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Introducing Markdown slides in Swipe

  • Horia Cernusca
  • November 21, 2013

At Swipe we believe we’re building the future of visual communication. Our goal is to change presentations forever, and we’re one step closer to that today.

We’ve worked hard since we launched our private beta to bring useful new features that we think will make a difference to your presentation experience. Our goal has always been to let you Swipe virtually anything, to anyone, anywhere. That’s quickly becoming a reality and we’re happy to announce that from today we’re allowing you to upload Markdown files straight into Swipe. This took a bit of magic on our part, and we hope you’ll love it.

Swipe

What is Markdown?

Markdown is a super simple syntax for writing html like a human. The goal behind it was to let people focus on writing. It’s quickly becoming the standard for writing online, replacing the heavy and not always accurate WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) text editors online. I’m writing this very blog post in Markdown, and you most likely will be doing that soon too.

Markdown lets you write like you normally would and mark certain parts of your text with specific symbols to make them look differently. We’ve put together a really simple guide that shows you how it all works, you can check it out here.

In the Swipe context, you just write what you want your slides to say in one simple text file, upload it to Swipe like you would any other file, and we break it up into slides and make it look beautiful on any size screen and let you present it live. It’s pretty incredible, and it might be our favorite thing we’ve done so far.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of great text editors that support markdown that we think can help you get started. There are tons, for all platforms, but these are our favorites for Mac, Windows, and Web.

Why Markdown

We love Markdown and the companies and products that embrace it. Some examples are SquareSpace, Ghost, GitHub, and Stack Overflow.

We always said that we’re not trying to make PowerPoint in the cloud, since Microsoft is already doing a great job at that. We’re trying to look beyond that and find new ways to create content and present it beautifully. Markdown gives us that opportunity, making publishing faster, simpler, and definitely more in the direction of how we think.

Quicker than Keynote or PowerPoint

You just have to write one clean and simple text file. Writing your slides in one single text file means that you can focus on content and not have to worry about text boxes, templates, placing things, creating new slides, duplicating layouts, etc. Keynote and Powerpoint are great, but we do think this is much quicker and in many ways - better.

We do all of the heavy lifting and make sure your file gets converted into beautiful slides that look great on any screen size. You can specify the color of the background, color of the font, and the type of font you want to use for the whole slide deck or on a slide-by-slide basis.

What you get is a beautiful deck that’s powered by HTML5, which looks simple in the way you want it to, and which takes as long to create as it does for you to write the sentences that show inside of your slides.

Templates to help you get started

We know that most people probably have never used Markdown and might find it complicated in the very beginning. We’ve put together a beautiful collection of “templates” that show what’s possible in a markdown slide and with tons of cool color suggestions. You can specify the slide color and font attributes on a slide-by-slide basis as well. Use our templates to play, lean, and extend as you go. It’s all pretty simple, we just wanted to help you make things pretty from the start.

Check out the Markdown templates here.

Send us your feedback

We’d love to hear what you think of Markdown support in Swipe. We need your feedback in order to make it better, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at [email protected] and let us know what you think. We’ll continually improve the way we handle Markdown in Swipe and with your feedback, it can only get better.

Horia Cernusca

Horia Cernusca

Co-founder & CEO of Swipe. Sometimes a designer, sometimes a writer.