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When entering text in a textview that supports Markdown input (such as when asking a question), the keyboard should have a toolbar (an inputAccessoryView) that shows characters common for markdown input. At the very least, `, [, ], (, ), # and * should be added. Maybe -, and even <kbd>.

Optional: if you're concerned about screen space, you could limit this to iPhones with 4" (or larger) screens.

This would make it way easier to add/edit code blocks and formatting.

Mockup of iOS app with Markdown keyboard


EDIT: Updated image (based on feedback in comments) to use red freehand drawing instead of orange.

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1  
Honestly it should probably have a different layout per site; stackoverflow needs one, math.se needs a different one (to use the fancy math stuff). – Joe Feb 20 '14 at 22:11
    
I agree that certain sites should be able to customize it down the road, but markdown is a great default for all sites – Aaron Brager Feb 20 '14 at 22:12
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I'm fairly new to meta, but I was under the impression all freehand drawing is to be done in red, not orange. What is this? – mhlester Feb 20 '14 at 22:25
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Sorry, I'm colorblind. It looks red to me – Aaron Brager Feb 20 '14 at 22:27
    
I can update the image. What's the correct RGB value? – Aaron Brager Feb 20 '14 at 22:28
    
(255, 0, 0), but it's all tongue in cheek of course – mhlester Feb 20 '14 at 22:30
    
@mhlester Updated. – Aaron Brager Feb 21 '14 at 1:29
    
see, now i feel bad. the orange was growing on me. it could have been the start of a new chapter – mhlester Feb 21 '14 at 1:31
2  
@mhlester If you look carefully you can still see the orange underneath. – Aaron Brager Feb 21 '14 at 1:33
    
I've gotten very good at accessing these characters from my iPad and iPhone soft keyboards. I might just be a power user, though. – Undo Feb 21 '14 at 3:13
    
@undo I'm pretty fast too, but it's 3 taps to type [, and another 3 for ]. You could type them at the same time but then you have to move the cursor back. Typing ` requires a long-press and a drag. One tap would be way easier. – Aaron Brager Feb 21 '14 at 3:24
    
Absolutely. I just have gotten used to and become efficient at typing markdown from my iPad. – Undo Feb 21 '14 at 3:24
up vote 14 down vote accepted

This is a planned feature. It most likely won't be implemented until post-beta (public launch). Currently you can do some minor things by highlighting the text and selecting it from the pop-up, but actual buttons for them above the keyboard are planned too.

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2  
`THAT'S GREAT NEWS – Aaron Brager Feb 21 '14 at 4:37

Post-beta? Kasra is such a pessimist. A formatting toolbar will be in the next build.

enter image description here

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I have to chuckle you masked the image as spoiler, when that's something that doesn't work in the app! – mhlester Mar 27 '14 at 21:43
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@mhlester Fixed in the next build. :) – Brian Nickel Mar 27 '14 at 22:18
    
Shneaky shneaky! – mhlester Mar 27 '14 at 22:18
    
Scotty taught me to under promise and over deliver. – Kasra Rahjerdi Mar 28 '14 at 17:52

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