How and when to format text as code
Amy Peterson avatar
Written by Amy Peterson
Updated over a week ago

How do I format my content as a code block?

DataCamp’s editor uses Markdown to format your text so that it renders as code. However, "code" and "code blocks" render differently and, not surprisingly, it's because they are formatted differently.

If you wish to format a single variable or function name, surround your text with single back-ticks (located in the upper left on your keyboard). Your variable or function will then render like this variable  or this function()  

If you want an entire code block, you need to surround your code with three sequential back-ticks at the top and the bottom of the block. 

# This is a code block example
def my_func()

Just make sure you add a line break before and after your code, or your code block won't render properly.

What should be formatted as code?

As you'd expect, any code should be formatted as code! This includes code blocks, variables, and functions. There are a few grey areas. Here's how we format at DataCamp:

  • Column names are formatted as code.

  • Library names should be formatted as code when referring to code, as in the following example: "numpy is loaded as np, and the tree_census array is available." However, library names aren't formatted as code if the context doesn't refer to code: "NumPy is a foundational Python library."

  • Even strings should be formatted as code if the string will be part of the learner's code if copied verbatim. For example, we'd write, "Filter the data to include only results where sex equals F." However, this same instruction could also be formatted as "Filter the data to include only results where the sex is female." The word "female" is not formatted as code, because the word female is not an expected part of the learner's code in the correct solution.

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