Do you like like to write, do some research and need to write an report afterwards? Do you want to share and collaborate within a team and do want that the recipient can read your writings without any issues?

Then you should use markdown (MD)!

The main idea and where MD comes from you can read in my help article here.

Kinds of MarkDown (MD)

There are several different markdown syntax but „original“ is from Fletcher. Multimarkdown (MDD) gives you more possibilities to format your text and annotate it with notes and comments.

Having said that all of these syntax share one common thing:

It is pure text which has to „though“ a so called compiler and will render machine readable text to nice formatted text to be used by humans.

Editors

As different the syntax is as different are the editors with different functions and „behaviours“.

What do I need to write in MD?

Actually, a common text editor is good enough to write in markdown; and is therefore everywhere readable. Any other „advanced“ editors can cause reading issues by the recipient as he/she does not might have the software. This will not be with markdown the case at all.

A special editor for markdown can be used to export into several formats like HTML, PDF, ePub for instance. The only thing you would need is a so called CSS-File so that your editor knows how the text should be formate and displayed at the end like tables, annotations and non-printable comments to your files.

DevonThink

DTPO and DTTG can be used for markdown and using both the syntax of Fletscher. With CMD+P you can always have a peek how your document will look like once exported.

Since the latest update you can use your own CSS files easily and link them to your markdown document. How you can do this, you will find here.

IA Write and ByWord

With both you can use markdown using also Fletschers markdown reference but you can see already changes which had been made to improve the user experience.

Ulysses

Why do I like Ulysses?

It is this markdown editor which I do not have to work around but it will adapt to my workflow and needs.

There are several exports and formats possible and it will allow me directly to publish to my blog.

Moreover, I can do loads of adjustments to the look and feel which is not possible with other editors.

For my writing I use several headlines and can use colours to display them on my screen. I will so always know where am I and what the next header will be (for instance header 2 and header 3 are coloured differently).

There is also a nice feature to display the most common formatting symbols using CMD+9 to display them and get used to work with markdown and learn quickly.

Furthermore, there are styles and themes available which you can either download or create your own. Just have a look here.

Do you need more information and references?

No issue here, just use the attachment function, create notes and links. By the way links, use just DTPO or DTTG with x-callback-scheme to get your references into Ulysses.

If you have to write huge texts such as dissertations or similar, you will not lose your overview at all.

You can just break down your text into smaller parts which you are working on using sheets. So, you can fully concentrate on subjects or topics do you need to write up.

Once everything is done you can just mark all sheets and export them as an whole document. All single sheets will form a full document and now you have to just to decide which format for the export you like.

I really do like this function to break down some parts and topics as I can fully concentrate just on one thing at the time.

The layout and export for PDF, ePub, formatted text can be adjusted using your CSS file, which can be changed to your needs. So, you will not be „stack“ just with HTML but have loads of options to export your writing.

Support

One word to the support of Ulysses which is just great and you get an answer within a working day.

Information about Ulysses you can find here. The style sheets here and all the export options and CSS files here – just browse through all options and choose the one you like most.

Scrivener

With Scrivener you can also write in markdown and has loads of formatting options and references available. Personally, I think it pretty good but too much for the actual writing and referencing – sometimes less is more.

Drafts

Should be missed in this list too. As the name suggested for quick drafts using markdown it is pretty useful.

AirMail

Do you use AirMail? Then lucky you! It is an email software which uses markdown too. So it is much easier to write your emails using markdown and AirMail. All functions to formats are identical to Fletschers markdown guide.

All of these markdown editors are the leader in their market and of course there are much more out there.

A nice cheat sheet with all the multi-markdown syntax (Fletschers) you can find at GitHub here.

Tip

Todays tip comes directly from one of my readers and relates to a keyboard for IOS.

If you use markdown for the first time, all the syntax can be daunting. I can recommend the keyboard which I am tested thoroughly and think it is a good means to learn markdown under IOS.

All software and the keyboard link you will find below and as usual all commission earned comes back to you via my Specials and raffles.

Symbols and Syntax

A few formatting and syntax you can find in my help article „MarkDown: It is easier than you might think“ and you will also be able to download the markdown and HTML files to learn how to use it.

Collaboration

It is easy to share and work in a team using markdown as it can be read everywhere.

Using a common text editor which is always included in any operating system, sharing the text with your team members cannot be easier. Does not matter if you use Editor under Windows, TextEdit under MAC or Vi / Vim under Linux. The text will be displayed everywhere the same.

The only thing you need to be aware of is to tell your team members how they should use the symbols for formatting your text if you made any adjustments to them.

After that you can just collect all your files from your members and put them together into one big document and publish or export it.

If I would share my markdown I would have to tell my team that:

„| … |“ Underlined text

“{ … }  for annotations and remarks within the text which will not be displayed by exporting it.

Advantages

  1. Each user – if they have a markdown editor – can have their own display which works best for them.
    After you collected all your team members ideas and workings just use your own CSS file and the export will be like you want it to be.
  2. Everywhere and every time readable – even using your browser
  3. Changes to text and paragraphs can be made under any OS
  4. CSS style will control the output of your text and can be adjusted
  5. Link to references, pictures, footnotes
  6. Create tables using just your keyboard
  7. Annotate text using comments and remarks which are only for your references and will not get exported
  8. Share with your team and friends
  9. Separate your document in smaller portion to get a better overview and you can concentrate only on one part.
  10. Write faster and formate directly without looking for your mouse – just use it while writing.

Disadvantages

Well, personally I do not think that this are disadvantages but… :

  1. Learning
    The syntax needs to be learnt and used
  2. Lockig for the right…
    Editor and formatting you really need.

 Are you a bit puzzelnd now why I do not get much deeper into markdown?

Well, the answer is easy: There are so many different formats around which are then adjusted to give the user a much better experience.

But there shall I start and end?

I really like to show you in much more depth how you can use markdown – Just let me know which editor you would prefer to be based markdown on!  

This is important to show you the formats and all other possibilities to get you started into markdown.

Just let me know if you like to see more article about markdown and editors and over which one I should give you more inside.

I hope I could give you small insight into markdown and the editors available and hope you will find it useful to decide if you like to use an editor or stick with the standard editor of your operating system.

Do you have hints and suggestions – just let me know using the comment form or send me an email directly.