Notes formatting with Markdown

Markdown is a lightweight markup language which helps to make sentences stand out. In MLO you can style your task notes adding headings, lists, bold, italic, links, images and other elements just by typing a few characters before and after your desired text.

Where to format notes in MLO?
Basic Markdown syntax
Additional information
Video example

Where to format notes in MLO?


Before we drill into Markdown syntax, let's take a look at the updated sections for notes & task properties. In MLO 5 there are now two sections: Task Preview and Task Editing.

To start formatting notes you need to:

  1. Turn on Markdown Formatting for notes. For this, go to Tools > Options > Appearance and check "Use Markdown format in notes". If you decide to turn off the option, just uncheck it in the same way.
  2. Switch from Preview to Editing mode in Task Notes and Properties Pane.

A few ways of switching from Preview to Editing mode:

  • Click on the corresponding icon on the pane.
  • In the "Preview" mode click on the created note — the "Editing" mode will be automatically activated. Click on the preview icon to stop editing there. Thus, notes can be quickly edited even in the preview.
  • Use a hotkey to toggle Preview/Editing mode. The default for this is Alt+Q (can be reassigned in MLO settings).

Basic Markdown syntax

Let's add the main elements: paragraphs and line breaks, headers, emphasis,lists, links and images.

Paragraphs and Line Breaks

To add a line break, you need to end a line with two or more spaces, then type return.


Setext-style headers are "underlined" using equal signs (for first-level headers) and dashes (for second-level headers), any number of underlining characters will work:

This is an H1
This is an H2

Atx-style headers use 1-6 hash characters at the start of the line, corresponding to header levels 1-6:

# This is an H1
## This is an H2
##### This is an H5


MLO Markdown treats asterisks * and underscores _ as indicators of emphasis. Text wrapped with one * or _ will be made italic; double *’s or _’s will be made bold:

*single asterisks*
_single underscores_
**double asterisks**
__double underscores__

Note: Emphasis can be used in the middle of a word as well. For example, you may type in: un*frigging*believable.


Markdown in MLO supports ordered (numbered) and unordered (bulleted) lists. Unordered lists use asterisks, pluses, and hyphens — interchangably — as list markers:

*   Red
*   Green
*   Blue
+   Red
+   Green
+   Blue
-   Red
-   Green
-   Blue

Tip: If you have sub points, put two spaces before the dash or star.

Ordered lists use numbers followed by periods. The actual numbers you use to mark the list have no effect on the output Markdown produces:

1.   Ready
2.   Steady
3.   Go
6.   Ready
1.   Steady
8.   Go


MLO supports two types of links: reference and inline.

Reference-style links use a second set of square brackets, inside which you place a label of your choosing to identify the link:

This is [an example][id] reference-style link.
[id]:  "Optional Title Here"

As for inline links, these are hidden within a text, like this:

This is [an example]( "Title") inline link.
[This link]( has no title attribute.

Tip: You can also add a link to your MLO tasks there using Task ID (can be found in Advanced -> Properties for a task).
For example: [New task](\\mlo:{53070B55-A8FF-4FAD-8ECD-15D8D429FFAF})

Tip: Links to third party services (like Evernote, Trello, Chrome) can be added as well.
For example, a link to Evernote will be: [Evernote](evernote:///view/165522/s417/c7fcd022-75e7609dec/c7fc2-4511-af8e-209dec/)


Images added to the notes can be stored on the Internet or locally, on your PC. The images placed to notes are neither saved in MLO nor sent to the MLO Cloud. The following syntax should be used for images:


As for images stored locally, they can be added to notes with a reference link, like:


Tip: If a folder name contains spaces, replace them with "%20" (see example above).

Note: Gif media can be added to task notes as well.


Markdown uses email-style > characters for blockquoting:

> This is the first level of quoting.
> > This is nested blockquote.
> Back to the first level.

Additional information

  • Colors with HTML

    If you have basic knowledge of HTML, you can apply colors. For example, type in:

    <span style="color:blue"> This text is blue.</span>
    <span style="color:red"> This text is red.</span>
    <span style="color:#59afe1"> This text is colored.</span>

    To achieve this:

     This text is blue.
     This text is red.
     This text is colored.
  • Changing image size with HTML

    The following syntax should be used:

    <img src="" style="width: 180px">

    To resize an image to the following:


    Note: Images stored locally cannot be resized with HTML in MLO and you need to resize them separately.

  • Adding certain literal characters

    To produce a literal asterisk or underscore at a position where it would otherwise be used as an emphasis delimiter, you can backslash escape it:

    \*this text is surrounded by literal asterisks*\

More detailed documentation on Markdown syntax can be found on the Daring Fireball site.

Video Example

Markdown in MLO 5