Mixing Markdown Syntax and Formatting Buttons

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hello, according tot he support docs, “Formatting can be applied by clicking the menu, using shortcut commands, or using the Markdown syntax” (emphasis added) for fields with Rich Text enabled, however when I add Markdown syntax, it is escaped in the API output (for example, *this* becomes \\*this\\* in the API output).

My interpretation of the documentation is that you can insert Markdown syntax directly without using the formatting buttons, but that doesn’t produce the API output I’m expecting, so I’m confused about how to get Markdown I insert in a rich text field without using the formatting buttons to show up unescaped in the output.

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When it comes to using the API to render content outside of Airtable, I think you need to best decide your approach. e.g., if you want something unescaped, unescape it in your API process.

If you think about it, if Airtable enforced unescape transformation in API responses that include rich-text fields, you would be unable to distinguish between words and phrases where an asterisk is actually wanted and where the asterisk is part of a markdown formatting.

But, you need to share a little more data about your use case. For example - you don’t indicate if you are applying markdown formatting to a field that is configured for markdown or one that is not. I typically use long text fields with markdown formatting but with the markdown feature disabled so that I don’t have to unescape anything at time of rendering.

Maybe share an example and how you are using the rich-text field?

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Thank you for your help!! Happy to elaborate a bit, but just want to reiterate that the documentation clearly implies (at least the way I’m reading it) that one can use markdown syntax within Rich Text fields or the formatting buttons, but empirically it seems that is an exclusive or, in that if you use the buttons (invoking the rich text) then any markdown elsewhere in the field is escaped.

My use case is that I use Airtable as the back end for a Jekyll site. I was on the free plan, so did not have the ability to use the Rich Text formatting within Airtable directly. I was using Markdown in a Long Text field, and then using the API to extract that content and feed my Jekyll site. The person entering one set of content is relatively new to Markdown, and so I researched ways to enable a WYSIWYG view on those long text fields, and so was delighted to find in the docs that with a paid plan I could (I thought) have the best of both worlds: a primarily WYSIWYG Rich Text editor, but retain the ability to use Markdown directly on occasion.

My conclusion here is that (a) I’ve misread the docs, and (b) the docs are at least a bit ambiguous in implying one can mix the rich-text formatting buttons/shortcuts and markdown syntax…

I think it’s (b). As soon as I read the docs, I could see the potential issue with this promise. How does one offer the ability to use hidden tags with visible tags? Short answer - not possible. And why is it not possible? Short answer again - there’s no way for the system to interpret what was manually tagged and what was done with a button.

I could be wrong or incomplete in my assertion, so I defer maybe to an Airtable engineer to weigh in.