.MD File Extension

Markdown Documentation File

Developer John Gruber
Popularity
4.0  |  386 Votes
 

What is an MD file?

An MD file is a text file created using one of several possible dialects of the Markdown language. It is saved in plain text format but includes inline symbols that define how to format the text (e.g. bold, indentations, headers, table formatting). MD files are designed for authoring plain text documentation that can be easily converted to HTML.

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Screenshot of a .md file in Caret
MD file open in Caret

MD files are not only useful for HTML documentation systems, but also for source code version control. This is because the files can be compared against historical revisions in human-readable text (whereas revisions to binary files cannot be compared easily). Projects created with GitHub, a popular online version control system, often use a file named README.md, which contains the readme for the project.

John Gruber, the developer of Markdown, has created a Perl program for converting Markdown to HTML. The program, called "Markdown," is available on the Daring Fireball website.

NOTE: Markdown files also use the .MARKDOWN extension.

How to open an MD file

You can open and edit an MD file in any text editor, including:

However, if you intend to edit an MD file, you may want to open it in a Markdown editor. Markdown editors provide editing and review tools that will help you apply Markdown syntax correctly. Some Markdown editors include:

  • ghostwriter (Windows, Linux)
  • MacDown (Mac)
  • Caret (cross-platform)
  • StackEdit (Web)
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Programs that open MD files

Windows
Included with OS
Included with OS
Free
Free Trial
Free
Mac
Included with OS
Free
Free
Free Trial
Free
Linux
Web
Free+
Chrome OS
Included with OS

SEGA Mega Drive ROM

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.2  |  41 Votes
 

Game ROM used by emulation software for the SEGA Mega Drive, an older game console (called the SEGA Genesis in North America); stores the contents of a game cartridge; used for running older games on the PC.

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NOTE: SBWin can be used to convert MD files to the .BIN SEGA game ROM format, which can be played by many different SEGA Master Drive/Genesis emulators.

Programs that open MD files

Windows
Free

Machine Description File

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.4  |  25 Votes
 

Programming file that contains an instruction pattern for each instruction that the target machine supports; referenced by the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), commonly used for compiling programs on Unix systems.

Programs that open or reference MD files

MDCD Compressed Archive

Developer Mike Davenport
Popularity
2.8  |  19 Votes
 

An MD file may also be a compressed archive created by MDCD, an archiving utility available for MS-DOS. It contains one or more compressed files. MD files are compressed using Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) compression.

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Developer Mike Davenport created MDCD in 1988. The compressed archives MDCD creates are similar to .ZOO files, in that both are compressed using LZW compression. However, while zoo was available primarily for Unix systems, MDCD was available only for MS-DOS.

NOTE: Some MDCD archives may use the .cd extension, instead of .md.

How to open an MD file

You can open an MD file and extract the files it contains with Deark (multiplatform) or MDCD. Because MDCD is available only for MS-DOS, you may have to run it in an MS-DOS emulator, such as DOSbox.

Programs that open MD files

Windows
Free
Free

MuseData Musical Score

Developer Walter B. Hewlett
Popularity
3.3  |  7 Votes
 

An MD file may also be a MuseData musical score. It contains plain text code that represents a piece of music and metadata describing that work. While MD files are no longer widely used, you can still open them with MuseScore and create sheet music from them.

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Screenshot of a .md file in MuseScore
MD file open in MuseScore

In 1983, developer Walter B. Hewlett created the MuseData music notation file format to represent the logical content of musical scores in a software-neutral fashion. To do this, Hewlett developed a format that utilized plain text notation to represent the measures, notes, rests, and emphases included in a piece of music. MD files also include a plain text header containing general information about the file, including when the file was created, what musical score, movement, or part it represents, and the instruments used to play it.

As digital music notation developed further, MD files largely became obsolete. However, many MD files are still available online, and you can open them with MuseScore, a free music composition and notation program.

How to open an MD file

You can open an MD file with MuseScore by selecting File → Open. If you receive an error message notifying you that your MD file is corrupted. If you do, click Ignore. The MD file will then appear in MuseScore as a musical score.

If you need only to see the plain text notation that an MD file contains, you can open it with any text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad, Apple TextEdit, or Github Atom.

How to convert an MD file

MuseScore can convert MD files to several different formats:

  • .MSCZ - MuseScore Compressed Score
  • .MSCX - MuseScore Music Score
  • .MXL - Compressed MusicXML File
  • .MUSICXML - MusicXML File
  • .MID, .MIDI - MIDI File
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
  • .WAV - WAVE Audio File
  • .MP3 - MP3 Audio File
  • .FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec File
  • .OGG - Ogg Vorbis Audio File

Programs that open MD files

Windows
Mac
Linux

Sharkport Saved Game File

Developer Sharkport
Popularity
2.3  |  18 Votes
 

File created by Sharkport, a hardware accessory for the PlayStation 2; contains a PS2 saved game created by the Sharkport device; used for copying saved games to the PC and sharing them with other players; can be converted to other saved game formats, such as .PSU, using the PS2 Save Builder.

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NOTE: Sharkport also now uses the .PS2 extension for saved games.

Programs that open MD files

Windows

Moneydance Financial Data File

Developer Reilly Technologies
Popularity
2.2  |  22 Votes
 

Data file saved by Moneydance, a personal finance software program similar to Intuit Quicken or Microsoft Money; stores bank accounts, transactions, budgets, stock portfolios, and other information.

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Moneydance supports Mac, Windows, Linux, OS/2, Solaris, and Unix platforms.

Programs that open MD files

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