Google Docs is getting support for more Markdown syntax
Google is extending Markdown support in Google Docs for the web to help users format their documents using text shortcuts. The service already offers support for some Markdown syntax, and it isn’t getting full Markdown support with the latest update. Instead, Google is merely adding support for more Markdown syntax, which will allow users to add headings and links to their documents and format the text.
In a blog post highlighting the update, Google says that Docs already supports Markdown syntax for bulleted lists, numbered lists, and checkboxes. With the update, Google adding Markdown support for the following:
- Italic and bold
- Bold + italic
As noted by The Verge, Google is using the autocorrect feature in Google Docs for its Markdown implementation. This means that the service will automatically format your text as soon as you type it in Markdown format. But since not all Google Docs users are familiar with Markdown, the feature is not enabled by default. You have to navigate to the Preferences section in the Tools menu to enable the “Automatically detect Markdown” option.
It’s worth noting that the extended Markdown support in Google Docs is rolling out in a staged fashion, so you might not see the option mentioned above just yet. Google says that it could take over fifteen days for the feature to reach all users. Furthermore, the company reveals that the feature will be available for all Google Workspace customers, legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, and even those with personal Google accounts.
If you’re not familiar with Markdown, here’s a quick rundown of how you can use it to format your documents in Google Docs:
- Italicize, bold, and strikethrough text with Markdown
- To format text as italic, enclose it in a single asterisk or underscore.
- To format text as bold, enclose it in two asterisks or underscores.
- To format text as italic and bold, enclose it in three asterisks or underscores.
- To format text in strikethrough, enclose it in a single dash.
- Add links with Markdown
- Write the linked text in brackets (e.g. [Google Docs]).
- After the bracketed text, write the URL in parentheses (e.g. (https://docs.google.com/document/)).
Note: Don’t include a space between the text in brackets and the URL in parentheses.
- Create headings with Markdown
- Start at the beginning of a paragraph.
- Add number signs (#) in front of your heading text. The number of number signs you use corresponds to the heading level.
- Write your heading text.
The extended Markdown support in Google Docs comes just weeks after Google started rolling out new smart canvas features to the service. To learn more about the smart canvas features, head over to our previous coverage.