Code spans

backtick string is a string of one or more backtick characters (`) that is neither preceded nor followed by a backtick.
A code span(@) begins with a backtick string and ends with a backtick string of equal length. The contents of the code span are the characters between the two backtick strings, normalized in the following ways:

  • First, line endings are converted to spaces.
  • If the resulting string both begins and ends with a space character, but does not consist entirely of space characters, a single space character is removed from the front and back. This allows you to include code that begins or ends with backtick characters, which must be separated by whitespace from the opening or closing backtick strings. This is a simple code span:

Example 338

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Here two backticks are used, because the code contains a backtick.
This example also illustrates stripping of a single leading and trailing space:

Example 339

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`` foo ` bar ``

<p><code>foo ` bar</code></p>

This example shows the motivation for stripping leading and trailing spaces:

Example 340

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` `` `


Note that only one space is stripped:

Example 341

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`  ``  `

<p><code> `` </code></p>

Only [spaces], and not [unicode whitespace] in general, are stripped in this way:

Example 342

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` a`

<p><code> a</code></p>

No stripping occurs if the code span contains only spaces:

Example 343

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` b `

<p><code> b </code></p>

Line endings are treated like spaces:

Example 344

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` `
`  `

<p><code> </code>
<code>  </code></p>

Example 345

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<p><code>foo bar   baz</code></p>

Example 346

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<p><code>foo </code></p>

Interior spaces are not collapsed:

Example 347

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`foo   bar 

<p><code>foo   bar  baz</code></p>

Note that browsers will typically collapse consecutive spaces when rendering <code> elements, so it is recommended that the following CSS be used:

code{white-space: pre-wrap;}

Note that backslash escapes do not work in code spans. All backslashes are treated literally:

Example 348

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Backslash escapes are never needed, because one can always choose a string of n backtick characters as delimiters, where the code does not contain any strings of exactly n backtick characters.

Example 349

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Example 350

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` foo `` bar `

<p><code>foo `` bar</code></p>

Code span backticks have higher precedence than any other inline constructs except HTML tags and autolinks. Thus, for example, this is not parsed as emphasized text, since the second * is part of a code span:

Example 351

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And this is not parsed as a link:

Example 352

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[not a `link](/foo`)

<p>[not a <code>link](/foo</code>)</p>

Code spans, HTML tags, and autolinks have the same precedence. Thus, this is code:

Example 353

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`<a href="`">`

<p><code>&lt;a href=&quot;</code>&quot;&gt;`</p>

But this is an HTML tag:

Example 354

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<a href="`">`

<p><a href="`">`</p>

And this is code:

Example 355

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But this is an autolink:

Example 356

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<p><a href="">`baz</a>`</p>

When a backtick string is not closed by a matching backtick string, we just have literal backticks:

Example 357

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Example 358

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The following case also illustrates the need for opening and closing backtick strings to be equal in length:

Example 359

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