All available glyphs are valid Markdown. The following sections are about the special ones, we can not use directly.

Escaping formatting Characters

The characters reserved for Markdown formatting are not directly available anymore. Depending on the circumstances, the Markdown renderer may sometimes recognize, when they are used literally. But we can’t count on that and have to escape them by adding a backslash \ in front.

When we escape a number sign \# for example it’s just the number sign ‘#’ and not a formatting character anymore.

HTML Entities

Entities are ASCII codes for Unicode glyphs. These codes begin with an ampersand & and end with a semicolon ;. For example:

  1. ¶ means the paragraph glyph ¶ .

  2. § means the section glyph § .

  3. ℝ means the set of real numbers ℝ .

For more exotic ones you should check, if they are available in the IBM Plex fonts this theme is shipping with. If a glyph is missing there, the browsers will first try to use a local font and may display a glyph with a more or less noticeable different shape. And if they can’t find it anywhere, they will display an ugly placeholder. You may take a good look at the the real set ℝ in example 3, it’s not included in Plex.

Please remember the two often neglected sets of general entities, which are meant to facilitate nice typography — the ones for spacing and (not) breaking.


Good typography needs the right amount of space between type. For the most part this is the job of the web designer. But the horizontal space inside the text remains the responsibility of the author. When some words or characters need more or less horizontal space, the Markdown should include this information:

NameEntity CodeExample
No spacexx
Normal spaceSpacex x
Hair space x x
Thin space x x
en space (wide as an n) x x
em space (wide as an m) x x
num space 1 3

Breaking Words — or not

The major browsers do support hyphenation nowadays, Perplex includes a polyfill for the ones that don’t. That’s why we usually don’t need to introduce soft hyphens anymore.

The non-breaking entities are meant for situations where characters or words should never be separated by a new line.

Soft hyphen­x­x
Non breaking space x x
Narrow non breaking space x x