In the markdown editing reference page it states that horizontal rules could be made using the following:

Insert a horizontal rule <hr/> by putting three or more hyphens, asterisks, or underscores on a line by themselves:

Rule #1
---
Rule #2
*******
Rule #3
___
Rule #4    
- - - -

However, this is what this actually looks like:

Rule #1

Rule #2


Rule #3


Rule #4


... you will notice that the first one is a heading instead of an hr. This is because the documentation also says that headings can be created using the following:

Header 1
========

Header 2
--------

The number of = or - signs doesn't matter; one will work. But using enough to underline the text makes your titles look better in plain text.

There is obviously a conflict here when someone tries inserting 3 or more - with no spacing in between them. It is ambiguous if it should be a heading or an hr. Currently it treats it as a heading.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Markdown spec itself is ambiguous in several areas. So, this is by design.

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Why not remove that item from the editing reference page. Let them use * * * or _ _ _ to < hr > things –  devinb Jun 18 '10 at 10:25
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It's easy to avoid, just always have an empty line before horizontal lines.

1. Heading instead of horizontal line

one

two

three

one
---
two
---
three

2. Horizontal lines working as excepted

one


two


three

one

---
two

---
three
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