Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

A Look at Trio of Web-Based Markdown Editors

If you’ve read the posts in this space for any length of time, you know my feelings about Markdown. I use it for a majority of my work, including writing posts on this blog.

There’s a lot of great software out there for working with Markdown on the desktop. But there are quite a few solid web-based Markdown editors, too. Those editors are easy to use, fast, and are accessible from anywhere where you have an internet connection.

Let’s take a look at three of my favourite web-based Markdown editors.

Dillinger

Dillinger is pretty bare bones, but it gets the job done. You get a two-pane view: your text on the left and a preview of how your document will look (more or less) in a web browser on the right. As you type, Dillinger updates the preview.

Editing this post in Dillinger

Pretty simple, no?

Dillinger can do a few other things, too. You can view the HTML code of the document, or download it as an HTML or a Markdown file. You can also connect Dillinger to a Github (an online code repository for programmers, which some writers also use), Dropbox, or Google Drive account and import files from or save your files to those services.

Markable

Markable is the next step up from Dillinger. Like Dillinger, Markable has a two-pane view with code on the left and the rendered version on the right.

Editing this post in Markable

While you can open and save documents from Dropbox and Evernote, Markable also gives you a few more file management features. You can also store your files in Markable, upload HTML files to the editor, and rename or delete files that are currently open. As well, you can post your documents to Tumblr as blog posts.

Draft

Draft is the main event when it comes to Markdown editors. Actually, Draft is more than a Markdown editor. It’s a powerful writing environment that supports Markdown. It does everything that Markable and Dillinger do, and a whole lot more. Like what? Well, read this review of Draft.

Done? Well, since that review was written Draft does even more. You can now organize your writing in folders, and publish your documents to more places. Yes, I do like Draft. In fact, it’s my go to writing tool.

Writing in Draft

That’s All Well and Good …

… but do these tools have any drawbacks? A few. They don’t support syntax highlighting and they don’t work offline. Neither of these is a big deal to me, but I know of a few people for whom those are deal breakers.

I’m sure that someone who likes to pick nits, or who expects every feature and every bit of functionality (whatever that means) in a piece of software will find fault in Dillinger, Markable, and Draft. But those tools aren’t meant for them. And you can’t know whether or not they’re not meant for you until you try them.

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