Testing Out a New Temporary Markdown Editor

January 7th, 2016 • filed under Software

I’ve been in search for a backup Markdown editor while my goto app is updated to fix a rather lethal crash bug. For those wondering, as of this writing, Desk PM is my goto and when attempting to work through the publish menus, the app always crashes, and always forgets my work. No good.

So in the meantime I had to find an alternative, if I’m going to restart my blogging habits for 2016.

The theme here is simplicity. All I need is a distraction-free space to write my thoughts down in Markdown format, and special formatting is optional.

The first app on my list is Typora. It’s not a very complex app but what it does, it seems to do well. Launching Typora takes you to a blank canvas, just like I’d expect. It comes with six themes out of the box and more can be added by way of CSS. Yes, it’s that customizable.

One of the first things I did was open the .css file for the theme of my choice, Pixyll, and edit the #write ID element and widened the max-width to 1200px from the default 854px. Given I want a full-screen write space, I felt 854px against my screen was a bit small. With 1200px, this set me up for about 65-75% width used depending on the resolution I’m at. I tend to operate at 1680×1050 equivalent, most of the time.

This is the editor as a whole: it’s super minimal, with little fluff. A settings pane is available under Preferences that allows you to make some tweaks to the app, including font size, window style, access to the themes folder (big plus) and a few other settings. Again, nothing totally crazy here, because it’s a simple app. It’s not claiming to be your word processor replacement, and I wouldn’t it want to be mine.

While it would be nice to edit some of the theme settings without having to modify css, I’m personally OK with that and once I have it the way I want, it’s a set-and-forget kind of deal.

The real question is will this become a permanent tool? Maybe. It depends on what my goals are. As it stands, today, I have to copy and paste into WordPress and publish from there, which takes a few extra minutes when I factor adjustments and image uploads, etc. If this app were to become a blogging tool, it’d need to be full service in order for it to fill that void for me. Right now, it’s temporary, and may always hold a place when I need to write some markdown for something non-blogging-related.

With that being said, it’s a good app. I don’t have any major complaints, to be honest. It’s free while in beta for Mac, Windows, and soon Linux.