Tutorial: How to Format Posts on Ask FitEyes?
Entering edit mode
3.0 years ago
david 4.2k

The Ask FitEyes site uses a markdown editor. Markdown is very popular and simple to use.

This tutorial has multiple sections. I highly recommend that you read the Pasting Markdown section. It's a real time-saver. However, if you are in a hurry at the moment, there's one thing you will probably need to know to get started.

The First Thing You Need to Know

Our post editor features formatting buttons that will let you do most of the formatting you desire without understanding anything about markdown.

However, you may run into one situation where you need to know something about markdown: line breaks. To solve a common problem, simply add two spaces at the end of each line.

If you paste multi-line content and the line breaks disappear, you can, however, resolve it in more than one way:

  • add two spaces at the end of each line. This adds a line break as stated above. This is probably what you want.
  • add a blank line between each line. This creates a paragraph.
  • begin each line with a dash ("-"). This creates a list.
  • add 3 tilde characters ("~") on a line before the first line of your content and another three on their own line after the last line of your content. This turns the entire block into monospaced text with a shaded background. This is probably not what you want.

Something You Need to Know When Creating Tags

  • Use a dash ("-") to separate words in multi-word tags. Example: intraocular-pressure
  • Spaces are eliminated from tags -- that's why you need to use a dash.
  • I also recommend keeping tags simple. Use lowercase letters only and don't include any punctuation (other than the dash).
  • Important: always try to re-use an existing tag before creating a new one.

Pasting Markdown

This a very useful tip. When you want to paste formatted text (such as a news item on a webpage) into a post on Ask FitEyes, copy the original as markdown. You can do this very easily with a browser plugin.

If you copy the original as markdown, most formatting will be in place and you won't have to manually adjust the formatting. Below are some browser extensions that copy as markdown.

For Firefox you use this add-on. I use it and recommend it.

Copy Selection as Markdown – Get this Extension for 🦊 Firefox (en-US)

I have heard good reviews about these extensions for other browsers:

If you choose not to use a browser plugin, you can also copy-paste in the old fashioned way too (as plain text). For that option, see the Plain text section below. Or you can use a free online converter. Find links in the next answer below.

Understanding Markdown

What Is Markdown, and Why Is It Better for My To-Do Lists and Notes?

Basic Syntax | Markdown Guide

Plain text

If you don't want to use a browser extension or cannot copy the original as markdown, you can post content as plain text. You will then need to do some formatting.

If you paste a chunk of plain text, you will find that line breaks are usually missing. To get markdown to create a line break after each line, you add two spaces at the end of each line.

Example 1:

This is one
very long line in markdown

When I paste the above, it will display like this:

This is one very long line in markdown

Example 2:

This is one long line[space][space]
broken into two lines in markdown by adding two spaces.

When I paste the above, it will display like this:

This is one long line
broken into two lines in markdown by adding two spaces.

The notation [space] in example 2 is just a regular space written in a way to make the non-printing character obvious.

help-site help-answer-a-question help-formatting help-markdown • 747 views
Entering edit mode
3.0 years ago
david 4.2k

Questions via the FitEyes email list:

Why do I see a copy of my message below what I am writing? Both look the same?

One is unformatted. The other (the "copy") shows how the post will look with any formatting you apply (such as bold, italic, block quote, list/bullet points and more).

They will generally look the same if you don't apply any formatting.

The formatting can be applied with the editor formatting buttons (at the top of the area where you are writing or editing your post).

What does this mean? Tips: CTRL+ENTER to submit the form.

If you don't want to use the control key, ignore this. Just click the green "save" button down below.

If you do want to use the keyboard shortcut, just press the CTRL+ENTER keys (on your keyboard) together to save. But it will probably be easier for most to click the "save" button.

How do I insert a URL into a post? I clicked on the image of a globe and that was nicely intuitive for the World Wide Web.

After doing that I see what looks like a footnote number. And there are brackets in my text now. How does that work?

You can ignore those if you wish. But don't change what the URL tool inserted or your link won't work.

What you are seeing is called Markdown. You don't have to know anything about it. But when you use any of the formatting tools (bold, etc.) or insert a URL, you will see Markdown code inserted into your message. The editor takes care of the details. If you want to know more about Markdown, refer to the original tutorial and the other answers in this thread.

You should look at the lower display (formatted display) of what you are writing to see how the formatting is applied. You'll see how links look as well.


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