day content management of your mobile app. If you need further support with using Markdown to elevate your app’s content, our support team are on hand to help. You can email your customer success manager directly or fill out our contact form here

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Ellen Wilkinson

Marketing Manager and Zoo Enthusiast
September 2023

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