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.

  • 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
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 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 Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 22:12
  • 5
    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
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 22:25
  • 1
    Sorry, I'm colorblind. It looks red to me Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 22:27
  • I can update the image. What's the correct RGB value? Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 22:28
  • (255, 0, 0), but it's all tongue in cheek of course
    – mhlester
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 22:30
  • @mhlester Updated. Commented Feb 21, 2014 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
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 1:31
  • 2
    @mhlester If you look carefully you can still see the orange underneath. Commented Feb 21, 2014 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
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 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. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 3:24
  • Absolutely. I just have gotten used to and become efficient at typing markdown from my iPad.
    – Undo
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 2
    `THAT'S GREAT NEWS Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 4:37

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

enter image description here

  • I have to chuckle you masked the image as spoiler, when that's something that doesn't work in the app!
    – mhlester
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 21:43
  • 1
    @mhlester Fixed in the next build. :) Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 22:18
  • Shneaky shneaky!
    – mhlester
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 22:18
  • Scotty taught me to under promise and over deliver. Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 17:52

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