Have the Markdown reference under the message textarea also works as formatting buttons

The main message textarea has this nice feature that after the user starts writing in it, it displays a quick reference of the syntax of the main markdown formats. ( bold, italic, strike, code, quote and a link the the main markdown help page)
This is a great feature that lets users unfamilier with markdown use the basics, but the way this help is displayed makes it looks a lot like the quick format buttons that you see on most forums (including this one), and I found myself trying to click the help more than once.
Since the ergonomy of a formatting bar is already here, why not make it one ? The help text of each format could double down as a button adding the formatting characters around the cursor, or around highligted text if there is some.


  • Useful to users who really can’t get into Mardown but are used to forums quick format bar
  • Helps accessibility for users on visual keyboard


  • Users could simply not notice the existence of the feature if is integrated without visual change


The quick reference could double down as a forum-like formatting bar.