Introducing markdown shortcuts in Asana

Hi folks,

Today we’re excited to share that markdown shortcuts are coming to Asana! Markdown is a quick way to format text using some simple syntax, and allowing you to style your text while typing.

Markdown has always been a super popular request in our Community Forum – in fact, it’s currently the second most upvoted #productfeedback post in our community forum, so thanks to all of you who have advocated for this feature and inspiring our team to build it! Please note this is our first shot at markdown, and while this update doesn’t support all markdown shortcuts, we’re hoping to continue developing it in the future.

Here’s the list of markdown shortcuts supported in Asana.


Transformations that happen automatically as you type:


Transformations that require a space at the end:

You can now also add a link to any piece of text by “pasting the link” on the text. Here’s how:

  1. Copying the link to your clipboard
  2. Select the piece of text you’d like to link
  3. Press control+v to paste.
  4. Your text is hyperlinked to the link on your clipboard.

Please note that this update is rolling out gradually, it is currently available to 10% of our customers and should become available to everyone over the next couple of days.

25 Likes

Thanks for adding this. I think I speak for everyone who voted on this feature in saying that we look forward to you folks rolling out more robust markdown support that can handle things that we couldn’t already do with keyboard shortcuts or the WSIWYG editor. Things like:

  • Actual inline code
  • Multi-line code
  • Heading levels
  • Quote blocks, etc.

Quote from @Marie:

“We do not share a product roadmap because we are unable to promise a timeline and we want to ensure that the features and updates we release are as well made as possible. We wouldn’t want to release a sub-par feature just to meet a deadline - quality is super important to us. So, while we can’t promise a timeline or specific features, we can promise that we take your feedback seriously and we are considering it alongside other customer feedback at Asana.”

I’m confident you folks will get this feature rolled out in a way that satisfies users in the near future. :tada:

19 Likes

Thank you for the follow-up and update!

Please note this is our first shot at markdown, and while this update doesn’t support all markdown shortcuts, we’re hoping to continue developing it in the future.

This feels a bit like a workaround instead of a real markdown support. Like @Skyler said, these are most things that were already part of your wysiwyg, we actually need the parts you don’t actually have in the wysiwyg.

Now it just convert basic markdown markup to your own wysiwyg markup. I know this is why you probably named it Markdown Shortcuts, but this isn’t exactly what that #productfeedback thread was asking for. :confused:

10 Likes

:confused:

8 Likes

I got excited when I read there is an update on markdown in Asana and immediately got disappointed, for the same reasons as already mentioned by others.

Please bring the code formatting to Asana. At least the triple quote would already help a lot.

Nonetheless first baby steps in the right direction.

8 Likes

While I would really like to give Asana Dev a big ‘attaboy’ for giving the Markdown request some attention, I have to echo what others have already stated - this appears to be duct tape instead of a real Markdown implementation AND what was introduced just mimics what the existing Asana rich text editor already does. Maybe that’s how the development needs to proceed, but I would encourage Asana Dev to consider JUST IMPLEMENTING REAL MARKDOWN.

If there are reasons that can’t/shouldn’t be done, it would be nice to know what those reasons are. Our team will certainly make use of whatever Markdown is available, but…

PS. If Asana Dev is interested in seeing how well an app/service can implement Markdown, you can take a look at Notion (https://www.notion.so/product). One of the best embedded implementations I’ve come across. On the fly rendering of Markdown tags.

7 Likes

Same here – initially excited to see that markdown was finally coming, but since what I really wanted was the ability to format blocks of code using tripe backtick this unfortunately didn’t vibe with me or my team

2 Likes

Same, can’t wait for headings, in particular. A must-have for content edition. My current workaround is to bold + underline “titles”.

3 Likes

Hi folks and as always thank you so much for sharing your feedback with us!

We have a lot more exciting updates on the way, including headers, inline code, multi-line code, quote blocks and more… but these require a little more work on our end and should launch within the next couple of months! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to continue sharing your feedback in Feature request: Markdown to help us plan for future updates! i’ll be in touch here as soon as I have some news!

8 Likes

I am so used to a single * or _ being for italic and two ** or __ being for bold (not * or ** for bold and _ or __ for italic) so this is going to mess me up. Maybe it’s just me?

Thanks for that information Marie, good to know that the additional markdown features are in the pipeline.

1 Like

This is great, any way to have this work during CSV import?

@Dave_Main, I’d recommend upvoting this thread created by @Jerod_Hillard Markdown support for CSV imports!

1 Like

Hi,

I am copying and pasting markdown text from our test platform into Asana. The formatting is not being applied to the pasted text, instead I see the markdown code.

i.e. **user** instead of user.

How do I get Asana to display the formatting without having to type the text in manually?

Thanks,
Claire

Hi @Claire_Coupland and welcome to the forum!

@Marie has clarified to us that at present markdown only works for text that’s manually typed in; it’s not applied to text that’s pasted in:

https://forum.asana.com/t/upcoming-product-update-markdown-shortcuts-and-a-new-text-editor/93619/7

2 Likes

We really need multi-line markdowns for sending code blocks and such into our Asana. What’s really ironic is that I can do that through the forum using the </> icon, but NOT from the actual Asana app? Come on guys, we’re in 2020…

@Patrick_Cardin, sit tight, it’s on our list, if you haven’t yet, check out my latest update here!

A post was split to a new topic: Copying a link into Asana only copies the URL

As others have expressed, I’d like to see additional functionality specifically around code or syntax formatting.
I’d also like the ability to nest formatted code within quote blocks ie:

Sample quote text

sample code with the ability to change to different color / insert a code snippet

more sample quote text

This is important for us when it comes to sharing/tracking customer feedback especially around bugs and feature requests.

1 Like

What I especially miss are the blockquotes (with > some-text-to-be-quoted and code blocks (with triple-backticks, ideally in the gitlab way of allowing settings the language for syntax highlighting)

See https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/markdown.html#blockquotes and https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/markdown.html#code-spans-and-blocks

As others have said it looks like what was added was Markdown-like shortcuts to convert to the existing Asana RTF (https://developers.asana.com/docs/writing-rich-text). I understand it’s a backwards-compatibility headache to allow just storing Markdown instead and rendering that, I don’t begrudge you having to solve that.