The Orchard Developer Team released Orchard 1.3 yesterday. You can download Orchard 1.3 from CodePlex and soon you will be able to download Orchard 1.3 via the WebMatrix Web Gallery. Orchard 1.3 has a number of really cool features for Orchard Developers and Orchard Website Owners. One feature I would like to discuss is the new Markdown support in Orchard 1.3 for Content Authoring, such as creating Orchard Website Pages and Orchard Blog Posts. Markdown support in Orchard 1.3 is supported out-of-the-box, but you will need to enable the Markdown Feature and modify a few settings to get it working when authoring Pages and Blog Posts. In this Orchard Tutorial, I will help you get started into the wonderful world of Markdown in Orchard!

Download and Install Orchard 1.3

The Markdown Module comes with Orchard 1.3, so if you haven't already, you will need to download and install Orchard 1.3 from CodePlex. Depending on when you read this tutorial, you may also be able to install Orchard 1.3 from the WebMatrix Web Gallery. You can also download and install Orchard from the Web Platform Installer, but I am not sure if it support Orchard 1.3 at the moment either. Orchard 1.3 just came out so your safest bet is downloading Orchard 1.3 from CodePlex for the moment.

Once Orchard 1.3 is installed, the website is running, and you are logged in as an Orchard Administrator, you will need to enable the Markdown Feature that is disabled by default.

Enabling Markdown in Orchard 1.3

To enable Markdown in Orchard 1.3, click on the Modules Menu Item in the Orchard Dashboard. Choose the Features Tab and type in "Markdown" in the module filter. The Markdown Module will be shown and click Enable to enable the feature!

Orchard 1.3 Markdown Module

Enabling Markdown in Pages and Blog Posts

By default the Body Parts of Orchard Pages and Blog Posts in Orchard 1.3 are set to html. Your mission is to set the Flavor to markdown for those content items you wish to author in Markdown.

You do this by choosing the Content Menu Item in the Orchard Dashboard and then choosing the Content Types Tab. You will now see a list of the various content types in your Orchard Website instance. Two of the content types should be Page and Blog Post unless you chose otherwise during the installation and configuration of your Orchard Website.

Choosing to edit the Blog Post Content Type and inspecting the Body Part will reveal a Body Settings with a Flavor of html. Go ahead and replace the word html with markdown to enable Markdown as the markup for all blog posts. Make sure you save the changes!

Enable Markdown in Blog Post and Pages in Orchard CMS

You can follow this same process for changing the markup to Markdown in Orchard Pages as well. Or not. You can mix and match the various markup settings of html, markdown, and text as you wish.

Author Pages and Blog Posts in Orchard in Markdown

Assuming you have created an Orchard Blog, you can start authoring blog posts in Markdown. If you changed Orchard Pages to support Markdown, you can also create or edit an Orchard Page in Markdown.

You will notice a slightly different look to the content editor, and yes, the media picker does indeed add media files properly using the Markdown Syntax! As you type Markdown in the editor, you get a real-time preview of the results in the Preview Pane! It's a beautiful thing!

Author Pages and Blog Posts in Orchard in Markdown

Using Markdown to author your blog posts, pages, and other content items in Orchard CMS can be really addicting. Markdown provides a nice human readable form to your content and a number of tools and hosted services support Markdown.


This is just one of a number of Orchard 1.3 Tutorials I have planned over the next few weeks. If you are looking for an ASP.NET Content Management System for your website, I highly recommend Orchard. If you need help, I develop Orchard Websites, Custom Modules, and Custom Themes all day long and would be happy to assist you. Contact me!