.md files: everything you need to know about them

.md files

Most file extensions are self-explanatory, indicating the type of file and the application used to open it. Many users know that a .jpg file is an image format or that a .docx file is compatible with Microsoft Word, for example. However, the .md file extension is less well known. .md files can be edited as simple text files without the need for special software. Next, we will explain how to open an .md file and what it is used for.

What is an .md file?

Un .md file is a plain text file which does not include any other items. You can format certain sections by inserting symbols into the text. For example, you can bold a word or section by placing two asterisks before and after it. The .md file extension, which is also known as .markdown, is used for Markdown documentation. This means that each .md file is developed in one of the Markdown development languages, which are part of the markup languages.

As with HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), anyone can create or modify content and formatting, in any text editor. Although it is difficult for people to read and understand HTML markup elements, it is easy to read and understand. Markdown is easier to read than Markdown, although its formatting potential is limited, so it is used only when the file contains only text.

El readme file that accompanies many programs is often consulted by non-programmers. It usually documents crucial information about the application and its installation process. This file is identified by the name readme.md. Markdown is also used by groups related to technology and development platforms. Programmers use .md files to store and compare different versions of source code. Since Markdown is text-based, it's easier to compare old content and revisions compared to binary. Also, Markdown can be converted to HTML more easily than binary files.

How to open a .md file?

The files .md can be opened and edited with any text editor. Next, we show you known programs for Windows, Linux and macOSamong other operating systems. Here's how:

Editors for Windows

Free application Windows Notepad from the Microsoft Store has been helping users open, view, and modify .md documents for more than 30 years. Since the most recent versions of Windows, this software is not an intrinsic part of the operating system, but it is still available for free.

Application Microsoft WordPad, also free, is an enhanced word processor that allows users to format and print documents as well as compose and edit them. Programmers often prefer the free Notepad++ application, which can be extended with plugins.

gVim is a free open source application that can be downloaded as an application and offers a wide range of functions. It can operate on several documents or .md files at the same time and it has a user interface that allows it.

Editors for macOS

The minimalist design of TextMate and its rich set of features make it a popular choice among programmers. Macro functions, which allow repetitive commands to be executed more quickly, are just a few of the many features supported by this editor. This program is compatible with several programming languages ​​and offers a series of features that help programmers to work more efficiently. Mac users can also open .md files and use a built-in spell checker, import charts, and format tables and lists, setting this app apart from its competitors. The free program TextEdit from Apple is an important part of Mac OS.

Editors for Linux

GNU Emacs, an open source text editor, is available for Linux as well as Windows and macOS. It is a simple text editor that offers a particularly interesting feature for programmers: an integrated development environment in which programs can be compiled, run and tested.

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