10 Free Markdown Text Editors

Posted by
Elmira in Technical Communication on 3/17/20217 min read

laptop keyboard

This is the second part of our introduction to the “Markdown universe”. In our previous post, you can learn more about Markdown history. Today we are talking about the variety of editors for Markdown.

Variety of Markdown Editors

Nowadays, Markdown comes all-in with tools that don’t demand you to learn the syntax instantly, so even a person with no HTML experience can use Markdown editor to make content for the web. Markdown editors have the following advantages:

  1. Speeding up the formatting process;
  2. Working on the same document with other users in real-time;
  3. Exporting in multiple formats (i.e. PDF, web pages, Rich Text Format);
  4. Writing and editing the document from any device and location. Here it is better to have a cloud-based tool for your works, then switching devices will be smooth.

Due to the growth of the Markdown language, every basic platform has a fair scope of Markdown editors. We have gathered editors platform-wise - for Mac, Windows, Linux, and of course, online editors. Here are some of the FREE finest editors with their unique features:

  1. MacDown is a robust tool that offers syntax highlighting, live preview, and a minimalistic appearance that makes it easy to apply Markdown formatting. Despite its simple design, MacDown is fully featured with highly customizable language rendering, auto-completion, and lots of Markdown syntax. Plus, exporting to HTML or PDF delivers consistently good results.
  2. Ghostwriter gives you a distraction-free environment for writing captivating content, including a clean interface and a full-screen option. You can preview your work in HTML, use the Focus Mode to narrow your attention to a single paragraph, and create your own custom style sheet to preview how your content will appear on the internet. The tool also has a built-in processor that enables you to export documents to HTML. Alternatively, you can export to Word, PDF, ODT, and other formats by installing a document converter like Pandoc.
  3. Typora is one of the fastest and most versatile Markdown editors in existence. It doesn’t have separate tabs or windows to display how the syntax is rendered and to view plain text. You can start typing straight away and apply formatting from the integrated menu bar. The tool is ideal for writing content for the web. Typora also supports the insertion of graphs, tables, and mathematical formats in case you are writing some research papers. Documents are saved in the default Markdown format (.md), but you can import and export to several different formats using Typora. Supported file export formats include DOCX, Rich Text Format, OPL, OpenOffice, PDF, Epub, LaTex, HTML, and more.
  4. Remarkable is an excellent Markdown editor with a lot of features. You can use it to work with both the standard and Github-flavored Markdown language. Advanced-level formatting is also possible as the tool comes with spell checking, word count, and MathJax support. The software provides you with a range of styling options, so you can configure it to your writing preferences, as well as various keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work. Additional Markdown features include subscripts, abbreviations, footnotes, and other similar elements. Besides all that, Remarkable can convert links into hypertext and displays a live preview for inserted visuals. You can also toggle the fullscreen mode, customize the preview using CSS, and export your documents to HTML and PDF.
  5. Haroopad is an open-source processor that supports the creation of web-friendly text. You can use it to author various types of content, including reports, presentations, slides, blogs, and more. Its features include fenced code syntax highlighting, viewer and editor font size control using shortcuts, flowchart drawing, and styling based on CSS. Haroopad has the ability to display the number of tasks due in the app badge. The tool will let you import files from YouTube, Pastebin, Twitter, and many other resources and export them to HTML or PDF. Moreover, you can use your work as an email directly from Haroopad or post to Evernote or Tumblr.
  6. UberWriter is one of the best open-source Markdown editors and packaged with several features that make writing web-friendly text a hassle-free experience. The UI is centered, and the word length in a row is restricted to increase the content’s visibility. Also, you’d find that there are no buttons or menu bars to keep the writing distraction-free. At the bottom of its layout, UberWriter displays the character and word count at the right and its three-screen modes on the left. The first of these – Focus – enables users to zoom in on the sentence where the cursor is placed. Fullscreen takes the toolbars away from your view, and preview showcases the content after it’s been converted to Markdown language. Other nifty features include spell check and inline preview, which enable you to see links, images, footnotes, and other elements by clicking on them. UberWriter lets you export documents in all the popular file formats, including PDF, ODT, and HTML. Rich Text Format, OpenDocument XML, MediaWiki markup, and DOCX support are also included.
  7. HackMD is a collaborative Markdown editor that lets you and your teammates write and edit content from any internet-enabled device. You can use the panels in the editor’s toolbar to add links, headings, quotes, and other types of formatting. The tool’s menu bar consists of several Markdown shortcuts, and it’s also compatible with legacy editors like Emacs and Sublime. To use the editor, you just need to sign in with Google, Facebook, or another platform that HackMD’s login page supports. After that, you can write Markdown code and even create notes that can later be assigned to others for collaboration. People can join as registered users or guests to work on these notes with you. In terms of exporting your content, HackMD lets you save files in Gist, Dropbox, and Google Drive. You can also download the content directly on your computer in ODF (beta), HTML, Raw HTML, or Markdown language.
  8. StackEdit is another powerful online Markdown editor that features a visual toolbar for different kinds of formatting, including lists, emphasis, and bold. Whatever you write is automatically converted into Markdown in the left panel of the tool. In the right panel, you can preview what the text will appear like when it’s posted on the web. A notable trait of StackEdit is its ability to save the documents you make to your web browser. The next time you use it, your work will be present and accessible in a tiny panel situated on the left hand of the dashboard. What’s more, you can connect it to Dropbox or Google Drive to save your work in the cloud. To import a document, StackEdit allows you to provide a URL or your PC’s hard drive.
  9. Dillinger is a simple and modern tool that converts your Markdown content to HTML and vice versa. All you have to do is compose your text or place your document in the left panel and choose the format you want for the final document. You also get several export/import options, all of which can be accessed from the navigation at the top of the screen. With these features, it is simple to export your work to Google Drive, Dropbox, Medium, and Github, as well as convert files into MD, PDF, or HTML. In addition, Dillinger provides you with a distraction-free mode that removes everything except the Markdown sentence from your view, so you can focus on producing high-quality content for your web properties.
  10. Markdown Here allows you to write a complex email in simple text, never taking your hands off the keyboard. It works in many places that support rich editing. The styling is fully customizable. If you've ever used asterisks and dashes and spaces to add emphasis and structure when you write, then you already use Markdown Here. It is an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Thunderbird, and Postbox.

hands on laptop coffee and mobile on the table

ClickHelp Perspective For Markdown

ClickHelp provides a WYSIWYG editor that doesn’t use Markdown and stores data in HTML format. We are keeping an eye on Markdown with interest, and there may come a day when we implement it in our tool. But since Markdown has many restrictions and specific features, we see the future of online documentation in HTML-based content as the most flexible and rich format. Moreover, the content markup language is just one side of the coin. ClickHelp provides more than an online editor, but а documentation platform for teams that enables you to write, review, host, and deliver your content. Furthermore, we deliver reports, analytics, flexible reader UI branding - all that is needed to make a great-looking online documentation site for your company. In our view, an end-to-end solution of such kind has many benefits. It is the reason why numerous companies prefer the like solution alternatively to a set of open-source utility programs that in addition need to marry together to get a good result.

glasses on closed laptop

Conclusion

Markup languages are completely different from programming languages and scripting languages. They prepare a structure for the data or design of a page. In a way, they are all presentational languages without any kind of logic or algorithm. That’s what their attraction is in. Some people like Markdown, some don’t, and they all have their reasons for that. Here we gave you an overview of different editors for your information. To understand how to conveniently combine all the functions for technical writing on one platform, request a ClickHelp trial and get your own portal in a hot minute.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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