How do I format my post nicely?


#1

At some point, you’ll want to enter a question or answer in this site. You’ll begin by pressing either

  • a Reply button reply or a
  • New Topic button new_topic .

Either way, you’ll open up an editor that might look something like so:

editor

The text that you enter into the editor is called MarkDown - lightweight language that is designed to be both human readable and easily parsed by the computer into a more structured form.

Useful markup

Here are some useful bits of markup you can use.

Headings

You can use headings to section your post into parts and you create a heading by starting a line with a hash tag #. For example, the last few lines were input as follows:

# Useful markup

Here are some of the useful bits of markup you can use.

## Headings

You can use headings to section your post into parts and you create a heading by starting a line with a hash tag #. For example, the last few lines were input as follows:

Note that the the number of hashtags indicates the level of the heading. Thus the Useful markup above is a level one heading while Headings is a level two heading.

Lists

You can enter unordered lists using asterisks like so:

* First item
* Second item
  * First sub-item
  * Second sub-item
* Third item

That should appear as follows:

  • First item
  • Second item
    • First sub-item
    • Second sub-item
  • Third item

Note that sub-items are indicated via indentation. You can number your lists by using numbers instead of asterisks:

1. First item
2. Second item
   1. First sub-item
   1. Second sub-item
1. Third item

That should appear as follows:

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

Note that the number that you use is not actually important because the numbering is handled automatically. That makes it easy to insert items later.

Emphasis

You can add emphasis with italics using asterisks, bold using double asterisks, or a combination using triple asterisks. You can also scratch things with a double tilde.

You can add emphasis with *italics* using asterisks, **bold** using double asterisks, or a ***combination*** using triple asterisks. You can also ~~scratch things~~ with a double tilde.

Block quotes

Block quotes (like the one above) can be created by starting a line with a greater than sign. Thus,

> I recommend you to question all your beliefs, except that two and two make four.
>
>  Voltaire - As quoted in *The Number Sense (2011)*

yields

I recommend you to question all your beliefs, except that two and two make four.

Voltaire - As quoted in The Number Sense (2011)

More

The editor toolbar

Reminders for most of the markup already described can be accessed via the editor toolbar:

temp

The toolbar also has pointers for other markdown items. The Upload button (highlighted in the image) is particularly useful for uploading images.

Web resources

A Google search for Markdown yields plenty of other resources for Markdown. I particularly like GitHub’s cheatsheet.


How do I write a good post?
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