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Where is the documentation for the markdown codes used on these pages? I'm trying to RTFM, but can't find the M. I did look in HELP, but it's not there.
Below where I'm typing this, there is a brief description of bold, italics, and "code" (Mono-space font? Not sure, haven't tried it). In the bar above there are buttons for those (not sure what the point is if you can just type the characters), and 7 other things. However, those other things don't explain themselves, so you can't learn from them.
For example, I tried to use a numbered list in another post. I clicked the button, and it seeded the first entry numbered 1. However, there was no obvious way to start the next entry. Clicking the button again created a new subordinate list (makes sense). Unfortunately, whatever syntax it created was hidden, so I couldn't replicate it for the next entry. I gave up and just started new paragraphs with a number.
I want to write some canonical questions and other documents, and I care that they look well formatted. Using the buttons isn't an answer. First, that takes longer, breaks the flow of typing, and is thereby tedius. Second, you can't do that when preparing a document off-line in a text editor.
"It's standard markdown" isn't an answer either. I've been on a lot of sites that called their markup language "markdown", but each had different details. I'm looking for the document that describes how this site works.
It would also be nice to know what HTML is supported, because I'll use that whenever possible. Unlike markdown, HTML is a real standard, and can be previewed off-line with a browser. Apparently HTML special characters with the &xxx; syntax is supported, but little else I've found so far.
Markdown does have a standard these days - CommonMark. We generally support anything that's in the CommonMark specification, plus some other useful bits.
If you hover over the buttons in the toolbar, they should give you a tooltip with a simple hint at what it does. Here's the quickstart guide:
Code/monospace: `text` is
Bullets: start your lines with
Numbered lists: start your lines with
Headers: start your line with
##for H2, etc. Must have a space between
#and the start of your text.
---on a line on its own.
Bonus round: footnotes: use
[^2], etc., inline, and add
[^1]: wordsto the bottom of your post for automatic formatting and linking. 
As for HTML, here is the full list of allowed tags and attributes - notice that there are two different lists: one for posts and another for comments.
Some sites additionally have MathJax enabled, which has its own syntax. MathJax blocks are bookended by
$$ at the start and end.
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