Macs in Chemistry

Insanely great science

Markdown Editors

I use markdown extensively on my websites, “Markdown” is two things: (1) a plain text formatting syntax; and (2) a software tool, written in Perl, that converts the plain text formatting to HTML allowing you to build HTML documents in an easily readable form. I mainly use BBEdit and regard it as the “gold standard” but I keep an eye out for other markdown editors. As an aside I always get updates from the BBEdit site rather than the Mac AppStore since the AppStore version has a couple of limitations imposed by the Apple submission guidelines. As you might expect BBEdit is Mojave ready.

I’ve previously mentioned Markdown Pro which has been recently updated, this two pane editor allows you to write your document in one pane whilst giving you an instant preview of how the document will look. Markdown Pro now lets you add custom templates to the in built selection of templates. It supports export as HTML or PDF.The application was built for Mac OS X so takes advantage of many Mac OS features.

I’ve also heard good things about Marked it also has two panes and it will update a preview as you work (with several high-quality themes to choose from, or design your own), refreshing every time you save. It can even automatically scroll the preview to where you’re currently editing in your document. With one click you can copy HTML for posting online or including in web pages, copy rich text, save a PDF or print your work. Marked includes tools for handling page breaks, titles, table of contents and much more.

I’ve just come across another editor LoremIpsum, this also has a realtime markdown preview and has been enhanced for Mountain Lion. It includes, Bookmarks, Markdown smart editing, Cool light and dark themes, Comprehensive keyboard shortcuts, Word and character counters with live update, Autosave and document recovery, In-app themed HTML previews for Markdown documents with in-page anchors, Export your Markdown document to HTML, Well-designed Rich Text editor for .RTF documents.

I was recently sent a link to Mou which claims to be

The missing Markdown editor for web developers.

Mou offers syntax highlighting, live preview, sync scroll, fullscreen mode, auto save, powerful actions to allow rapid code inclusion, auto pair, custom themes (for those who like to write with green letters on a back background) and CSS, HTML and PDF export, enhanced CJK support. It also supports a variety of Asian languages, and auto-completion but I think only for English.

A new addition is the recently updated Markdown Live, it offers ,two columns: the text and the live HTML preview,Syntax highlight,4 stylish themes,10 wonderful HTML templates,Code-assist that simplifies your tagging work,Word/character/byte counter,Auto-completion,Line number display with highlight on current line,Large document support,Auto-sync the live preview with the position of cursor,Export to HTML pages,Export to PDF documents,Lightning fast renderer,Fullscreen mode,Support of writing in Chinese, Japanese and Korean,Colorful printing support.

Marko is a rather different application, you use Marko side-by-side with your favourite text editor to preview your Markdown documents as you write and it automatically reloads when you save your changes. It also exports well-formatted HTML or PDF, Copy plain HTML source code and supports Github Markdown extensions.

MultiMarkdown Composer has just had a major rewrite (latest version 2.5.3) and now supports improved editing engine with improved performance, accuracy, and ease of use, improved performance of the syntax highlighting engine, completely redesigned system for style themes with more flexibility and power. Support for elastic tabstops, improved Table of Contents, support for additional export options, show invisible characters(space, tabs, newlines), zoom the editing pane and preview pane in and out to your desired display size, built-in help system with improved documentation, built-in MultiMarkdown “cheat sheet” and much more!

Eratois a simple Markdown editor for the Mac. It is fast, extremely easy to use and gets out of your way. It offers full support for both regular Markdown syntax, GitHub flavoured markdown and YAML front matter.

Easy Markdown is another two pane editor, the text written on the left of the page (in normal text) becomes automatically a web page on the right of the window as-you-type, also there is an option to see the html auto-generated code. Optimized for Mavericks, runs also on Mountain Lion. The user can create correctly formatted web page without remembering the markdown rules thanks to the help from the app

Valletta is a single pane editor, Valletta's unique Combined View displays only the line under the cursor as Markdown source, and it displays the rest in "marked-down" form. It also includes a built-in quick reference card for those not as familiar with Markdown.

Ulysses III is a highly regarded 3 pane layout text editor for writers. Its clean, modern interface lets you focus on your work, without making any functional compromises whatsoever. File sharing via dropbox.

iA Writer is another two pane editor that takes advantage of a couple of Apple technologies such as iCloud syncing and an editor for iOS devices.

Byword2 is another markdown editor that is also available in an iOS version with iCloud or dropbox syncing. Interestingly it also includes an extensive VoiceOver API support for visual impaired users.

InkMark is an editor specifically designed for iOS7 on the iPad that supports Markdown.

Peppermint a sophisticated text editor that has dozens of plugins/extensions for everything you need: live preview your HTML, convert LESS or Markdown, beautify CSS/JS/HTML, complete FTP/SFTP support, Regex Editor, share your Gists and lots more!

MacDown is available for down or can been installed using Homebrew Cask:

brew cask install macdown.

MacDown is heavily influenced by Mou (which had a development hiatus), and they try to mimic much of its behaviour as much as possible.

Atom Cross-platform with a rich plugin infrastructure; customizable and hackable

Sublime Text 2 cross platform, under active development with version 3 available for beta test at the moment.

There is an interesting extension to Markdown here, Lazy References

Calca is a powerful symbolic calculator that updates as you type giving you instant answers. It solves equations and simplifies complex expressions. It's also a rich Markdown text editor so that you can explain your ideas alongside your calculations. This looks like a really interesting application, there is a comprehensive reference page that gives more details. There is a MacOSX version and an iOS version for your iPad or iPhone.

As they say choice is good.

Last Updated 31 January 2019