Bear is a macOS and iOS application designed for one thing: note taking. It’s like Evernote, but without the bloat.

There aren’t a lot of whizbang features in Bear. Instead, Bear consistently delivers on all of its promises. Tags, search, and syncing all work flawlessly. The application is intuitive, and that’s exactly what you want when you’re taking notes.

Markdown in the Bear Markdown app

Bear doesn’t automatically enable support Markdown by default, but you can enable it in the preferences. The application has a hybrid live editor and text editor — you can see both the Markdown syntax and the way the formatting changes the text. It takes a while to get used to, but it’s useful if you’re just getting started with Markdown.

Enabling Markdown Support

To enable Markdown support in Bear, open the Preferences window. On the General tab, turn on the setting for Markdown compatibility mode.

Tip: If you're using Bear on more than one device, you'll need to enable the Markdown compatibility mode setting on all of your devices.

Bear Markdown Support

Bear provides support for the following Markdown elements.

Element Support Notes
Headings Partial Alternative syntax is not supported.
Paragraphs Yes
Line Breaks Partial The Markdown syntax (trailing whitespace) is not supported, but you can press the Return key once to achieve the same result.
Bold Yes
Italic Yes
Blockquotes Partial Nested blockquotes are not supported.
Ordered Lists Yes
Unrdered Lists Yes
Code Yes
Horizontal Rules Yes
Links Yes You can link to other notes by enclosing a note’s name in double brackets (i.e., [[note-name]]).
Images No The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can drag and drop images into a note.
Tables No
Fenced Code Blocks Yes
Syntax Highlighting Yes
Footnotes No
Heading IDs Partial Automatically generated. There’s no way to set custom heading IDs. You can copy a link to a heading by clicking the H# symbol next to the heading in the margin and selecting Copy Link to Here. See the documentation for more information.
Definition Lists No
Strikethrough Yes
Task Lists Yes
Emoji (copy and paste) Yes
Emoji (shortcodes) Yes
Automatic URL Linking Yes
Disabling Automatic URL Linking Yes
HTML Partial HTML is not rendered in Bear notes, but it is apparently rendered in the HTML output from exported notes.

Support for Additional Syntax Elements

As an added bonus, Bear provides support for several obscure elements.

Element Markdown Rendered Output
Highlight ::word or phrase:: word or phrase
Underline ~word or phrase~ word or phrase

See Also

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