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.

Line BreaksYes
ItalicPartialUnderscores are not supported — they’re used for underlining text.
Ordered ListsYes
Unordered ListsYes
CodePartialCode blocks are not supported — use fenced code blocks instead.
Horizontal RulesYes
Fenced Code BlocksYes
Syntax HighlightingNo
FootnotesPartialiOS and macOS only
Heading IDsNo
Definition ListsNo
Task ListsYes
Emoji (copy and paste)Yes
Emoji (shortcodes)No
Automatic URL LinkingYes
Disabling Automatic URL LinkingYes

Support for Additional Syntax Elements

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

ElementMarkdownRendered Output
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

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