Simplenote is a basic note-taking application developed by Automattic, the same company that created WordPress. The application is free and available on every platform, including Linux. It’s also open source. You can use Simplenote in your web browser.

After you download the application, you’ll be prompted to create an account. That account is used to back up your notes to Automattic’s servers and synchronize your notes across all of your other devices. Note that Automattic doesn’t encrypt your content on their servers. You can’t disable the synchronizing feature.

Export options are limited, but the Publish to Web feature allows you to share your notes on the internet with a public URL.

Enabling Markdown Support

To enable Markdown support in Simplenote, create a note, click the Info icon, and then select Markdown Formatted.

Enabling Markdown support in Simplenote

The currently selected note and any new notes you create in the future will have this setting enabled automatically.

Simplenote Markdown Support

Simplenote provides support for the following Markdown elements.

Element Support Notes
Headings Yes
Paragraphs Yes
Line Breaks Yes
Bold Yes
Italic Partial Underscores are not supported — they're used for underlining text.
Blockquotes Yes
Ordered Lists Yes
Unordered Lists Yes
Code Partial Code blocks are not supported — use fenced code blocks instead.
Horizontal Rules Yes
Links Yes
Images Yes
Tables Yes
Fenced Code Blocks Yes Syntax highlighting is not supported.
Footnotes Yes
Heading IDs No
Definition Lists No
Strikethrough Yes
Task Lists Yes
Automatic URL Linking Yes
Disabling Automatic URL Linking Yes
HTML No

Support for Additional Syntax Elements

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

Element Markdown Rendered Output
Highlight ==word or phrase== word or phrase
Superscript The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to ^reddit and be ^(reddited here) in return. The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to reddit and be reddited here in return.
Underline _word or phrase_ word or phrase

Previewing Markdown Documents

Simplenote doesn’t use a live editor. You’ll continue to see the Markdown-formatted text after you’ve typed it. To preview Markdown documents in Simplenote, click the Preview Markdown icon — it looks like an eye.

See Also

Want to learn more Markdown?

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