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How To Set Up Markdown In Google Docs

by George Mensah

When editing documents, Markdown is an extremely useful tool to have in your arsenal. It makes text formatting easier, allowing you to concentrate on what really matters, the content itself. With Markdown, formatting your text is as simple as a few extra keystrokes, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between typing and using the word processor’s interface. Many popular word processors, including Google Docs, support Markdown. However, before you can use it, you must first configure it so that Google Docs recognizes Markdown.

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When using Markdown in Google Docs, keep in mind that not all Markdown formatting is supported. Italics, bold, and strikethrough can be used, as well as links and headlines. However, this is about the limit of what Markdown can be used for in Google Docs. Normally, Markdown can be used to add quote blocks, images, and other formatting features, but Google Docs only supports a subset of it. Nonetheless, Markdown support in Google Docs can significantly speed up the formatting process.

How to set up Markdown in Google Docs

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Setting up Markdown in Google Docs is a simple process. You can do it right from your document, in the top toolbar. Here’s how to do it (via Google).

1. In the top menu, click on “Tools.”

2.In the dropdown menu, click on “Preferences.”

3.In the box that appears, under the “General” tab, look for the “Automatically detect Markdown” option and click on the check box. 

4.Select the blue “OK” button.

You can now start using Markdown in Google Docs. Simply return to the same menu and uncheck the Markdown support box. The following are some of the Markdown applications that Google Docs supports.

Italics: Use asterisks around the word you want italicized.

Bold: Use double asterisks around the word.

Strikethrough: Use dashes around the word.

Headings: On a new line, use a hashtag to create a heading.


Use the same number of hashtags to match up with the header size you want. So for H3, you’d use three hashtags, H2 would be two, and so on. 

Links: Put brackets around the word you want to appear as a link. Then, use parentheses around the actual URL right after.

Keep in mind that if you use Markdown in another word processor and try to paste it into Google Docs, it will not format automatically. Markdown can only be used while typing in a document in Google Docs.

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