What Is an MD File?

How to open, edit, and convert MD files

What to Know

  • Most MD files are Markdown Documentation files.
  • Open one with MarkPad, Visual Studio Code, or another text editor.
  • Convert to HTML, DOCX, TXT, PDF, and others with those programs or another like Dillinger.

This article describes what MD files are, how to open the different types (there are several), and what you need to do to convert one to a different format.

What Is an MD File?

There are several different file formats that utilize the MD file extension. It's important to recognize which format your file is in before you decide which program you need to open or convert it.

Markdown Documentation Files

A .MD or .MARKDOWN file might be a Markdown Documentation file. It's a plain text file that uses the Markdown language to describe how to format the document. README.md is a common MD file that holds text instructions.

SEGA Mega Drive ROM Files

SEGA Mega Drive ROM files use the MD file extension as well. They're a digital representation of a physical game from the SEGA Mega Drive console (called SEGA Genesis in North America). Emulation software uses the MD file to play the game on a computer.

Moneydance Financial Data Files

Another file format that uses the MD file extension is Moneydance Financial Data. The MD file stores transactions, budgets, stock information, bank accounts, and other related data for the Moneydance finance software. However, newer versions of the program use .MONEYDANCE files instead.

MDCD Files

When one or more files are compressed with MDCD compression, the result is called an MDCD Compressed Archive, also ending with MD.

Machine Description Files

Yet another type of MD file is reserved for Machine Description files. These are programming files used on some Unix systems for compiling software programs.

SharkPort Saved Game Files

SharkPort Saved Game files are stored with the MD file extension, too. They're saved PlayStation 2 games created by the SharkPort device and used for copying saved games to a computer.

MD Files

Considering the brevity of this file extension, it's also an abbreviation for a number of technology terms: mini disc, microdrive, machine-dependent, and manufacturer discontinued are a few examples. The md (make directory) Command Prompt command is another. However, none of those terms have anything to do with the file formats described on this page.

Open and Convert Markdown Documentation Files

Since these MD files are just plain text documents, you can open one with any text editor, like Notepad or WordPad in Windows. We have a list of other free text editors you can use instead. Here are some more specialized tools for opening and converting Markdown files:

  • MarkPad is an editor/viewer that opens MD, MDOWN, MARKDOWN, and MKD files.
  • You can convert MD to HTML with a program called Markdown. It's released by the creator of the Markdown language, John Gruber. Another MD-to-HTML converter is available through the Markdown Preview Plus extension for the Chrome browser.
  • Convert MD to PDF with the free online Markdown converter at Markdowntopdf.com.
  • Dillinger is an online MD editor that runs in your web browser. It also converts markdown files to HTML and PDF.
  • Use CloudConvert to save the MD file to the DOCX MS Word format. Other text-based formats are supported, too, like HTML TXT, RTF, and PDF.
  • Another online Markdown converter you can try is available at pandoc. It supports lots of formats, including DocBook v5, ICML, LaTeX, S5, and MediaWiki.
MD file open in MarkPad in Windows 10

Open and Convert SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive ROM Files

MD files in this format can be converted to BIN (the Sega Genesis Game ROM file format) using SBWin. Once in that format, you can open the ROM with Gens Plus! or Kega Fusion.

Open and Convert Moneydance Financial Data Files

Moneydance opens MD files that are created in that program. The program creates MONEYDANCE files by default, but since it replaces the older format, it's still able to open MD files.

To convert the MD file to a format that makes it usable in other software like Intuit Quicken or Microsoft Money, use the File > Export menu in Moneydance. The supported export formats include QIF, TXT, and JSON.

Microsoft Money has been discontinued since 2009, but you might have luck converting the MD file to a format usable by Microsoft's replacement for the software, called Money Plus Sunset, which has the .MNY file extension.

Open and Convert MDCD Compressed Archive Files

The mdcd10.arc file compression/decompression command-line software can open MDCD compressed files.

Once the files are extracted, you can compress them again in a new format like ZIP, RAR or 7Z, using most file compression and unzip tools. This is essentially how you can "convert" this kind of MD file.

Open and Convert Machine Description Files

MD files that are Machine Description files are similar to Markdown Documentation files mentioned above in that they are plain text files that can be read with any text editor. You can use any of those text editors linked above to open these kinds of MD files.

There's probably little reason to convert a Machine Description file to another format but if you need it to be in some other text-based format, the text editors will surely do.

Open and Convert SharkPort Saved Game Files

PS2 Save Builder is used to open MD files that are SharkPort Saved Game files. It can also open a number of other similar file formats like PWS, MAX, CBS, PSU, NPO, SPO, SPS, P2M, XPO, and XPS.

The PS2 Save Builder tool can also be used to convert the MD file to some of those same formats.

Still Can't Open the File?

It should be easy enough to get your file to open in one of the programs above, given the fact that there are several file formats that use an MD file. However, if you're misreading the file extension, it's very possible that none of these programs will work with your file.

Read the file extension again, making sure that you aren't confusing it with one that's just spelled similarly. For example, MDB files won't work with the software from above since they're in the Microsoft Access file format. The same is true for others like MDW, MDD, DM, MDF, MDX, MDI, MNY, MDJ, and ND files.

Research the actual letters and numbers that are appended to the end of the file to find out more about the file format, including which programs are able to open/play/read the file and how you can convert the file to a different format.

  • What are MD files from GitHub?

    GitHub is a cloud-based online service for programmers and developers. It’s a place to manage, store, and track changes to their projects. Programmers and developers who work with GitHub often use the MD file extension for README files in the Markdown Documentation file format (readme.md).

  • How do I create an MD file?

    To create a Markdown Documentation file, the most common MD file type, open a text editor, create the new file, then name the file something like Readme.md, or anything else that makes sense, using the .md extension.

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