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If I type in "test", highlight it, and press Ctrl + I, I get this:

test

However, if I type in "test_test", highlight it, and press Ctrl + I, I get this:

*test_test*

My guess is that this is because the _ and the * are fighting. (_test_ shows up as test.) As far as I know, there is no way to italicize a word with an underscore in it. _test_test_ does not work either.

So, there are two problems here:

  1. The standard keyboard shortcut for italicizing does not always work right.
  2. There is no way (that I could find) to italicize a word with an underscore in it.

So there are several ways to fix #2 (see answers below). However, they are not immediately obvious. This could be a small stumbling block for casual or new users.

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possible duplicate of Problems with "expected_/_unexpected" –  kiamlaluno Aug 23 '11 at 15:55
2  
@kiamlaluno: Not really a dupe; here a literal underscore should go into the output, whereas in the linked question this is not the case. And: Here the solution is to escape the _, in the linked question this is not a solution. –  Hendrik Vogt Aug 23 '11 at 16:06
    
The keyboard shortcut seems to be working fine - it put asterisks around the text, as it should. The problem is solely the unescaped underscore. –  Hannele Aug 7 '13 at 18:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Escape the inner underscore with a backslash:

_hello\_world_

hello_world

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This doesn't address the bug, but it's possible to italicize by using HTML instead of markdown:

<i>test_test</i>

test_test

<em>test_test</em>

test_test

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