The Markua Specification
This book is 98% complete
Last updated on 2019-05-08
About the Book
Imagine you owned a magical typewriter.
When you used this magical typewriter, you wrote with fewer distractions. You didn't just write faster, you wrote better.
With your magical typewriter, you never worried about layout. The book formatted itself.
You could hit a key on your magical typewriter to create an ebook from your manuscript with one click.
All ebook formats would be created, and they'd all look good. You'd have PDF for computers, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for everywhere else. The book would look great on phones.
With your magical typewriter, you could publish your book before it was even done, and get feedback from readers all over the world. You could automatically share book updates with them. You would press one key on your magical typewriter to publish a new version, and all your readers would have it instantly.
With your magical typewriter, you could easily compare your current manuscript to any other version of your manuscript that had ever existed.
When the book was done, if you decided to make a print book, you could press a key on your magical typewriter to generate InDesign with one click. Your designer or publisher could use this as a starting point for producing a great looking print book.
With your magical typewriter, you'd only have to do one thing: Write.
Wouldn't it be great if such a magical typewriter existed?
It does. At Leanpub, we're building it.
But there's one requirement for this magical typewriter to exist: a simple, coherent, open source, free, plain text format for a book manuscript.
This simple format is what authors will write their books in, instead of Word. It will enable an ecosystem of tools to emerge around it.
This simple format will be the basis for the magical typewriter.
This simple format is called Markua.
This is its specification.
- The Magical Typewriter
- Note for Leanpub Authors
- What is Markua?
- How to Write a Novel in Markua
- Minimal Formatting
- Markua: Markdown for Books
- Text Formatting
- Design Goals of Markua Headings
- Differences with Markdown Headings
- Paragraphs and Blank Lines
- Resource Insertion Methods
- Resource Locations
- Resource Types and Formats
Whitespace: Spaces, Tabs and Newlines
- Spaces and Tabs
- Bulleted Lists
- Numbered Lists
- Simple Lists
- Flat Lists
- Complex Lists
- Definition Lists
Scene Breaks (
* * *)
Page Breaks (
- Inserting Block Elements Inside Paragraphs
- Scene Breaks (
Quizzes and Exercises
- Quiz and Exercise Headings and Other Content
- An Empty Quiz or Exercise is Not an Error
- A Malformed Quiz or Exercise is an Error
- Supported Attributes on Quizzes and/or Exercises
- Question Types: Multiple Choice, Multiple Selection, Fill In The Blank, Written
- Markua Processor Behaviour
- Creating a Course or MOOC from a Markua Document
- Question Alternates
Explicitly Creating Spans with
- Footnotes and Endnotes
- Crosslinks and ids
Character Substitution (
X --for X –,
- Soft Hyphen
Escaping Special Characters with Backslash (
Code Spans and Backticks (
Unicode Entities with
- Index Entries
- Nesting Formatting
- Origins of Markua
- Why the Name “Markua”?
- Plain Text Encoding in UTF-8
- No Inline HTML
- Markua Specification Scope
- No Canonical HTML Mapping
- Differences with Markdown
- Differences with Leanpub Flavoured Markdown
- Example of Why One Blank Line Is Added When Concatenating Manuscript Files
- Markua Specification Status
- A Note For Leanpub Authors
The Leanpub 45-day 100% Happiness Guarantee
Within 45 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.
See full terms
Free Updates. Free App. DRM Free.
If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).
Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers), EPUB (for phones and tablets), MOBI (for Kindle) and in the free Leanpub App (for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.
Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.