Text more productively: Six Markdown editors for macOS, iPadOS and iOS in the test
Markdown is plain text
Pictures can not all
Read article in Mac & i 6/2021
If you focus more on text and content than on unusual layouts, markdown editors offer a good alternative to classic word processors. Marking the style instructions while writing is easy with a little practice and follows a standard that can be used in more and more programs and apps: Anyone who emphasizes text snippets in WhatsApp with *bold asterisks* or with _underscores in italics_ is setting Markdown be ready. Although there are now different versions of the markup language, Markdown editors promote a smooth exchange between themselves and with other programs such as editorial systems, blogs or the typesetting program Latex.
In the Markdown philosophy, writing shouldn’t be about later use, it’s about content. The editors are therefore visually very reserved, hide menu and sidebars and use a “Focus” mode to draw attention to the current sentence or paragraph by hiding those above and below it. Typewriter mode moves what is written up on the screen while keeping the typing position in the center of the screen for easy on the eyes.
- With Markdown, you put style instructions like “heading” or “numbered list” with special characters into the text as you write.
- With a little practice, this is quicker than formatting it later in Pages and Word.
- Despite the visible stylistic instructions, texts remain legible for the most part.
- Some editors hide typical window elements so that you can better concentrate on the content.
- Extraordinary layouts cannot usually be achieved; however, the documents can be exported in different formats.
Markdown is plain text
Like HTML (HyperText Markup Language), Markdown uses so-called markups. The word comes from the English word to mark. Markup languages such as HTML and Markdown mark in plain text when paragraphs or individual words have a specific meaning, for example they reproduce a quotation or a chemical compound in its typical notation. HTML pages do look good in the browser; in the underlying plain text file, however, the eyes can hardly filter out the content between the space-demanding HTML statements. In contrast, the Markdown syntax gets by with just a few characters. John Gruber, who developed Markdown in its original form, made sure that it takes a back seat to plain text. See the box below for examples.
- Access to all content from heise+
- exclusive tests, guides & backgrounds: independent, critically well-founded
- Read c’t, iX, MIT Technology Review, Mac & i, Make, c’t photography directly in your browser
- Register once – read on all devices – can be canceled monthly
- first month free, then monthly from €9.95
- Weekly newsletter with personal reading recommendations from the editor-in-chief
Start FREE month Start FREE month now
already subscribed to heise+?
Register and read Register now and read the article immediately More information about heise+ Go to home page