Using Markdown in Airtable
  • 31 Oct 2022
  • 6 Minutes to read
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Using Markdown in Airtable

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Markdown is a lightweight and readable syntax used for formatting text. Formatting text can be useful in Airtable when you are looking to call attention to certain information or just looking for more visually pleasing ways of breaking up information. Whether you are new to Markdown or already have experience with using it, this article will help you to better understand where and how to implement Airtable's version of Markdown.


Overview

Currently, there are 5 main usage areas where Markdown can be employed in Airtable.


Markdown reference table

Not all Markdown syntax will necessarily be available within the 5 usage areas listed above. We hope the reference table below can help to clarify some important distinctions of usage. Pay special attention to any checked boxes with an asterisk in them as there are caveats to be aware of. Additionally, you can scroll to the right ➡️ in the table below to check additional product area functionality.


ExampleBase descriptionsLong text field w/ rich text enabledAirtable AutomationsWeb clipper extensionAirtable API
Headings# H1 heading
## H2 heading
### H3 heading
Bold**This text will be bold**
__This text will also be bold__

Italic*This text will be italic*
_This text will also be italic_

Strikethrough~~This text will be strickenthrough ~~

Checkbox 1[x] Checked
[ ] Unchecked


Unordered list- Unordered list item 1
     * Indented item 1
2
Ordered list1. Sorted list item 1
     1) Item 1a
2
HyperlinksLink to
[Airtable](https://airtable.com)

Blockquotes>This will be a blockquote
Inline code`inline code`
Code blocks```code block```3
Escaping Markdown formatting\*This will not have italic markdown formatting\*
4

1 There should be a space in between and after the brackets [ ]  for the checkbox markdown to appear. This is especially important for workflows that involve using API.

2 Indented list items are not possible to create strictly via Markdown in long text fields. However, you can hit the return and tab keys after a list item to create an indented list item.

3 In long text fields, just the first three ticks followed by the return/enter key are needed to start a code block. To end a code block you will need to click off the “Code block” option in the rich text menu.

4 The Airtable API creates extra escape characters to workaround formatting issues when pulling data out. If this API output is then re-inserted into Airtable it will not effectively escape the Markdown formatting.

NOTE

In long text fields, with rich text enabled, Markdown must be typed into the Airtable UI for it to appear. Any copy/pasted text will not be recognized as Markdown syntax.


Syntax options

There are currently 12 syntax options for using Markdown to format text within Airtable. Click on any of the links below to jump to that Markdown syntax's particular section:

Headings

A line that starts with one to three characters, followed by one whitespace character, will result in a first-level to third-level heading.

Markdown syntax

# First level header
## Second level header
### Third level header`

Result

360058532654mceclip0.png


Bold and Italic

Text surrounded by a single *or _ pair will be formatted as italic (meaning emphasis in Markdown); text surrounded by a double **or __ pair will be formatted as bold (meaning strong emphasis in Markdown). You can combine them with other inline formats.

Markdown syntax

*This text will be italic*
_This will also be italic_

**This text will be bold**
__This will also be bold__

_**Combine them for bold italic**_

Result

This text will be italic
This will also be italic

This text will be bold
This will also be bold

Combine them for bold italic


Strikethrough

Text surrounded by a ~~ pair will be formatted as strikethrough. This is not supported in the base description.

Markdown syntax

~~This text will be strikethrough~~

Result

4403082177047strikethroughMarkdown62221.jpg


Checkbox

Starting a line with “[ ]” or “[x]” will begin a checkbox list.

Markdown syntax

[x] Checked item 1
[ ] Unchecked item 2
    [x] Subitem 1
    [ ] Subitem 2`

Result
360072232934mceclip0.png


Unordered List

You can use either -or *as an unordered list marker.

Markdown syntax

- Item 1
- Item 2
    * Indented item 1
    * Indented item 2`

Result

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
    • Indented item 1
    • Indented item 2


Ordered List

Starting a line with a number and a period will automatically convert to a list.

Markdown syntax

1. Item 1
2. Item 2
    1) Item 2a
    2) Item 2b

Result

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
    1. Item 2a
    2. Item 2b


Hyperlinks

There are two types of links, inline and reference :

  • An inline link has the form of [Link text](link URL), where the URL is specified inline.
  • A reference link has the form of [Link Text][Label Name], where the label references a link definition.
    • A link definition is a line with the form [Label name]: URL. It can be placed anywhere in the text and will be removed when converted to rich text cell value.

Markdown syntax

[Airtable](https://airtable.com) is awesome.
[Link reference][1] also works.

[1]: [https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax#link](https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax#link)

Result

Airtable is awesome.
Link reference also works.


Blockquotes

A blockquote is a line that starts with > and then followed by the quote content. This is not supported in the base description.

Markdown syntax

> Roses are red
> Violets are blue

Result

Roses are red> Violets are blue


Inline Code

Text surrounded by a ` pair will be formatted as inline code (with monospace typeface).

Markdown syntax

`apiKey` is your secret API token.

Result

apiKey is your secret API token.


Code Blocks

A code block is one or more lines of code surrounded by code fences . A code fence is a line that is a sequence of at least 3 consecutive backticks (`) or tildes (~). The closing code fence must be the same type as the opening code fence (backticks or tildes), and with at least as many characters as the opening fence sequence.

The line with the opening code fence may optionally contain some text following the code fence. This is called the info string. Some Markdown implementations use this string for code block syntax highlighting. Airtable currently does not utilize the info string and it will be discarded when converting Markdown text to rich text cell value.

NOTE
We do not support indented code blocks in the original Markdown.

Markdown syntax

```
tell application "Microsoft Excel"
    quit
end tell
```

Result

tell application "Microsoft Excel"
quit
end tell


Escaping Markdown formatting

You can use backslash (\) before any Markdown syntax character to escape the formatting.

Markdown syntax

\*This is not italic\*

Result

This is not italic


Line Breaks

Every line break will be treated as a hard line break. Note that this behavior differs from original Markdown.

Markdown syntax

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Result

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.


Multiple Line Breaks

We support using the <br>HTML tag while sending emails that require multiple line breaks.

Example

test
<br>
<br>
test

Result

1500008564061emailbreaks.png


FAQs

Is there any other text formatting available?

Unless specified above, additional text formatting for other data types (e.g. currencies, dates, numbers) aren't currently available.

When using automation actions that support markdown, can I use markdown to change how dynamic field inputs are displayed?

Yes, you can use markdown with Automation fields! Just add the markdown around the field you are referencing, as shown in the example below:

4409856522647markdownwithdynamicinputs.jpg

Is Airtable's Markdown compliant with other forms of markdown?

Markdown in Airtable is not compliant with the two most popular forms of Markdown: Markdoc and Github Flavored Markdown. As a result, you may need to experiment or create workarounds when attempting to create URLs.

Can I use HTML?

You can use HTML tags in certain automations (e.x. to format emails sent via the "Send email" action ), but HTML is not natively supported in the product at this time.


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