How to Use markdown in Google Docs

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Check How to Use markdown in Google Docs

Google has announced that it now supports Markdown for Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings. Google says that it will allow you to create rich text documents faster without having to learn keyboard shortcuts. But will it make a difference to your writing online? Markdown is a lightweight markup language invented by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004. Essentially, it’s a tool for online writers that converts plain text to HTML without the need for tags or other formatting instructions.

Once you have mastered the basic syntax, it is easy to use and is becoming increasingly popular. Today, you can find it in a variety of modern note-taking apps, including Craft, Obsidian, Roam Research, and Bear. Below are the steps to use Markdown in Google Docs.

How to use Markdown in Google Docs

How to enable Markdown in Google Docs

  • Click Tools on the Menu.
  • Go to Preferences.
  • Check Automatically detect Markdown and choose OK.
  • Google Docs will now automatically detect Markdown and convert your text accordingly. However, please note that Google Docs offers limited support for Markdown.

Markdown elements supported in Google Docs

Since Markdown support is limited, we’ll show you the formatting options you can use. Alternatively, you can check out our Markdown cheat sheet.

  • Bold and Italic: First, you can bold and italicize text with single and double asterisks (or underscores), respectively. Adding three asterisks would make the text bold and italic.
  • Strikethrough: To strikethrough text, add a dash on both sides.
  • Headings: Add a pound sign before the text for H1, two pound signs for H2, and so on. Remember to leave a space after the number sign for Google Docs to detect it.
  • Lists: You can use an asterisk or hyphen for an unordered list. To make an ordered list, enter a period after the number.
  • Links: You can add links by typing anchor text in square brackets and URLs in parentheses.

Limitations of Google Docs Markdown

The Google Docs Markdown feature comes with several limitations. These include:

  • Markdown symbols are removed after Docs detects them and formats the text. This makes it difficult to edit the format if necessary.
  • It only detects Markdown when you type in Docs, not when you paste the formatted text.
  • There is no built-in function to export the file as Markdown.
  • Not all Markdown elements are supported.

Format text easily with Markdown

Whether you want to add headings, highlight, or italicize text, Google Docs has it all. However, make sure you enable the feature before you start using asterisks and diamonds. Google Docs supports Markdown, but limited support and a lack of core features prevent authors from taking full advantage of it. So if you are a fan of Markdown, it is a good idea to try full online editors for Markdown.

Final words: How to Use markdown in Google Docs

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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