Our favorite Markdown writing app for the Mac →
There’s no shortage of Markdown editors to choose from, and many of them are fantastic. We think Byword is the best of the bunch because it hits the sweet spot between simplicity and functionality.
I currently use Byword on my iOS devices, for editing my blog posts or some quick notes, but on OS X I prefer to use the MacVim editor, because I know and love the Vim shortcuts when I work. I know, I’m an old dog.
I have already explained how you can add the Markdown rendering to Finder QuickLook, and how to access the Byword iCloud files directly from OSX in this article, but I want to report here.
There is a Finder QuickLook extension that render the Markdown syntax. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can place the QLMarkdown.qlgenerator file in the /Library/QuickLook directory. Restart the Finder and you can now see rendered Markdown by selecting the file and pressing the Space key.
If you want to quickly access the Byword iCloud documents from OS X, you can make a shortcut to the Byword iCloud directory into your Documents folder; this will provide to you a quick way to reach that strangely-named directory:
$ cd ~/Documents
$ ln -s ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/*byword/Documents Byword
The interesting thing come when you think that you can launch QuickLook directly from the Terminal, with this command:
$ qlmanage -p file.md
And see a rendered preview of your Markdown file. Cool.
Now, you can add a command to your MacVim in order to have a quick shortcut while you editing the file
:command P !qlmanage -p "%:p"
Restart MacVim and, from now, you can execute the :P command on MacVim to launch QuickLook on the current file.
I know this is not as handy as the Byword editor, but if you prefer using an old-school editor as Vim like me, you can find this method a lot useful during your Markdown editing sessions.
Originally published at matteocappadonna.org on October 1, 2014.