Do you want to highlight a word in a definition by formatting it in bold, or save some superscript characters in a term — such as the -2- in H2O molecule? Or even create a bulleted list in a longer text block?
This blog post will show you how to format terms and text values in Coreon by using the so-called Markdown syntax. It is an easy and quick way to add formatting to a text. In contrast to heavyweight word processors, Markdown is pretty straight forward: rather than using long tag element pairs, it only needs punctuation characters. This is one reason why Markdown has become so successful and is supported by well-known applications such as GitHub or Trello.
How Do I Do This?
Let’s assume you are already in edit mode and you are about to add/modify concepts, terms or properties. You can then add a property to your concept, such as a Definition, and click in the relevant box to write it (see picture below). In order to format the text you type, you need to click on the little icon that appears on the right side of a text property.
Once you have clicked on the icon, all the Markdown functionality options will be shown. The toolbar looks like this:
When you mark a word with your mouse and click on one of the options shown above, punctuation characters will appear on both sides of the word.
Click outside of the property to see a preview of how it will be finally rendered. In this way you can add italics, bold, and bulleted or numbered lists, as well as square numbers and molecular formulae of chemical compounds to text values.
You may now be thinking — so what? Well, besides the fact that we think it is pretty crucial to support rich formatting, it is also about efficiency! If you become familiar with the punctuation characters used in the Markdown syntax, you can just type them in the text property input box. For instance, after typing two asterisks before and after a word — like **hydrocarbon** — the word will be formatted in bold — hydrocarbon — as shown in the example above.
Using Markdown syntax has the same results as using HTML. However, the former is more efficient because you don’t need to insert tags to format text values. Markdown syntax allows you to produce texts that are easy to read, write and edit.
If you want to know more about this topic, you can visit this website: https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax
- There are few features that are not supported by the standard Markdown syntax, namely ‘underline’ as well as ‘superscript’ and ‘subscript’. For these three we had to add our own markup, to render as HTML in browsers.
- When exporting from Coreon you will see an option whether to include the formatting or to strip and to export the values as plain text.
Note: This blog post was developed by students at the University of Mainz in the context of a seminar discussing modern ways to document agile software.