A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Markdown — a new feature available to ACFJ commenters

Are there times when you are writing a comment that you wish you could italicize a word or make it bold? Resorting to ALL CAPS is an option when wanting to draw attention to text, but it’s frowned upon online because it comes across as if the commenter is yelling or screaming at the reader. And a lot of ALL CAPS can be hard to read. Barbara and I have access on the backend of the blog to make words italicize or bold, but you could only add these features if you knew HTML coding.

Introducing Markdown 

Some of you may be familiar with Markdown, a text-to-HTML conversion tool. For those who are not – according to its maker, John Gruber, “Markdown allows you to write using easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid HTML.” When using Markdown with WordPress it allows one a basic way to style text and WordPress does the conversion to official HTML text.

Enough techno talk. I want to show you, the commenter, one way that you can add two commonly used features to your comment:  italic and bold

Italic (i.e. emphasize a word)

To italicize a word in your comment simply add the * symbol (found as the uppercase 8 key on your keyboard) directly before and after the word you want to emphasize. Note: Do not leave a space between * and the word as the example shows.  I had to leave a space so you could see the example, otherwise, WordPress would do the conversion and all you would see is the end result.

For example:  * emphasize *

Bold (i.e. strong emphasis)

To bold a word in your comment simply add the ** symbol (found as the uppercase 8 key on your keyboard) directly before and after the word you want to make strong. Again note:  Do not leave a space between ** and the word.

For example:  ** Bold **

When you hit ‘send’ for your comment, WordPress will convert your symbols to official HTML and your comment will appear on the blog with your word(s) being italicized or bold.

(There is another way to add italics and a strong emphasis to a word, but we are only going to show one way.)

More about Markdown

Markdown Quick Reference Guide – from WordPress

Note: WordPress does *NOT* support Markdown’s line break capability.

Markdown – Wikipedia  (an overview)

Mastering Markdown (PDF)

What is Markdown?  (more technical information)

We encourage those who want to give Markdown a try, to do so. Don’t worry if there are some oops at times in your comments. Barbara and I will try to help and/or fix things on our end, if needed.


  1. jme

    Super! Thank you, so much for this and all you do!! 💖

  2. Momto7

    Sounds awesome. Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. Jamie

    I’m excited about this, too. Thank you for letting us know! 😀

  4. Finding Answers

    Thanks, TWBTC.

    Being a techie-type, I think I’ll stick with HTML. 🙂

    My biggest problem lies not with the coding, but in not being able to preview the results of my coding without a WordPress account. I could write my comment in MS Word (or some other program / app), then copy it to my comment, but it seems a cumbersome method. (And sometimes the HTML code supported varies between programs / apps.)

    On days when my nervous system is extra hyper-vigilant / stressed, I become OCD-ish in rechecking the accuracy of my code. And using asterisks would end up causing the same issue. (Sigh.)

    If I had the ability to preview, I would use more of the toys. 🙂

  5. Still Struggling

    I wish I’d read this before I commented on today’s post. I could have used it. Next time!

  6. Clockwork Angel

    Hi Barb,

    Thanks for introducing folks to Markdown! I love Markdown. It’s so simple and awesome, that I write fiction in it. Then I just use Pandoc to convert [it] to [MS] Word or even straight to EPUB, and poof!

    I am biased, however. I am the creator and maintainer of a rather popular open source Markdown editor. So, take my opinion on its awesomeness with a grain of salt. 😀

    Here are some free (and therefore affordable) editors that anyone could use to write comments or a blog post. (One is mine, but for the sake of anonymity, I won’t say which.) All have previews, so that you can see if you got the syntax right:

    Typora (free while in Beta, available for [MS] Windows, MacOS, and Linux)
    Haroopad (totally free and open source, [MS] Windows, MacOS, and Linux)
    Remarkable (totally free and open source, [MS] Windows, and Linux)
    GhostWriter (totally free and open source, [MS] Windows, and Linux, but official [MS] Windows support may drop soon, so grab it while you can; some unofficial MacOS support, but you’ll need to be a nerd to get it to work)
    CuteMarkEd (totally free and open source, [MS] Windows, and Linux)
    MarkdownPad ([MS] Windows only, free version available, but not open source)

    And those are just a few of the available options.

    NOTE: When I say “free”, you might still want to hit the “Donate” button, if you can afford it. It’s a lot of hard work maintaining free software (I consider it a community service), and you wouldn’t believe the number of entitled people who post new feature requests in snooty ways. (Such as, “I won’t use your totally free software unless you add feature X.”) Just even telling them thank you goes a long way.

    • Clockwork Angel

      P.S. If anyone here tries out any of the above Markdown editors, post back and tell us all which ones you liked best and why. It helps others choose!

      That, and I’m curious how many of you pick the one I created. Yes, I’m that vain. But my only reward for making it is seeing people happy with it. 😉

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