<p><a href="http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/">Markdown</a> is a simple text-to-HTML converter that turns common text idioms into HTML. The <a href="http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax">full syntax</a> is available from the author's site, but here's a short summary:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Paragraphs</strong>: Start a new paragraph by skipping a line.</li> <li><strong>Italics</strong>: Put text in <em>italics</em> by enclosing it in either * or _: <code>*italics*</code> turns into <em>italics</em>.</li> <li><strong>Bold</strong>: Put text in <strong>bold</strong> by enclosing it in two *s: <code>**bold**</code> turns into <strong>bold</strong>.</li> <li><strong>Pre-formatted text</strong>: Enclosing a short block of text in backquotes (`) displays it in a monospaced font and converts HTML metacharacters so they display correctly. Example: `<code>&lt;img src=&quot;foo&quot;/&gt;</code>` displays as <code>&lt;img src=&quot;foo&quot;/&gt;</code>. Also, any paragraph indented 4 or more spaces is treated as pre-formatted text.</li> <li><strong>Block quotes</strong>: Any paragraph (or line) that starts with a <code>&gt;</code> is treated as a blockquote.</li> <li><strong>Hyperlinks</strong>: You can create links like this: <code>[amazon's web site](http://www.amazon.com)</code>. That produces &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com">amazon's web site</a>&quot;.</li> <li><strong>Lists</strong>: You can create numbered or bulleted lists by ending a paragraph with a colon (:), skipping a line, and then using asterisks (*, for bullets) or numbers (for numbered lists). See the <a href="http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax">Markdown syntax page</a> for examples.</li> <li><strong>Raw HTML</strong>: Markdown will pass raw HTML through unchanged, so you can use HTML's syntax whenever Markdown doesn't provide a reasonable alternative.</li> </ul>