Footnotes and Citations in Markdown

If you find you’re spending more time working on your portable devices than on your desktop – especially when it comes to blogging – you need to get acquainted with Markdown. Trying to post even the shortest post from the WordPress app on my iPad was a challenge I only used when I had no other option because trying to type HTML code on the screen keyboard took forever. With Mark down, it’s a breeze. Footnotes and citations are very good examples. Here’s how they work in Markdown.


This example was created in the Day One journal app because it lets me preview the Markdown file right in the app. The example above shows you what I typed. The example below shows what the saved file looks like in Day One.


How it will look on a blog posting depends on your blog’s theme and style sheet. Day One’s built-in style guide is set up to display a citation right-justified and all in italics. Since footnotes and citations are not a common site on blogs, your theme may not have styles for them. In that case, they will be presented in the default style. Below is the same Markdown text typed in this post from my iPad. I did change the headings to level 2 headings (two hashtags instead of one). The headings appear with the styling set up in the site’s style guide, but the footnote and citation are using HTML default styling.

Creating Footnotes in Markdown

When you create a footnote in Markdown, the reference code 1 appears at the end of the text. The actual citation is entered on a line by itself and appears at the bottom of the page.

Create a Citation in Markdown

Citations in Markdown are really quite simple – all you do is type the citation where you want it to appear and surround it with cite tags as shown here. Texas, Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

I’ve created this post in the mobile WordPress app, but I also find I’m using Markdown even when I’m blogging on my desktop. Why? Because entering codes for most formatting and linking options can be done without taking my hands off the keyboard. Posts almost seem to write themselves when I don’t have to grab the mouse so often.

  1. Footnote citation information. 

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