Leanpub Flavoured Markdown vs. Markua

On Leanpub, there are two ways to write in plain text:

  1. Leanpub Flavoured Markdown (LFM)
  2. Markua

LFM came first; Markua is its replacement.

To write in LFM or Markua, you need to be in Dropbox, GitHub or Bitbucket writing mode, or you need to be writing in our in-browser text editor.

Both LFM and Markua are dialects of Markdown. Markua is newer and better than LFM, but there are still some advanced features in Markua that aren't finished yet.

There are three good reasons to write a book in Markua:

  1. It's the future of Leanpub.
  2. It has more features than LFM.
  3. You can also use Markua for courses.

There are three reasons to write a book in LFM:

  1. You don't like using beta software and you don't like reading specifications.
  2. Our Markua support is incomplete, and you don't want to figure out what works and what doesn't.
  3. You already started your book in LFM and you don't want to convert it yet.

Here's our opinion of these reasons:

  1. This isn't a very good reason. Even though our Markua support isn't complete, it already has more features than LFM. It's also just as fast and reliable as our LFM support is. The Markua spec is very readable, and is updated a lot more than this document.
  2. This is a pretty good reason. There's a mostly-complete list of what is still incomplete. However, this list isn't perfect, and it's still longer than it should be.
  3. This is definitely a good reason! If you have a mostly-complete book already written in LFM, you should keep it in LFM until the next edition or until you want to make a course.

Other Writing Modes

Finally, note that a book can be written in three other ways:

  1. Google Docs
  2. Our Visual Editor
  3. Bring Your Own Book

None of these modes use LFM or Markua:

  • In Google Docs you write in a WYSIWYG mode.
  • Our Visual Editor is a minimalist visual typewriter
  • In Bring Your Own Book you just upload PDF, EPUB and MOBI files

Switching Writing Modes

If you have an existing Leanpub book and you want to switch writing modes, you go here:

Author > Books > (your book) > Settings > Writing Mode

Again, Google Docs, our Visual Editor and Bring Your Own Book do not support Markua or LFM formatting.

Once you've chosen an appropriate writing mode, you then can switch between the Markua and LFM dialects of Markdown here:

Author > Books > (your book) > Settings > Markdown Dialect

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