Tips & Tricks 8: Markdown on LEGO Ideas

LEGO Ideas (ideas.lego.com) is a fantastic website in which LEGO fans can submit their LEGO creations and have them voted on, and potentially be made into an actual LEGO sets. There are many wonderful things about the website, but there are some things which are annoyances to devoted users. One of these is the limited functionality of commenting on projects…

Introduction

Today you will learn some interesting tricks (you can call them ‘hacks’, if you prefer!) regarding commenting. It’s called ‘Markdown’. You see, the commenting system is set up in basic HTML formatting, so a person can easily write pretty much whatever and however they want (within, of course, the rules and guidelines of LEGO Ideas). In recent posts on the LEGO Ideas Blog, Markdown has been suggested by the site itself for formatting comments, by offering a link to a Wikipedia page on which you can find some, but not all, of the Markdown tricks. Here, however, you can find all of them that work on Ideas–including even embedding images!!

Basics

Let’s start with some simple need-to-know when it comes to Markdown. For each effect you want to use, such as bold or italics, you have to enclose the word or phrase you want to affect in a pair of codewords, which are each enclosed by < and >. For example, here is how you set up (1) a bold phrase:

<strong>insert text here</strong>

You’ll notice that the code at the end has a backslash in front of the word. Remember that, because each and every code is the same code on both sides, but the end code always has to have a backslash in front of the code word. Got that? Good. Let’s learn some more easy ones:

(2) An italics phrase:

<em>insert text here</em>

The bold one made sense because the word used in the code was ‘strong’, and that’s somewhat related to ‘bold’–so it’s pretty easy to remember. But the italics one is seemingly not related. Don’t expect each code to resemble its purpose, because such expectations could result in confusion of codes. If you’re curious about this one, the ’em’ stands for ’emphasis’.

(3) Beginning and ending a paragraph:

<p>insert text here</p>

This one is only needed for things other than LEGO Ideas when you’re actually typing in an HTML text box rather than a text box in visual form, which LEGO Ideas has. In LEGO Ideas, you can easily see when a paragraph starts and ends, but some HTML text boxes do not utilize the ‘Enter’ button on your keyboard and you have to manually type where lines break up. Anyways, let’s move on to some fun stuff!

More Complex Tricks

(4) Headings, sub-headings, and sub-sub-headings:

<h1>insert text here</h1>

<h2>insert text here</h2>

<h3>insert text here</h3>

These are sorted in largest text to smallest text.

(5) Linked text:

<a href=”insert link here“>insert text here</a>

This is so you don’t have to post giant links, but can just type in some text and have it link directly wherever you want.

(6) Linked text, plus title:

<a href=”insert link here” title=”insert title here“>insert text here</a>

(7) Horizontal Line Divider:

<hr />

(8) Block Quotes:

<blockquote>insert text or markdown here</blockquote>

Notice you can insert other markdown codes inside this one, such as bold words or phrases!

(9) Monospace:

<code>insert text here</code>

(10) Bulleted Lists:

<ul>

<li>insert 1st item here</li>

<li>insert 2nd item here</li>

<li>insert 3rd item here</li>

</ul>

You can enter as many items as you’d like. This is just an example, to show you how to do it.

(11) Numbered Lists:

<ul>

<li>insert 1st item here</li>

<li>insert 2nd item here</li>

<li>insert 3rd item here</li>

</ul>

Again, you can enter as many items as you want. Now, let’s get to the main trick you are probably reading this tutorial for: embedding images.

Images

This is the normal markdown format for (13) embedding images:

<img src=”insert link here“>

Find the image you want online, right-click it and click “Copy Image Location”. That will give you a unique link for that image, which you insert into the code above. Do the same thing for (14) embedding images with text and title:

<img src=”insert link here” alt=”insert text here” title=”insert text here />

Now, if you have an image on your computer that you want to use, you can always upload it to some online image database such as Flickr or Dropbox and copy the link from there. But, if you have neither of those, you can easily use LEGO Ideas. Just hit the ‘Submit’ button as if you were going to submit a project, and upload an image there. Click on the image to view it full size, and copy it, to insert it normally. There you go!

Application

All of those tricks are not just for LEGO Ideas. You can use these for many commenting systems and forums! Enjoy!

Building Technique by Brickster_Tim

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