Google Docs will receive an update in the coming weeks with a new feature: the ability to identify Markdown syntax and convert it on the fly. As a reminder, this syntax was created to format text using a few simple characters, such as
#. For example, a word in bold is surrounded by two asterisks:
**gras**. Markdown is particularly used by anyone writing for the web, because it allows you to create HTML without having to type all the full tags, but it has other uses.
The proof, Google Docs will partially support it. Google’s word processor is still thought of as a competitor to Word, Pages and the others, i.e. it works on the WYSIWYG principle: you see the result directly on the screen, with text displayed in italics when you activate this mode. However, we will soon be able to use Markdown syntax as shortcuts, to change the case of text, but also to quickly create lists, titles or links.
Markdown syntax is not retained, Google Docs automatically removes it and converts text based on what is typed. This new feature will be especially useful if you are already used to using Markdown, otherwise the usual keyboard shortcuts will be just as useful. This function will be inactive by default and will have to be activated in the account preferences, but as often with the search giant, its deployment will be done gradually in the days and weeks to come.
I didn’t have the feature on two tested accounts. If you want to give it a try, you can open Google Docs preferences in the Tools menu, and you might see a checkbox there to automatically identify Markdown. If this is not the case, your account does not yet have access to the new feature and you will have to wait, there is nothing more to do.
In addition to Google Docs, the company has also added this function in Google Slides (presentations) as well as in the text boxes inserted on Google Drawings (drawing).