The Printable Markdown Cheat Sheet for Beginners and Experts

Joel Lee Updated 18-07-2018

Markdown is an easy-to-learn markup language that’s used to format plain text documents. Even if you have no previous experience with it, Markdown is so simple that it can be learned in under 10 minutes.


For example, if you want to make a word appear italicized, just surround it with asterisks (e.g. *test* becomes test). This also works for entire sentences or even paragraphs. If you want to make a bulleted list, just start each line with a hyphen character. Simple, right?

There are all kinds of Markdown editor apps out there, and you can even use Markdown in Microsoft Word. If you’re still a bit confused, check out our beginner’s introduction to Markdown. Otherwise, refer to the Markdown cheat sheet below for a quick overview of what you can do with it.

The Markdown Cheat Sheet

Format TypeMarkdown Syntax
Basic Elements
H1 to H6
# Heading Text
## Heading Text
### Heading Text
#### Heading Text
##### Heading Text
###### Heading Text
Italics*This text is italicized*
Bold**This text is bold**
Blockquote> Blockquote paragraphs must have
> a right-arrow bracket at the start
> of every single line.
> Use a blank line for multiple paragraphs.
Unordered List- Bullet list item
- Bullet list item
- Bullet list item
  - Use a two-space indent for nested lists
Ordered List1. Bullet list item
2. Bullet list item
3. Bullet list item
  1. Ordered lists can also be nested
Mixed List1. Can you mix list types?
  - Yes, you can!
Horizontal Line---

Note: Either three hyphens, asterisks, or underscores.
HyperlinkThis is an [example link](//
Image![Alt Text](
Ignore MarkdownPrefix Markdown characters with \*backslashes\* to ignore formatting.
Extended Elements
Code (Inline)`This is inline code`
Code (Block)```
This is a block of code
It supports multiple lines
Strikethrough~~This text is crossed out~~
Hard Line BreakThis is some text\
This text is a new line, not a new paragraph
| First Header | Second Header |
| ------------ | ------------- |
| Content cell 1 | Content cell 2 |
| Content column 1 | Content column 2 |

Note: Preceding blank line is necessary.
Task Lists- [x] Completed task item
- [ ] Unfinished task item
- [ ] \(Optional) Mark parentheses to be ignored
MentionYou can mention @users and @teams on GitHub. Mainly useful when submitting or commenting on bugs and issues.

Note: Emoji codes can be found in the emoji cheat sheet.

Note: Nearly all flavors of Markdown support the basic elements, but the extended elements are only supported by more advanced forms of Markdown, including CommonMark and GitHub Flavored Markdown.

What Are Markdown Flavors?

The original Markdown specification came about in 2004. However, as innovative as it was, many users felt that the original Markdown’s feature set was too limited for anything more than simple document formatting.


As various sites adopted Markdown as their preferred method for inputting text (e.g. blog posts, comments, forum posts, etc.), they began adding and supporting their own elements of Markdown markup. Notable sites include Reddit, GitHub, Stack Exchange, and more.

Eventually, users began pushing for a standardized set of formatting elements, leading to the creation of even more Markdown flavors like CommonMark, MultiMarkdown, Markdown Extra, GitHub Flavored Markdown, and more.

Long story short: Once you learn the basic elements set forth by the original Markdown specification, you’ll be able to pick up any other flavor of Markdown with ease. The variations are subtle and often only useful in very specific use-cases.

For more, check out our guide to creating a table in Markdown How to Create a Markdown Table Markdown makes it simple to format text online, such as bold text, and links. You can even make tables with Markdown. Read More . And if you’re still looking for a markdown editor, try Typora 8 Reasons Why Typora Might Be Your Favorite Markdown Editor Markdown editors are popular as alternatives to powerful text editors. Here's why Typora can claim to be among the best. Read More .

Related topics: Cheat Sheet, Markdown.

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