Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Editing Becomes Smarter — Markdown for MLO5

We are now starting the series of articles on Task organizer for Windows v.5 with one of the interesting features called Markdown. Some of you may wonder what it is all about? It is a lightweight markup language and, as you will see, it is a sophisticated notes editing tool which significantly enhances formatting potential.

Let us first start with a small introduction. In MLO5 there are now two sections for notes & task properties:

1. Preview mode
Here you can see task's properties (only those that are enabled for the task) and markdown formatted notes.
The main point here: we have enhanced visibility of notes and properties making it more eye-catching but not cumbersome as before.

2. Edit mode
Here you can manage tasks properties (remains almost the same) and notes using Markdown, a lightweight and easy-to-use syntax for styling.

Preview and Edit mode for Task Properties
There are several ways to switch from one mode to another:
  • Simply click on the corresponding icon on the right.
  • In the preview mode click on the created note — the edit mode will be automatically activated. Click on the preview icon to stop editing there. Thus, notes can be quickly edited even in the preview.
  • There is a hotkey to toggle Preview/Edit as well. The default for this is Alt+~ (can be reassigned in MLO settings).
When you click on another task, the edit mode automatically closes as well.

Now let us discuss how to use markdown itself. The feature is disabled by default, so first you need to turn it on: go to Tools->Options->Appearance and check “Use Markdown format in notes”.

In task notes we support the Markdown Formatting rules specified here (please refer to it for details).

In this article we would like to describe the main elements: headers, emphasis, links and images.

1. Headers

Setext-style headers are “underlined” using equal signs (for first-level headers) and dashes (for second-level headers). For example:

This is an H1
=============
This is an H2
-------------
Any number of underlining =’s or -’s will work.
Atx-style headers use 1-6 hash characters at the start of the line, corresponding to header levels 1-6. For example:

# This is an H1
## This is an H2
##### This is an H5

2. Emphasis

MLO Markdown treats asterisks “*” and underscores “_” as indicators of emphasis. Text wrapped with one * or _ will be made italic wrapped with an HTML <em> tag; double *’s or _’s will be made bold with an HTML <strong> tag:

*single asterisks*
_single underscores_
**double asterisks**
__double underscores__

Note. Emphasis can be used in the middle of a word as well: un*frigging*believable
Headers and emphasis in notes
3. Links

MLO supports two types of links: reference and inline.

Reference-style links use a second set of square brackets, inside which you place a label of your choosing to identify the link:

This is [an example][id] reference-style link.
[id]: http://example.com/  "Optional Title Here"

As for inline links, these are hidden within a text, like this:

This is [an example](http://example.com/ "Title") inline link.
[This link](http://example.net/) has no title attribute.

Please remember, you can also add a link to your MLO tasks there using Task ID (found in Advanced -> Properties for a task or right click for local menu, Copy as -> Copy as local link):

[New task](\\mlo:{53070B55-A8FF-4FAD-8ECD-15D8D429FFAF})

Look how different links are displayed:
Links in notes
Tip: Links to third party services (like Evernote, Trello, Chrome) can be added as well. For example, a link to Evernote will be:  [Evernote](evernote:///view/165522/s417/c7fcd022-75e7609dec/c7fc2-4511-af8e-209dec/)

4. Images

Images added to the notes can be stored on the Internet or locally, on your PC. The images placed to notes are neither saved in MLO nor sent to the MLO Cloud.

The image in our example (see below) has the following syntax: ![bear](http://www.domain-name/file-location.png)

Images in notes
As for images stored locally, they can be added to notes with a reference link, like
 ![toys](C:\Users\Michael\Pictures\Saved%20Pictures\toys.jpg)

Tip: If a folder name contains spaces, replace them with “%20” (see example above). One more option is to use < > around the URL:  ![toys](<C:\Users\Michael\Pictures\Saved Pictures\toys.jpg>)

Note. Gif media can be added to task notes as well.

You may choose to ignore Markdown formatting if you wish. Or, to produce a literal asterisk or underscore at a position where it would otherwise be used as an emphasis delimiter, you can backslash escape it:

\*this text is surrounded by literal asterisks\*

That's not all the information — there are many other Markdown formatting rules for you to discover. Anyway, the main elements open a lot of new opportunities for you and your planning system. The supported syntax will be added to our website later on.

As for now, do you enjoy this update? Is it useful for you? Share in comments.


The MyLifeOrganized team
Life is easy when organized

4 comments:

  1. Good addition to functionality and nice examples (perhaps a little challenging to follow for non-programmers). Posting the syntax would be useful. Meanwhile, could you post a link to Markdown reference materials that may help users unfamiliar with Markdown to find some of the "many more" Markdown capabilities you mention. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So [here's the link](https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax) to markdown syntax which the team has posted to the Google forum.

    I like Markdown, because it's lightweight and designed to make sense if you read it in a plain text editor.

    The only thing I had to get used to is that a single tap of the enter key gets ignored as a new line. I have to remember to press Enter twice to get a new paragraph on anything except bulleted and numberd lists.

    ReplyDelete
  3. three asterisks or three underscores, it will become bold and italics altogether.

    ReplyDelete