Focus on Your Writing by Using Markdown Editors

Last Updated on December 10, 2018

Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax created by John Gruber in 2004. It is designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write. Readability is at the very heart of Markdown. It offers the advantages of plain text, provides a convenient format for writing for the web, but it is not intended to be a replacement for HTML. Markdown is a writing format, not a publishing format.

Markdown has a much more basic syntax than HTML, leaving aside things like opening and closing tags, and instead uses punctuation and characters that all users will already use in daily writing. The punctuation characters have been carefully chosen so as to resemble what they mean. The intention is to ensure that the syntax does not stop the flow of writing, allowing the author to focus on content, rather than how it looks. In this way, Markdown shares a common bond with LaTeX, a document preparation system for high quality typesetting, which also encourages authors not to focus too much on the appearance, but to concentrate on the right content.

Markdown is a minimal markup language and can be easily read with any text editor. There are powerful online Markdown editors. Further, there are syntax highlighting plugins available for standard text editors such as emacs, vim, and gedit. However, the focus of this article is to identify specially-developed editors which help authors fully exploit all of the advantages that Markdown has to offer. In addition to the editors below, we also would like to give a mention to gedit-markdown.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of our favorite markdown text editors. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for any author who wants to focus more on their writing.

Now, let’s explore the 4 text editors at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Markdown Text Editors
ReTextSimple text editor for Markdown and reStructuredText
UberWriterAttractive distraction free editor
HaroopadMarkdown enabled Next Document Processor
StackEditMarkdown editor powered by PageDown
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