On Markdown Preview

Dr. Drang explains why he doesn’t use Markdown preview:

Now, when I say I seldom preview my Markdown documents, what I mean is I don’t continually check the formatting as I write. I do preview my posts locally before publishing them to proofread (or prooflisten), to check any equations that may be in the post, and to verify the links and images.

As I’ve become more comfortable writing in Markdown1, my experiences mirror Drang's.

Also, like Drang, I use Marked to preview my documents before moving the HTML to MarsEdit. Admittedly I don’t take advantage of everything Marked has to offer, but I’ve nonetheless found it to be an integral part of my writing toolkit. If you write in Markdown, you really should be using this app. It’s great.

Though I agree with Drang on Marked, I disagree with his stance on Byword:

This is why I have no interest in Byword, despite the many recommendations it’s gotten from people whose opinions I trust. The fading away of the asterisks, underscores, brackets, etc. isn’t worth giving up the power and familiarity of my regular text editor. Markdown is discreet enough all by itself.

I understand Drang’s point, but I like the Markdown highlighting in Byword. In fact, that Byword has this feature is the main reason I prefer it over iA Writer. (To be clear, Writer supports Markdown as well.) To me, the “fading away” of the Markdown syntax helps me to know which elements of the text are, well, marked. This is especially useful when I’m done writing and I’m adding links, etc.


  1. Except I still can’t grasp creating tables. If anyone has any tips, email me.  ↩