Structured text is text that uses indentation and simple symbology to indicate the structure of a document. For the next generation of structured text, see MoinMoin:ReStructuredText and [http://dev.zope.org/Members/jim/StructuredTextWiki/StructuredTextNG here].
A structured string consists of a sequence of paragraphs separated by one or more blank lines. Each paragraph has a level which is defined as the minimum indentation of the paragraph. A paragraph is a sub-paragraph of another paragraph if the other paragraph is the last preceding paragraph that has a lower level.
Special symbology is used to indicate special constructs:
A single-line paragraph whose immediately succeeding paragraphs are lower level is treated as a header.
A paragraph that begins with a '-', '*', or 'o' is treated as an unordered list (bullet) element.
A paragraph that begins with a sequence of digits followed by a white-space character is treated as an ordered list element.
A paragraph that begins with a sequence of sequences, where each sequence is a sequence of digits or a sequence of letters followed by a period, is treated as an ordered list element.
A paragraph with a first line that contains some text, followed by some white-space and '--' is treated as a descriptive list element. The leading text is treated as the element title.
Sub-paragraphs of a paragraph that ends in the word 'example' or the word 'examples', or '::' is treated as example code and is output as is.
Text enclosed single quotes (with white-space to the left of the first quote and whitespace or puctuation to the right of the second quote) is treated as example code.
Text surrounded by '' characters (with white-space to the left of the first '' and whitespace or puctuation to the right of the second '*') is emphasized.
Text surrounded by '' characters (with white-space to the left of the first '' and whitespace or puctuation to the right of the second '**') is made strong.
Text surrounded by '_' underscore characters (with whitespace to the left and whitespace or punctuation to the right) is made underlined.
Text encloded by double quotes followed by a colon, a URL, and concluded by punctuation plus white space, or just white space, is treated as a hyper link. For example:
"Zope":http://www.zope.org/ is ...
Is interpreted as 'http://www.zope.org/">Zope is ....'
'''Note:''' This works for relative as well as absolute URLs.
Text enclosed by double quotes followed by a comma, one or more spaces, an absolute URL and concluded by punctuation plus white space, or just white space, is treated as a hyper link. For example:
"mail me", mailto:email@example.com.
Is interpreted as 'mail me.'
Text enclosed in brackets which consists only of letters, digits, underscores and dashes is treated as hyper links within the document. For example:
As demonstrated by Smith  this technique is quite effective.
Is interpreted as '... by Smith  this ...'. Together with the next rule this allows easy coding of references or end notes.
Text enclosed in brackets which is preceded by the start of a line, two periods and a space is treated as a named link. For example:
..  "Effective Techniques" Smith, Joe ...
Is interpreted as ' "Effective Techniques" ...'. Together with the previous rule this allows easy coding of references or end notes.
A paragraph that has blocks of text enclosed in '||' is treated as a table. The text blocks correspond to table cells and table rows are denoted by newlines. By default the cells are center aligned. A cell can span more than one column by preceding a block of text with an equivalent number of cell separators '||'. Newlines and '|' cannot be a part of the cell text. For example:
|||| **Ingredients** || || *Name* || *Amount* || ||Spam||10|| ||Eggs||3||
renders like this: |||| Ingredients || || Name || Amount || ||Spam||10|| ||Eggs||3||