The Kernal Guy With A Computer

5 Great Text Editors For Writing Markdown

Millions of people rely on Markdown every day for a wide variety of tasks. Developers use it to write README’s, bloggers use it to write articles, and students use it to write papers. Yet, unlike HTML, many people find themselves using a bog-standard text editor to write their markdown; that’s a shame, because there are tons of specialized editors for Markdown that allow you to write faster and more comfortably. So, if you write markdown often, I’ll show you 5 great specialized editors that will help you be more efficient with your work.

Apostrophe

A distraction free Markdown editor for writers

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Apostrophe is a re-branding of the incredibly popular ‘Uberwriter’. It’s a GTK based editor that is tailored twords heavy writers, with a variety of distraction free settings that help you get ‘in the zone’. It features the much beloved ‘Hemmingway mode’, which stops you from backspacing, and a ‘focus’ mode, which only highlights the current line and makes every other line blend with the background. But apart from its nice usability features, its more powerful than many other editors too. Apostrophe is fully integrated with Pandoc, and allows you to export your markdown to any file format you could imagine, and import almost any file format to be edited as markdown. It’s like an exacto knife, it’s not too flashy, but it does the job well, and almost anyone can use it.

Ghostwriter

So powerful it’s spooky

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Ghostwriter is probably the second most popular markdown editor on Linux today. Unlike Apostrophe, it’s QT based and integrates seamlessly with the KDE Plasma desktop. Ghostwriter seems a little less concerned with keeping you in ‘the zone’, but even though it’s a little cluttered for my liking, Ghostwriter is incredibly powerful. There’s both a bottom and a side panel that you can toggle and fill with a word counter, undo button, dark mode toggle, and every other little convenience you could ever need. Sadly, by default, Ghostwriter only exports to HTML, but if you install pandoc, you can change that too. If Apostrophe is an exacto knife, Ghostwriter is a multi tool including a hammer and a toothbrush.

Marker

GTK Markdown Editor for savvy markdown users

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Marker is the original GTK 3 markdown editor. And it’s personally my favorite. Marker integrates beautifully with GNOME, but also blends seamlessly with XFCE, Mate, Budgie, and every other GTK desktop under the sun. But in contrast to Apostrophe, Marker has a smorgesboard of built in themes and options that allows you to completely customize your writing experience. And along with it’s pretty standard features, it has split window HTML rendering, extended support for scientific syntax, and the ability to make presentations with beamer. My only gripe is that pandoc isn’t used by default, but just like Ghostwriter, that can be changed.

Vim-Markdown

It’s Vim, with markdown

I know, Vim is hardly a dedicated markdown editor, but with a plugin called, vim-markdown, it can get pretty damn close. Vim markdown provides syntax highlighting, visual indicators, folding, and a wide variety of keybindings. It’s obviously not as good as the others on the list, as there’s absolutely no exporting features of any kind, but if you’re comfortable with using Pandoc on the terminal, and know how to use Vim, then it’s probably your best bet.

Remarkable

Lightweight Editor for developers

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While many text editors focus either on Commonmark or Pandoc Markdown, Remarkable decides to use Github flavored markdown. This is very convenient for people who either host their websites on Github (like me), or regularly write README’s for their various projects. But that’s not its only use, much like the other editors on this list, it has dual-pane functionality, shortcuts, some math syntax, and even the ability to export to PDF and HTML. However, what kills it for me is that there’s no support for pandoc, and apart from a few custom css themes, there’s not a lot of customization either. However, if none of the other markdown editors on this list seem to fit you, I’d give it a shot.

Conclusion

Hopefully, one of these 5 amazing editors calls your name. Markdown is an incredibly useful markup language, and with just a few usability features, it can be written faster, easier, and with a little more gusto. So, if you’re one of those millions of people writing markdown using a standard text editor, I’d highly encourage you to give one of these editors a shot. It may seem trivial in the short term, but trust me, it could completely change how you write markdown for the better.