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Formatting text

On Diaspora it’s possible to format your text in statusmessages, comments and conversations using Markdown. This page sums up all the allowed formatting codes.


# This is an extremely big, bold header

## Just as big as the one above but not bold

### Half as big as the ones above and bold

#### Just as big as the one above but not bold

##### Only slightly bigger than regular text and bold

###### Just as big as the one above but not bold

Make sure to leave a space between the hash and your text, to avoid creating a hashtag instead of a heading. The heading ends once you hit enter to proceed to the next line.


  • This
  • is
  • a list.

In order to create one you use *, + or – in front of the paragraphs you want to have listed. It’s also possible to make numbered lists by putting ’1. ‘ and onwards in front of the list items.

  1. This
  2. is
  3. a numbered list.

Again, make sure to leave a space between the Markdown and the text, otherwise it will not work.

Code blocks

If you are a developer you may be interested in code blocks. To create a code block, start your text/code with ““. To continue with normal text, close the code block with another four backticks ( ““). Optionally you can start all your lines of code with 4 spaces. Adding more spaces will allow for further indenting. It’s also possible to display code inline, `by starting an ending the snippet with a backtick`.

Horizontal line

To create a horizontal line, use at least three – - -, _ _ _ or * * *. Any number above three will do the same thing and spaces between the characters do not matter.

Italics and bold

Italics *word* or _word_

Bold **word** or __word__

Italics and bold ***word*** or ___word___

Inline links

To create an Inline link use the following code:

[link text here](link.address.here “alt text”)


To add external images to your post, comment or private message, use the following code:

![Alt text](http://website.com/image.jpg)

The alternative text gets displayed if the image cannot be loaded; it’s doesn’t need to be changed specifically.

Escape Markdown

If you want to prevent a character from being ‘read’ by Markdown, you can escape it by putting a \ in front of the character. For example, Diaspora\* prevents that the asterisk creates italic text in combination with another asterisk in the following text.


You can create the following symbols using a combination of characters:

  • “->” = “→” ; “<-” = “←” ; “<->” = “↔”
  • “(c)” = “©” ; “(r)” = “®” ; “(tm)” = ™
  • “<3″ = “♥ “
  • “x^2″ = “x²”

(Most of) these codes are part of ‘Mark Down’, which is a lightweight formatting language. To read the full official documentation, check this site: http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/

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114 Responses to Formatting text



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  3. Is there anyreason why to use more # for less size, at the end only one # fot the biggest? This will force to mistake the biggest font.

    • # translates to h1, which is the biggest heading in html. I can imagine it’s confusing though. You expect more # to result in more impact, while actually it’s the other way around. Then again if you change MarkDown to work the opposite it is only going to confuse those who are already used to working with MarkDown.

      • think of it as creating an outline – the more #’s you add, the further indented your topic/item becomes.

        .. that’s how i perceive it ..

      • DeusFigendi |

        Maybe it’s a good idea to do just both with another sign like (!):

        # = !!!!!! =
        ## = !!!!! =
        ### = !!!! =
        #### = !!! =
        ##### = !! =
        ###### = ! =

        At the moment more than three hashes makes a strange effect (no headline and the clear newlines are collapsed)

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  5. The Markdown interpreter that Diaspora is using is under constant development, you’ll possibly find that on any given day different features may or may not work. As far as I can tell, trying to create “code” blocks using leading spaces doesn’t work. Can be a little frustrating especially as there’s no way of previewing a post or comment prior to submitting it.

    One useful construct I’ve found is how to markup an image that is also a link.

    [![Alt text](http://website.com/image.jpg) ](http://website.com/)

    and it does seem to need the space between “)” and “]” after the image.

    ps. It’s Markdown, not “Mark Down” or MarkDown.

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  10. Hey, I think a simple trick could be displayed on your page : how to linebreak without creating a new paragraph.

    When you do want to insert a <br /> break tag using Markdown, you end a line with two or more spaces, then type return.

  11. Now all we need is a gui interface for automating all these codes, which I’m sure is on it’s way eventually ;]

  12. OK, I’m trying to use inline links. The instructions are:
    [link text here](link.address.here “alt text”)

    Can someone tell me what “alt text” means?