Markdown Formatting Rules

Markdown Formatting Rules


Paragraphs are divided by blank lines.
End a line with two or more spaces to force a mid-paragraph line break.


# Top Level Heading                 Alternative Top Level Heading
# Top Level Heading Variant #       =============================

## 2nd Level Heading                Alternative 2nd Level Heading
## 2nd Level Heading Variant ##     -----------------------------

### 3rd Level Heading               ### 3rd Level Heading Variant ###
#### 4th Level Heading              #### 4th Level Heading Variant ####
##### 5th Level Heading             ##### 5th Level Heading Variant #####
###### 6th Level Heading            ###### 6th Level Heading Variant ######


  1. [display text](URL)
  2. [display text](URL "Title")
  3. [display text](URL 'Title')
  4. <URL>
  5. [display text][label]
  6. [display text][]
  7. [display text]
  8. [](URL)

With link formats 5, 6, and 7 ("reference links"), the URL is supplied elsewhere in the document, as shown below. Link formats 6 and 7 reuse the display text as the label. Labels are case-insensitive. The title may be split onto the next line with optional indenting.

  • [label]: URL
  • [label]: URL "Title"
  • [label]: URL 'Title'
  • [label]: URL (Title)

If URL begins with "http:", "https:', "ftp:' or "mailto:", it may optionally be written <URL> (format 4). Other URL formats include:

  • A relative pathname.
  • A pathname starting with "/" in which case the Fossil server URL prefix is prepended
  • A wiki page name, or a wiki page name preceded by "wiki:"
  • An artifact or ticket hash or hash prefix
  • A date and time stamp: "YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" or a subset that includes at least the day of the month.
  • An interwiki link of the form "Tag:PageName"

In format 8, then the URL becomes the display text. This is useful for hyperlinks that refer to wiki pages and check-in and ticket hashes.

Text Style

  • *italic*
  • _italic_
  • **bold**
  • __bold__
  • ***italic+bold***
  • ___italic+bold___
  • `code`

The `code` construct disables HTML markup, so one can write, for example, `<html>` to yield <html>.


   *   bullet item
   +   bullet item
   -   bullet item
   1.  numbered item
   2)  numbered item

A two-level list is created by placing additional whitespace before the */+/-/1. of the secondary items.

   *  top-level item
      *  second-level item

Block Quotes

Begin each line of a paragraph with > to block quote that paragraph.

> This paragraph is indented

> > Double-indented paragraph

Literal/Verbatim Text - Code Blocks

For inline text, you can either use `backticks` or the HTML <code> tag.

For blocks of text or code:

  1. Indent the text using a tab character or at least four spaces.
  2. Precede the block with an HTML <pre> tag and follow it with </pre>.
  3. Surround the block by ``` (three or more) or ~~~ either at the left margin or indented no more than three spaces. The first word on that same line (if any) is used in a “language-WORD” CSS style in the HTML rendering of that code block and is intended for use by code syntax highlighters. Thus ```c would mark a block of code in the C programming language. Text to be rendered inside the code block should therefore start on the next line, not be cuddled up with the backticks or tildes. See the "Diagrams" section below for the case where "language-WORD" is "pikchr".

With the standard skins, verbatim text is rendered in a fixed-width font, but that is purely a presentation matter, controlled by the skin’s CSS.


| Header 1     | Header 2    | Header 3      |
| Row 1 Col 1  | Row 1 Col 2 | Row 1 Col 3   |
|:Left-aligned |:Centered   :| Right-aligned:|
|              | ← Blank   → |               |
| Row 4 Col 1  | Row 4 Col 2 | Row 4 Col 3   |

The first row is a header if followed by a horizontal rule or a blank line.

Placing : at the left, both, or right sides of a cell gives left-aligned, centered, or right-aligned text, respectively. By default, header cells are centered, and body cells are left-aligned.

The leftmost or rightmost | is required only if the first or last column, respectively, contains at least one blank cell.


~~~ pikchr
oval "Start" fit; arrow; box "Hello, World!" fit; arrow; oval "Done" fit

Formatted using Pikchr, resulting in:

Start Hello, World! Done
oval "Start" fit; arrow; box "Hello, World!" fit; arrow; oval "Done" fit


Footnotes (or "endnotes") is a Fossil extension of classical Markdown. Fossil's syntax for footnotes is similar to links and is distinguished by the use of character ^ that immediately follows an opening bracket.

  1. (^ footnote's text )
  2. [ fragment of text ](^ a comment about that fragment )
  3. [^ label ]
  4. [ fragment of text ][^ label ]
  5. [ fragment of text ][^]

With formats 1 and 2 ("inline footnotes") text of a footnote is provided in the place where the corresponding numeric mark will be rendered. With formats 3, 4, and 5 ("reference footnotes") text of a footnote is supplied elsewhere in the document, as shown below. Formats 2, 4 and 5 ("span-specific footnotes") mark a specific fragment that is being commented in the footnote. Format 5 reuses a fragment of text as a label. Labels are case-insensitive.

[^label]: Footnote definition must start on the first column.
     The second line (if any) must be indented by two or more spaces.
     Definition continues until indentation drops below that of the 2nd line.

Character ^ is not part of a label, it is part of the syntax. Both a footnote's text and a fragment to which a footnote applies are subject to further interpretation as Markdown sources.


  • In-line images are made using ![alt-text](image-URL).
  • Use HTML for advanced formatting such as forms, noting that certain tags are disallowed in some contexts.
  • <!-- HTML-style comments --> are supported.
  • Escape special characters (ex: [ ( | *) using backslash (ex: \[ \( \| \*).
  • A line consisting of ---, ***, or ___ is a horizontal rule. Spaces and extra -/*/_ are allowed.
  • Paragraphs enclosed in <html>...</html> is passed through unchanged.
  • See daringfireball.net for additional information.
  • See this page's Markdown source for more examples.

Special Features For Fossil

  • In hyperlinks, if the URL begins with / then the root of the Fossil repository is prepended. This allows for repository-relative hyperlinks.
  • For documents that begin with a top-level heading (ex: # heading #), the heading is omitted from the body of the document and becomes the document title displayed at the top of the Fossil page.

Interwiki Tag Map