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Possible Duplicates:
inconsistency rendering ** in markdown
Preview should match the posted view

Simple. In a Q I wanted to mark part of a path name as italic. This path:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

And username must be italic so I get this:

C:\Documents and Settings*username*\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Unfortunately, the backslash plus asterisk seems to be considered an escape character thus I need to add another backslash:

C:\Documents and Settings\*username*\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Now the preview looks okay, but I just get it right because I realized the escape sequence. Most users don't. But it gets worse!

When I post it, it gets translated to back slash plus asterisk, not backslash and italic text! That's not what I saw in the preview!

Does this annoy others too? Can someone please fix this? (Btw, even in this post, the Q doesn't look like the thing I typed!)

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marked as duplicate by random, Workshop Alex, Joel Coehoorn Sep 14 '09 at 13:01

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

The answer lies here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21578/… –  random Sep 14 '09 at 10:22
Indeed duplicate, although I didn't find it myself. Thus irrelevant. (But provided answer is still okay!) –  Wim ten Brink Sep 14 '09 at 10:47
The provided answer is fricking excellent! Okay, pah! –  Ladybug Killer Sep 14 '09 at 11:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is by design and explained on the blog in the episode entitled, "Three Markdown Gotchas"

1) Markdown’s single biggest flaw is its intra-word emphasis.

I don’t think anybody writes:


often enough to justify making it nearly impossible to talk about tokens with underscores in them:


is interpreted as:


It even works across word boundaries:

file_one and file_two


file<em>one and file</em> two

Whenever you’re writing tokens with underscores you have to make absolutely sure you’re in a backtick-delimited code span. The same problem will also nail you on equations like a*b*c, but that seems to pop up less frequently.

Showdown follows the reference implementation on all this, but in WMD I do a little preprocessing to hack the idiocy away: basically I just backslash-escape any underscores or asterisks that might trigger it. It’s a flagrant violation of the standard, but since it’s a pre-pass that should produce identical output with any Markdown processor, I feel justified. Unfortunately my hack did screw up one edge case (which I don’t have in front of me) and there isn’t any way to disable it. Both those things will change in the next release.

Basically, if you want to have italics or bold markup in the middle of your words, you're going to have to whip out the HTML tags and tag them up that style.

Basically, if you want to have i<i>tal</i>ics or bold markup 
in the mi<b>dd</b>le of your words, you're going to have to 
whip out the HTML tags and tag them up that style.

alt text

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Rep-whore dupe! meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21578/… –  random Sep 14 '09 at 10:24
I recognized that myself, random. And I already upvoted the other one. Ah, who cares... –  Ladybug Killer Sep 14 '09 at 10:37
Probably could do with some paint magic *wink* *wink* –  random Sep 14 '09 at 10:40
I already upvoted it. But if you want some paint magic, here we go... –  Ladybug Killer Sep 14 '09 at 11:00
Alright, let's close out the other one as the dupe and have this as the canonical question/answer. –  random Sep 14 '09 at 11:26
I think this misses the point. His problem isn't that markdown is finicky sometimes. His problem is that the preview window doesn't match what we see after we click "post". That at least is a fixable problem. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 14 '09 at 13:01
No drop shadows? Worthless. –  Hilarious Comedy Pesto Sep 14 '09 at 13:01
@Pesto: You would not recognise art, even if it had hooves and kicked you! –  Ladybug Killer Sep 14 '09 at 13:49

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