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# Mastering Markdown: A Beginner's Guide to Formatting Text for the Web

Kibekityo Juma Shafara
·Feb 28, 2023·

# Introduction

Markdown is a lightweight markup language that makes it easy to format text for the web. It was created in 2004 by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz as a way to write and format text for the web without having to use HTML. Over the years, markdown has become one of the most popular ways to write and format text for the web, and it's supported by a wide range of platforms and tools, from blogs and wikis to project management and note-taking apps.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the different elements of markdown and show you how to use them with examples.

Headings are used to give structure to your text and help to break it up into sections. In markdown, you can create headings by using the hash symbol (#). The number of hashes determines the heading level. For example:

# Heading 1


This is what the headings look like in the rendered text:

# Bold and Italic Text

Bold and italic text is used to emphasize certain words or phrases in your text. In markdown, you can create bold text by using two asterisks (**) around the text you want to emphasize. You can create italic text by using one asterisk (*) around the text you want to emphasize. For example:

This text is **bold** and this text is *italic*.


This is what the text looks like in the rendered text:

This text is bold and this text is italic.

# Lists

Lists are used to group related items together and make your text easier to read. In markdown, you can create unordered lists by using asterisks (*), plus signs (+), or hyphens (-) as bullet points. You can create ordered lists by using numbers followed by a period (.). For example:

## Unordered List

* Item 1
* Item 2
* Item 3

## Ordered List

1. First item
2. Second item
3. Third item


This is what the lists look like in the rendered text:

• Item 1

• Item 2

• Item 3

## Ordered List

1. First item

2. Second item

3. Third item

Links are used to create hyperlinks to other pages or websites. In markdown, you can create a link by using square brackets ([]) around the text you want to use as the link, and parentheses (()) around the URL. For example:

[Google](https://www.google.com)


This is what the link looks like in the rendered text:

# Images

Images are used to add visual elements to your text. In markdown, you can include an image by using an exclamation mark (!) followed by square brackets ([]) around the text you want to use as the image description, and parentheses (()) around the URL of the image. For example:

![A beautiful landscape](https://www.example.com/images/landscape.jpg)


# Code

Code is used to include snippets of programming code in your text. In markdown, you can include code by using backticks ( ) around the code snippet. If you want to include code in a paragraph, you can use a single backtick on each side of the code. If you want to include a code block, you can use three backticks on each side of the code. For example:

This is a code block:


return a + b



This is what the code block looks like in the rendered text

def add(a, b):
return a + b


# Tables

Tables are used to organize data in a grid format. In markdown, you can create a table by using pipe symbols (|) to separate the columns, and dashes (-) to separate the header from the body of the table. For example:

| Column 1 | Column 2 | Column 3 |
| -------- | -------- | -------- |
| Row 1, Column 1 | Row 1, Column 2 | Row 1, Column 3 |
| Row 2, Column 1 | Row 2, Column 2 | Row 2, Column 3 |


This is what the table looks like in the rendered text:

 Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Row 1, Column 1 Row 1, Column 2 Row 1, Column 3 Row 2, Column 1 Row 2, Column 2 Row 2, Column 3

# Mathematical Formulas

Markdown also supports the inclusion of mathematical formulas. You can use LaTeX syntax to write mathematical formulas. For example:

$$\sum_{i=1}^{n} x_i$$


This is what the mathematical formula looks like in the rendered text:

$$\sum_{i=1}^{n} x_i$$

Finally, a table of contents (TOC) is a useful tool to have in any document, especially if it's a long one. A TOC provides a quick and easy way to navigate the different sections of your document. In markdown, you can create a TOC by using headings (#) and links ([link text](URL)). For example:

markdownCopy code## Table of Contents

- [Introduction](#introduction)
- [Bold and Italic Text](#bold-and-italic-text)
- [Lists](#lists)
- [Images](#images)
- [Code](#code)
- [Tables](#tables)
- [Mathematical Formulas](#mathematical-formulas)
- [Conclusion](#conclusion)
`

This is what the TOC looks like in the rendered text: