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Wrote text in an rtl language (from the context of the question you can see it is done with good reason). I then tried to make bold one letter within the word, while making the entire word in italics -> *exa**m*ple.

As you can see, it's actually not connected to the orientation of the language.

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Some of the text shows as bold in preview but has *s after. Probably due to the different text direction. –  Greg Aug 30 '09 at 22:39
    
Could this be a*nother* reason why SOFU is EN-only? –  Mark Henderson Aug 30 '09 at 22:42
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@Farseeker. No, it isn't. It's not like English speaking programmers don't have to deal with internationalisation issues. –  therefromhere Aug 30 '09 at 22:59
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Hmm, good point (I reside on SF, not many multilingual issues happen there) –  Mark Henderson Aug 30 '09 at 23:03
    
*exa*​*m*​ple ​ –  Brad Gilbert Aug 31 '09 at 14:44
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WMD? Weapons of mass destruction? –  Colonel Panic Sep 10 '12 at 19:51
    
yes - (but, in case u where serious, it is the text editor we use in this site) –  Itay Moav -Malimovka Sep 10 '12 at 20:11
    
@Mark — What is “SOFU” ? –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 3 at 9:56
    
@Mark — By the way, now we have french.stackexchange.com. :-) –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 3 at 9:59
    
@NicolasBarbulesco - in '09 there was just Stack Overflow, Server Fault and Super User, so the collective term for the three sites was S[OFU]. Now we just call it Stack Exchange. This was also pre-Area 51 for new SE sites. –  Mark Henderson Jan 3 at 10:25
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7 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

You can use html tags like <strong> and <em> or <b> and <i> to format in those exceptional cases.

Example:

Bigword

The source for that was:

<i>Big<b>w</b>ord</i>
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It's not really exceptional if you write Japanese text, which does not separate words by spaces; and Japanese text is quite common on japanese.stackexchange.com –  Tobias May 5 '13 at 23:58
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@Tobias at the time of writing that, there was no Japanese site in the system. –  jjnguy May 6 '13 at 15:51
    
It´s not working for comments! –  Knu Oct 27 '13 at 1:35
    
This workaround does not work in comments — which is too bad. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 3 at 10:01
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We don't support intra-word emphasis. This is by design.

See the blog: Three Markdown Gotchas.

In short: if typing some_file_name would render as "somefilename", then that would bother more people than those who really need part of a word to be emphasized.

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This makes using Markdown in Japanese (and other languages that don't use spaces) really painful. Especially surprising is that intra-word bolding works as expected in the preview pane, but not in the submitted question. See japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/11824/… for an example. –  Tobias May 5 '13 at 18:52
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I've come across this a few times and the solution is relatively simple...

I use a zero width Unicode character between the last asterisk and the next character -

a​123

This will also work for B​O​L​D characters...


Here is the zero width character (between the brackets).

(​)

For ease of use, I made myself a little JavaScript bookmarklet that "displays" an alert with the character inside -

javascript: alert("%E2%80%8B");

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Doesn't seem to work in comments: *a*​123 –  NullUserException อ_อ Dec 5 '12 at 16:32
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I think that the most you could ask for, is for the Markdown to accept a U200B ( Zero Width Space ) character to seperate the "*" from the rest of the word. Which does actually seem to work.

*exa*\X{200B}**m**\X{200B}ple

exam​ple

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... but doesn't work in comments ( *exa*​**m**​ple ) –  Brad Gilbert Aug 31 '09 at 14:51
    
In questions and answers, you can write it using HTML references: *exa*&#x200B;**m**&#x200B;ple. –  MvG Nov 16 '12 at 21:36
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You'll have to break out the HTML tags to get a bold letter inside a word. Looks like the WMD preview might be okay on the rough show, but the actual post looks like it's looking for a space on either side of the WMD markup.

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Yes, but typing the HTML tags within the right-to-left text seems to behave strangely (or maybe that's normal, as I said this is the first time I've edited right-to-left text). –  therefromhere Aug 30 '09 at 23:12
    
Even trying to select the text is a trippy experience. –  random Aug 30 '09 at 23:15
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I tried to edit it...but my computer was making me want to kill the text. –  jjnguy Aug 30 '09 at 23:16
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I think the bug he's referring to is that trying to produce the following: נזוןשמו

Using this markdown:

*מו**ש**ינזון*

Appears with whole text in italics and the letter ש bold in the preview, but not in the posted version.

You get this instead:

*מו**ש*ינזון

Or maybe that the cursor direction reverses within the string making editing the markdown tricky - the first time I've ever edited Hebrew, that was trippy!

I'm not sure what's supposed to happen, but I couldn't edit HTML into the middle of the text (the tag was dumped to the end).

Edit: It was clarified while I was posting. Sorry for the note-as-a-answer, but considering the bug it's a pain to try and respond with a note!

I'm using Firefox 3.5 on Vista 64 by the way.

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As stated above, this works using HTML - but wrapping your head around the RTL movement is a huge pain. I edited it, and I think I managed to do it without messing with the actual text.

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More power to ya! I couldn't figure it out... –  jjnguy Aug 31 '09 at 17:09
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