An argument for Markdown

For my professional writing, for tech news sites and tech vendors, nowadays I usually write in Markdown in Obsidian, export to Word using the Obsidian Pandoc plugin, and upload to Google Drive, convert to native Google Drive format, and share the link with the client.

Yeah, it’s a little fiddly but it only takes a couple of minutes.

Here’s why I do all that: Friday I get a Microsoft Word document back from a client for revisions. The Word document had a bullet list, and that bullet list needed to be revised. So, fine, I did the revisions in a half-hour…

… but in the course of that time, I lost the bullets on two of the items in the list, and spent an hour trying to figure out how to add those bullets again. I Googled, and asked ChatGPT, and Bing chat, and none of those tools provided the answer.

Today the answer occurred to me: I could duplicate the item that still had the bullet, and then paste the items with the missing bullets using “Paste and Match Formatting.” That didn’t work–but I was able at that point to add the bullets to their proper places, in the usual way.

I don’t run into those kinds of problems with Markdown. Markdown is predictable. Microsoft Word is not. There are even memes about how flaky and random Word can be.


If the Word document was going to end up as a native Google Doc, why not upload a copy of the client’s file and edit it online? You would still have the original if something went wrong and using File/Version History didn’t work for some reason.



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I completely feel your pain. I work in a role where I regularly either have to enter information into documents setup by our customers (questionaires, contracts, standards…) It’s amazing how badly someone can mess up the formatting in a document they didn’t create, therefore don’t understand.

I have two Word favourites.

  1. when someone adds a horizontal line and it’s night on impossible to get rid of and;
  2. When someone has numbering as part of their text styles, BUT IT MAKES NO SENSE.

But I can genuinely say that in the majority of cases, word is a great text editor and it can be used as an outliner too.

Good question and that is a key piece of information I left out.

This particular client wants Microsoft Word documents. Mostly I send them as Teams uploads, but in this case I did an email attachment.

How did you do that? What is that menu?

There is a big search button on most MS products where people who are unfamiliar with the Software can search for things.

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