Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I am not sure what the difference between Markdown and markup is. I've read both of these terms in several posts on Meta. Googling them brings up some financial terms; not the correct context for this.

Reading the tag wiki didn't help much, as doesn't have one, so I just got info about Markdown.

Please help me understand this.

share|improve this question
up vote 18 down vote accepted

A markup language is "a notation used to annotate a document's content to give information regarding the structure of the text or instructions for how it is to be displayed".

"Markdown" is the name of one such markup language, which is used by Stack Overflow.

share|improve this answer
And is it called markdown because it is such a severely reduced set of attributes? – Eugene Seidel Jul 14 '13 at 17:15
No, just a pun. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Jul 14 '13 at 17:18
Yes, at least in the sense that the original common wiki markup syntax Creole specifically intended to use a limited set of human readable special characters, that is, lightweight markup. – KTys Sep 12 '14 at 20:06

"Markdown" is the engine that Stack Exchange uses to let you format your posts and make them look nice. "Markup" (as used on Meta) is just another word sometimes used synonymously to refer to Markdown features here, mostly because when you add bold, italics, and other things to your content, it's normally referred to as "marking up" the content (HTML is a markup language).

Update: These tags are now synonyms on Meta, to prevent further confusion.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .