I’ve previously looked at a number of Markdown editors, to which there are a growing number. Although they are all based on Markdown principles they have different strengths. After having used numerous of the programs I’ve found two that I particularly like each having their own strengths.
Typed by RealMac Software
Typed is the new kid on the block. It is not chalk full of features but nothing really is when it comes to a markdown editor. What it does do though is present your fonts as you write in a very clean, polished fashion, something I’ve not quite seen before.
In fact, Typed is a very clean editor top to bottom. The fonts are clean and just the right size. It is this very clean, focused environment that makes it so ideal for writing. There is no clutter. Just nice sized letters on a clean sheet.
Daring Fireball is a good site for all markdown references
Typed uses pure Markdown protocols to produce a very clean output. That is, when you use the preview to see what it looks like when the text is written, it produces a soothing output.
Typed just introduced a typewriter like mode in which your line remains level with your line of sight as you type. This was number one on my hit list of desires so thus far I’m a happy camper.
Further, there is a focused view that highlights a line that you are writing on. I don’t tend to use this approach much but I should as it is very simple but actually incredibly powerful. As such, Typed is one of the nicest writing environments available.
Ulysses 2 a Powerful Editor with a Database Orientation
The Soulmen have just released the second version of Ulysses. Ulysses is a high end editor based on a Database. For the maintenance and control of written documents this approach cannot be beat.
I have written a lot about Ulysses III at the Daily Mac View all of it of a highly positive nature. I have tended to lean to this as my editor of choice however, I’m quite taken by the appearance of the fonts in Typed. Yet, one must remember this only works on the desktop. If you want to work on both your desktop and an iPad you’ll need to use Ulysses.
Typed if you Use the Desktop Soley
Since the fonts are so nice in Typed, the manner in which you write pleasant and the Preview mode just flows, Typed for me is my editor of choice on the desktop. To work in offline publishing mode, Marsedit remains my fallback solution for both Ulysses and Typed though I’m also considering Desk (I’ll look at Desk in an upcoming article).
Writing in Markdown is not so much about cost it’s about being able to just focus on the writing. If you can use an editor, that in any manner, just helps you with distraction free writing the cost is not relevant. You’re ability to produce is worth the costs. The costs are generally off written by the results.
Ulysses for Structure and Control
There is no question that Ulysses provides the most structure and control. In terms of the editor, the markdown syntax is buried in normal writing. Then, to polish it off, you’re writing exists in a structured database. It is very pleasant to know where everything exists and Ulysses provides extremely easy access to your articles.
Markdown is Still New and Exciting
Markdown itself started in 2004. It is new by any standard but it has been adopted so fast for quick, easy and portable writing it feels like it’s been around forever.
In addition, since it is so new, exciting approaches to the use of Markdown exists. Ulysses and Typed are only two approaches but two which I particularly like.
I wrote that Typed is only available at the desktop but in reality because it’s pure Markdown it doesn’t matter so much. You could take an iPad product, such as Daedalus Touch and write till you heart’s content and then pass the text to the desktop and Typed and continue write along. You don’t have the value of sync that you do in the iPad but I wanted to make it clear that if you wanted to write with Typed at the desktop and not fear impediment by an iPad there is a way around it.
That’s yet the biggest advantage of Markdown. It is simply plain text marked up then applied to being a document or most importantly living on the web. Thus, Markdown is the most open and free writing environment you could use. If a product dies or disappears you can use your text in any markdown editor you choose or even a plain text editor. You can’t loose your writing.
Currently My Choice is…
For the present, my choice for an editor on the desktop is Typed. I simply find it easy to read and it differentiates titles from paragraphs beautifully. It’s extremely well laid out so even when your in the process of writing it is fully understandble and clear to the eye.
It’s always important to remember that it’s incredibly simple to move to another editor. Freedom is the catchword where it comes to Markdown. Today it’s Typed but tomorrow it can be…