Making Your README file readable on github on a Mac

January 6th, 2011

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I recently put a small project on github as an experiment. The biggest problem I had was getting the project’s README file to look right. Github supports a variety of markup languages, but not RTF (Rich Text Format), which is the file format the Cocoa text system uses. If you supply a RTF file and a github visitor clicks on it, the file is downloaded to the visitor’s computer. I tried supplying a plain text file as a workaround, but github displayed each paragraph as a single line, which is very annoying for the reader.

My solution was to paste my README file in TextWrangler and use the menu at the bottom of the window to tell TextWrangler to treat the file as a Markdown file, which is one of the markup languages github supports.

TextWrangler Markdown.png

I saved the file, added it to my git repository, and pushed the commit to github. I clicked the README file in github, and it looked decent, better than the plain text version I tried earlier.

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