Feature request: Markdown


#1

Please, PLEASE, for the love of god, allow us to use Markdown in tasks and comments in Asana. It’s more or less the lingua franca for developers who need to write formatted text on the web at this point and it’s very very frustrating to have to rely on 2000s-style rich text in this tool.

Come on, even the community platform that I’m submitting this feature request through supports markdown! irony


Create links from all protocols, not just http(s)://
#2

This is just silly. Surely?


#3

The snapshot that you posted is taken from the frame that you used to reply on this thread, right?

I do believe that John was referring to the frame used to insert the description of a task or to add a comment. Indeed, markdown is not implemented.

I support his proposal.


#4

Yes that’s the frame. This community is powered by entirely different software https://www.discourse.org/


#5

Yeah. I was agreeing with him.


#6

Hehe glad to know you like the setup of our Community software! :slight_smile: We’ll make a note that this is something you’d like in Asana tasks. I’d love to dig a little deeper on this one, though. @John_Berry I hear you when you say it’s the lingua franca for developers…where do you see this being particularly useful in Asana? What do you hope to achieve that the current settings don’t accommodate?


#7

When I discussing code changes with other devs on my team in Asana, I would love be able to format comments and task descriptions the same way that I do on Github, using Markdown. Especially when pasting in code fragments, it’s extremely hard to get readable text with just the simple bold/italic/underline/monospace options that you provide. This makes it painful for our team to communicate inside Asana!


#8

Markdown would be an amazing addition!


#9

I’ll take a stab at answering this:

  • I don’t want to use keyboard shortcuts and highlighting snippets of text to make something monospace. I want to use a couple of backticks, and call it good.
  • I want to be able to copy and paste from a markdown document directly into an Asana task. I want a text format that can be rendered in an environment other than Asana. It should be portable.
  • I want to be able to type in a window, and not have Asana “correct” my “mistakes”. In particular, Asana’s bulleting system is painful to work with. I fight with it as much or more than I used to fight with Microsoft Word’s intelligent formatting. I’m guessing a fair amount of your user base are developers. They type pretty fast, and they’re used to typing in source code to get rendered output.
  • Most importantly, I want to be able to embed language-specific syntax-higlighted code into my Asana descriptions and comments.

That last is significant. Look at what Slack does. We switched from Skype to Slack for several reasons at our company, but the ability to pass each other code snippets in chat, and have it be as readable as in an IDE, was a strong get for us.


#10

This is extremely helpful, @Aron_Beal. Thank you for providing so much detail! This is exactly the kind of information our product team can factor into their decision making. We appreciate it.


#11

@Alexis:
Just to chip into the choir:
Lack of markdown is a showstopper for us here at Things in Flow too.

I’ve just spent 2 days evaluating a full switch to Asana for a most of our systems (task management, lead management (CRM) and team productivity etc.) just to end up concluding that Asana could do anything we needed – except support consistent text markup!

(I apparently simply couldn’t imagine that a mature and popular task management system like Asana didn’t didn’t support that – so I didn’t even think of checking that as the first thing in my research…)

All of your major competitors that we know of and use regularly supports markdown: Trello, Jira, Assembla, Trac… etc. Really can’t understand why Asana don’t. The only other “professional level” feature I’ve noticed that you’re missing is ticket numbering – which we as a small company can currently live without (but I think it should be an option to turn it on anyway).

If you still need convincing then try watching this Google Trend graph for the term “Markdown”:

As you can see markdown isn’t a shortlived fad that will go away anytime soon – on the contrary it’s an integral part of the major “content as code” megatrend, that is coming to all kinds of professional services these years.

So in our opinion you really, really, really should support markdown as soon as possibly in order to stay relevant in the professional commuity.

PS
Our primary use for markdown is the ability to make the descriptions more easily readable by adding titles and subtitles (#, ##, …), lists (*), code snippets (``) and links in a consistent and non-guessy way. Especially the ability to specify links is important as just a couple of bloated gDoc-links will totally destroy the readability of any description. Links are also important in order to support non-http protocol links (like evernote:// and trello:// or even message: ) – which are very important if you want to create an efficient mobile workflow etc.


#12

To add to this, as you mention in the Shortcuts FAQ:

Some shortcuts may not work on international keyboards.

This is true for my custom X11 keyboard layout (Linux), so currently I can’t use bullet lists or monospace at all.

If you’re wondering: markdown is very easy to learn, much easier than custom shortcuts (in my opinion). In fact, most of our non-dev team unintentionally uses markdown for comments and descriptions, such as lists prefixed with * or -. In these cases, “accidental” markdown usage would actually be very nice. These users apparently don’t know (or as in my case can’t use) the shortcuts provided and would generate nicely formatted content anyway.

Also, developers are quite used to platform-specific markdown “extensions”, the prime example being Github Flavoured Markdown. Github adds more shortcuts, such as auto-linking of issues by prefixing their ID with a hash (e.g. #514). Applying this to Asana objects (@-linking) wouldn’t be confusing, in fact, I think most people would expect it to work that way :slight_smile:

PS: Thank you for considering our suggestions!


#13

Hi everyone,

To add more to what has been said, I’d like to be able to add a markdown file, and then see it as html through Asana. That’s what I though was possible right now but this is not the case.

Thanks a lot for your consideration.


#14

This is the biggest use case for me. If we can’t support markdown, at least some way to format the text in this manner.


#15

@Alexis
Any indications on whether support for Markdown is on the Asana roadmap and when we might hope for it to arrive to this otherwise great project management product?


#16

We’re not able to provide an update on the product roadmap at this time. For more information about how we capture your product feedback from the community, please take a look at this post:


#17

+1 here too. We use markdown with other systems, but also document the markdown in Asana, and it just looks horrible and impossible to embed any code.

Also the current formatting is quite restrictive when attempting to build detailed documentation.


#18

Using Markdown for rich text formatting in Asana, would permit me to focus more on semantics and content and less on learning another set of keyboard shortcuts. The great thing about this is you can keep your keyboard shortcuts, simply make them render markdown syntax rather than proprietary magic.


#19

Here’s another vote strongly requesting Markdown support! Many developers (myself included) are very used to markdown… just working. I absolutely will never remember that Ctrl+Shift+Somethingorother is for bulleted lists, and I’ll never take the time to look it up – I’ll just start a line with *. Now, the beauty and great usefulness of markdown is that even when displayed non-richly, it’s meaningful… but it’d be really nice if it displayed richly :slight_smile:

I despise “intelligent” editors. Give me a plain text editor any day, where I can type what I actually mean to produce. Preferably with a preview function so I can tell if I’ve done it correctly. I prefer LaTeX and markdown over, e.g., Microsoft Word or… well, Asana’s rich text editor, every time.

I really, really, really want to be able to put syntax highlighting and really-simple-monospace formatting in comments. As a tool marketed towards developers, why can’t I put syntax highlighting in comments? Why doesn’t `$ echo foo` show up the way I want it to? I really feel like not supporting markdown violates in several ways the principle of least surprise, at this point.

Plus, echoing what others have said even more, schmancy shortcuts don’t work on international and mobile keyboards… but being able to type plain characters always does.

Please, please add markdown support :slight_smile:


#20

Markdown would really make Asana a truly great project and task management tool for high-velocity software teams! Trello supported it from the start.

I can’t see this as being a very expensive feature to ship and the value is big: think about all the software teams looking to switch from their task management tool that supports Markdown, e.g. Trello, to Asana that haven’t due to the fact that you don’t support Markdown in the task descriptions and comments.