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Markdown (Classic Editor)

Markdown lets you compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. Markdown is used by writers and bloggers who want a quick and easy way to write rich text, without having to take their hands off the keyboard, and without learning a lot of complicated codes and shortcuts.

NOTE: This guide only applies to posts created with the Classic Editor. See the Jetpack Markdown Block support guide for more information on how to use the Markdown block. The Markdown block currently follows the CommonMark spec.

You can use Markdown on your Jetpack-powered blog for posts, pages and comments. This document will detail how to enable Markdown on your blog, and how to write with it.

If you are already familiar with Markdown, just enable it on your blog and start writing; refer to the Markdown Quick Reference page for help. Jetpack uses Markdown Extra, which adds some features not originally available in Markdown. For best results, please use the Text tab in the Editor as the Visual editor can give unexpected results. See below for more details.

Enabling Markdown

From the Jetpack page in your Dashboard, go to SettingsWriting and activate the “Write posts or pages in plain-test Markdown syntax” option in the Composing section.

Enable Markdown at Settings --> Writing --> Composing

Once it is activated, Markdown is enabled for posts and pages and available to all users on your blog.

To enable Markdown for comments, go to SettingsDiscussion → Comments in your dashboard, and toggle the option labeled Enable Markdown use for comments. Click on Save Settings to apply. Visitors to your blog will now be able to compose comments using Markdown.

Enabling Markdown for comments
Enabling Markdown for comments

Writing with Markdown

Markdown makes use of special characters and punctuation marks to indicate styles and links. The specific characters you use and how you place them in the document is key to how your document will be formatted. When the document is published, Markdown converts these special characters to the appropriate formatting. For best results, use the Text tab in the Editor. The Visual Editor can produce unexpected results.

For example, in Markdown, to emphasize a word, you wrap it with an asterisk on both ends, like this: *emphasized*. When your writing is published, it will instead look like this: emphasized. Similarly, two asterisks denote strong text: **strong** will be published as strong.

To indicate links, use regular and square parentheses. Wrap the text you want to link in square parentheses, and immediately after it, insert the link target, wrapped in regular parentheses. The actual Markdown could look like this: []( When published, it will be a standard link:

On the left: using Markdown to compose a post in the fullscreen editor. On the right: The published post.
On the left: using Markdown to compose a post in the fullscreen editor. On the right: The published post.

The original Markdown text you write will always remain in Markdown, this way you can go back and edit it using Markdown. Only the published document – the post or the page – will be converted. If you write a post in Markdown, it will be published as a fully formatted post on your blog, but when you go back and edit, it’ll still be in Markdown.

The best way to get started with Markdown is to experiment. Open the Markdown Quick Reference guide, start a draft post on your blog, and try to use the different features.

Markdown Extra and Markdown in Jetpack

Jetpack uses Markdown Extra by Michel Fortin. It includes some features not originally available in Markdown, including improved support for inline HTML, code blocks, tables, and more. Code blocks can use three or more back ticks (```), as well as tildes (~~~).

See the Markdown Quick Reference page for the most useful formatting and features offered by Markdown Extra. For more detailed information, see the original reference guide for Markdown, and the Markdown Extra page.

However, the Markdown block currently follows the CommonMark spec. For more information you can refer to the official CommonMark spec.

About Markdown

Markdown was created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004 as a solution for easily composing richly formatted text on the web. It employs plain text only and is based on conventions established in the computer and technology industry for writing emails and other documents with limited resources.

In plain text documents, the text you see on the screen represents all the information in the file, with essentially no formatting or other data hidden from view. Plain text documents have been used for decades for their simplicity, portability, and reliability. You can probably still open and edit any plain text document from the past 40 years in any computing device available today.

Markdown has seen popular adoption on the web since it was first introduced, and it is now included in many sites and software programs.

  • Markdown Project.
  • Markdown on Wikipedia.
  • Mou is a free Markdown editor for Mac.
  • MarkPad is an open source Markdown editor for Windows.
  • Texts is a Markdown editor for Mac and Windows which can convert Markdown to many formats, including PDF and Word documents.
  • Byword is a Markdown editor for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
  • Draft is a Markdown editor for Android devices.
  • Simplenote is a cross-platform note-taking service by Automattic, with Markdown support.

Add Markdown support to your Custom Post Types

There are 2 options to add Markdown support to a specific Custom Post Type on your site:

  1. You can add Markdown support to an existing post type thanks to the add_post_type_support() function. To do so, add the following code to a functionality plugin:
    add_action('init', 'my_custom_init');
    function my_custom_init() {
        add_post_type_support( 'product', 'wpcom-markdown' );

    You’ll need to replace “product” by your Custom Post Type name.

  2. You can add Markdown support when registering the post type, like so:
    // Register Custom Post Type
    function custom_post_type() {
        $labels = array(
            'name'                => _x( 'Products', 'Post Type General Name', 'text_domain' ),
        $args = array(
            'label'               => __( 'product', 'text_domain' ),
            'supports'            => array( 'title', 'editor', 'publicize', 'wpcom-markdown' ),
        register_post_type( 'product', $args );
    // Hook into the 'init' action
    add_action( 'init', 'custom_post_type', 0 );

Add Markdown support to your Custom Fields

You can follow these instructions to add Markdown support to custom meta fields.

Privacy Information

This feature is deactivated by default. If you ever need to deactivate this feature, you can toggle the Write posts or pages in plain-text Markdown syntax setting in the Composing section from Jetpack — Settings — Writing in your dashboard.

Data Used
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For activity tracking (detailed below): IP address, user ID, username, site ID and URL, Jetpack version, user agent, visiting URL, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, country code.

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Activity Tracked
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We track when, and by which user, the feature is activated and deactivated.

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Data Synced (Read More)
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We sync a single option that identifies whether or not the feature is activated.

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